A startup is going to come against many difficulties, the primary one being finances. In order to keep from being constantly hounded by financial limitations, you want to consolidate operations as cost-effectively as possible. Here are five ways you can eliminate thousands from your annual budget.
1. Don’t rent: build, own, and work sustainable
Especially if your startup is a tech company of some variety which doesn’t require a specific location for success, you want to avoid renting if ownership of a given work location is possible. If you can work out of a house, do so until you have enough capital to purchase something more fitting. But even better would be building your own office.
You can make a prefab structure for between $16 and $100 per square foot, depending on who you build through and how much architectural assistance/amenities you bring to the table. When you consider that a conventional home costs about $150 per square foot to build, it’s easy to see the savings. You could have a 2,000 square-foot facility for $200k.
Rent will cost you quite a bit; if you’re able to rent an office in a San Francisco skyrise for under $5,000 a month, you’re getting a sweet deal. That clocks in at $60k a year, or $300k over the course of five years. Meanwhile, if you built your own office, you could save $100k in the first five years alone–minimum.
2. Sustainable energy
If you add sustainable energy solutions to your prefabricated structure, you’ll save even more. Find a place out of town where there’s wind and a medium-sized stream. You can loft a wind turbine for $5,000 and a water turbine for $5,000. You can install a 3.1 kWh solar energy system for about the same. Now, max, you’re at $215k and you’ll never pay a utility bill.
If you only paid $200 a month per utility bill in a traditional setting, that’s $2400 a year, Now you’ve saved an additional $12,000 over five years. Basically, the energy system pays for itself during your first five years of operation. If you own the land everything sits on, then even if the business folds in five years, you’ve got a property you can sell to recoup your investment.
3. Cloud computing
Cloud computing allows you to source the same utility an on-site data center would traditionally yield for a fraction of the cost at a predictable monthly rate. Instead of paying for installation, transport, hardware, upgrades, troubleshooting, support, and an on-site backup solution, you just use an MSP and get the same utility.
4. BYOD solutions
Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, allows businesses to outsource end-user portals to employees. Basically, you use the cloud to handle timesheets payroll and whatever infrastructure it can, and employees log in through their varying laptops to your system. You save thousands in hardware and space, employees can work from home, everybody wins.
5. Mobile and cloud applications
Cloud applications streamline operations, facilitating outsourced infrastructure, but additionally, the cloud is making a suite of mobile applications more effectively tangible than ever.
Applications for mobile phones and tablets are also increasingly popular, and they’re a great way to organically market your services. When users find there’s something cool about what you can provide, and it makes their life easier, they’re likely to organically promote you by getting others in on your app.
The only downside to apps is troubleshooting, but it’s not much of a downside, really. It just means you need to keep an eye on operations. When it comes to error monitoring and crash reporting software, Stackify.com advises tech professionals to: “…constantly monitor your applications for errors so you can identify and fix problems ASAP.”
Greater freedom through diminished expenses
If you can curtail tens of thousands from your yearly budget, you’ll give your startup a fighting chance at establishing itself for the long-haul. So look into your options and see what works best for you. For most businesses, at least several of the listed tips here can serve to increase visibility and profitability, or decrease infrastructural expense.