As a small business owner you need to be extremely frugal over how you manage your funds. Lack of or misuse of capital is one of the main reasons why companies fail today. That said, priority number one should be to save money.
While some ideas will save more money than others you need to understand that every little bit counts. If it saves money it’s worth it (generally speaking).
Here are seven creative ways for your small business to save money.
1. Communal advertising
Marketing can get very expensive for small businesses. Without large mailing lists or exposure it can cost thousands before you see any bit of return. If you’re in good standing with local businesses you may want to consider advertising alongside them.
If applicable you can share distribution channels, mailing lists and suppliers with businesses offering complimentary goods and services.
2. Use website builders
If you’re looking to build a website or even an online store you should absolutely use a website builder rather than hiring a developer. Platforms like Squarespace are great for any small business owner looking to get a bit of online exposure.
If you’re looking to build an online store use a platform like Shopify. These solutions allow you to build and run an ecommerce business with close to no technical ability.
3. Volunteer to speak at industry events
If you consider yourself an expert in the field then you should try to impart that knowledge on others. One great way to do so is to volunteer to speak at industry events or conferences.
This is a great way to get (free) exposure for both your personal brand and your business.
4. Avoid full-time office space
Thanks to so much great technology the majority of internet businesses can be run remotely. If you’re in retail then this tip doesn’t necessarily apply to you.
If you don’t work in retail you should try to stay mobile as long as possible. Signing a lease on a office space can be extremely expensive.
Pro tip: If you have the space, convert a space in your apartment or house into your office space. Then you can save double and write-off part of your rent as a business expense.
5. Buy used office equipment
If and when you decide to move into an office you should definitely look to purchase used equipment. Anything from monitors to office chairs you can find them for a fraction of the price at used equipment stores.
New shiny gear may look nice but an empty bank account doesn’t. Remember, only spend on what you need and delay gratification.
6. Use freelancers and contractors
Full time employees cost a pretty penny these days. Yes, ideally you start to build out your workforce with motivated and loyal employees. However you should use freelancers and independent contractors until you’re stable.
Onboarding and training an employee takes time and money. An independent contractor is already an expert in the field and will only charge you for tasks you really need done.
Bartering is one of the best ways to save money as a small business. Think about it. Nearly every other small business is in a similar position as you are. Strapped for cash. That said it’s in both of your best interest to barter for goods and services.
If you’re an accounting firm that needs design services you should offer to handle their finances in exchange for some design work. Every time you need a specific good or service always look to barter first. It won’t always work but it’s always worth a shot.
When it comes to saving money there are hundreds of different things you can do. As I mentioned above some will yield better results than others. That said if it saves money it’s probably still worth it. Try the seven strategies listed above -- your bottom line will thank me later!
(By Renzo Costarella)