Tips for Saving Money

No matter what stage your business is, it’s always good practice to save money when you can. Cash is king.
Here are a few ways you can do that:

“We WILL be there with you every step of the way.” 

  • Hire Freelancers. If your business is growing, but you don’t feel certain enough to hire full time staff, consider a freelancer, contractor or third party agency. This way, you only pay for the work you need done, and you don’t have the headache of benefits, raises and sick days. Hiring freelancers works particularly well for professional roles: software developers, Web designers, copywriters, PR professionals, consultants, administrative professionals and the like. You will typically pay a higher hourly rate for a contractor versus an employee. But in exchange you may get a more experienced worker who accomplishes more in an hour’s time and needs less daily supervision. Remember, there’s a cost for management and training time, too.
    • Use Free Software. Free and inexpensive software is plentiful online. You can also take advantage of free trial periods for most business software. This gives you a chance to use the application for free for 30 days or more to determine if you really need it. This includes
      • Document, presentation and spreadsheet software
      • Web conferencing software. Explore free options that may fit your situation: Zoom, Google Hangouts are possibilities.
      • Conference call bridges. Try a service like FreeConference.com instead of paying for a conference bridge service. Couple it with Google Talk, and you don’t even have to pay long distance charges (calls to phones in the US and Canada are currently free).
      • Collaboration, CRM, sales management and other software.
      • Download.com also has a plethora of free downloads in categories like security, development and networking, so check there first before forking over cash unnecessarily.
    • Mentors and Advisors. Instead of paying for advice on legal, accounting, funding or other key business issues, use your brain trust of mentors and advisors as much as you can for advice, feedback, and meeting other important contacts.
    • Interns. Universities throughout the country are packed with undergraduate and in some cases graduate students eager to gain real life experience. Many need tight management but can be a great resource.
    • Barter or Trade. Bartering—swapping one thing for another—has been an effective way of doing business for centuries. In recent years, bartering has evolved into a sound strategy for finding goods, trading services, conserving cash, moving inventory, and locating excess production capacity. The International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA) helps match up companies interested in bartering for goods and services.
    • Non-monetary Incentives. Members of your team will often work for equity or deferred payments rather than initial salaries. This will help you keep costs down during the launch and early growth stages of your business.
    • Distributors, Reps, and Affiliate Partners. Most industries have distributors, manufacturers’ representatives, and affiliate partners who will sell your products through their existing distribution channels, which can be extensive. This is a great way to build sales quickly and conserve cash because you don’t pay the partner until your products are sold.
    • Borrow, Rent, Buy Used. Find ways to use other people’s resources in addition to your own. Whenever possible, borrow rather than rent; rent rather than buy; and buy used rather than new. Some industries have excellent equipment available for a dime on the dollar. Also, go to bankruptcy sales and auctions to see if you can find what you need.
    • Conferences. They can be expensive and distract you. In the first six months your head should not be on conferences unless you can calculate a specific dollar ROI from going (such as, you’re being paid a speaking fee).
    • Travel. Travel is not only expensive, but you are less productive during travel. Aside from a critical sales call that you simply MUST attend, use email and phone instead. Zoom video conferences and Google Hangouts are two free substitutes for in-person meetings.
    • A Too-Ambitious Website. Get a website up early. But unless your business is a Web technology business, keep it small and modest at first. Invest in a good template design, and keep the number of pages down until your business has more of a track record.
    • Public Relations. Don’t get me wrong, PR is valuable. But in the first 6 months you’re still figuring out your startup’s “story” and how to frame it. Until you’ve gone through that process don’t waste your money or the PR professional’s time.
    • Shop for Deals. Many vendors offer loyalty program discounts, or discounts provided by official partners of the vendor. Don’t buy anything until you’ve first checked websites of your key vendors to see what offers and programs may be available.
    • Trademark filings. Filing for a trademark usually doesn’t have the same urgency as with a patent. In fact, by consistently using your mark over time you establish stronger rights. In the first six months a trademark registration is not an essential expense.
    • Advertising. Advertising takes money. Besides, a lot of startups are still figuring out what they are doing in the first six months. Instead, ramp up your social media presence during this time. If you must advertise, experiment with low cost alternatives such as Facebook Promoted Posts and Twitter Promoted Tweets

Follow Us on Social Media

Where do you go for answers?

LEARN MORE

Our Learning Community is the one stop shop for the intelligence you need. Instead of countless hours searching for answers, we’ve organized what you need to know across all of the business and personal issues you face. You’ll get knowledge, ongoing support, weekly live coaching sessions, tools and templates, vendor reviews and a vibrant community of your fellow entrepreneurs. All that for only $99/month! Join today!