A business is like a human being – it will grow when you nurture it or it will die when you neglect it. Owning a business means you have to take care of it like a newborn baby. You have to look after it and provide the basics. If not, your business will fail.
Similar to raising a family, opening a business involves making a considerable financial commitment. If you’re in the same situation as the majority of new business owners, funds are tight and your resources are limited.
However, being resourceful with your limited funds and being smart with your start-up capital will help you open and expand a successful business. Here are three tips to help you save money when opening a new business, and turn it into a lean operation that has a high potential of turning into a success.
1. Use free marketing.
Get on social media.
Promote your business using all the free social media platforms available. Create Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn pages where you can post content about your company, your products and services, and what sets you apart from other businesses similar to yours. Go through all your contacts, from your email address book to family and friends, and add them to your contact lists on social media. Then send them an invitation to connect so you can rapidly develop an online presence for your company.
Talk about your business.
When meeting new people, mention your business and what benefits it provides to people. Don’t be pushy and do a hard sell, but always subtly integrate your business story when talking to people. Take your business cards with you all the time so you can give them to people you’ve talked to, and make an effort to get one from them also.
Make a cost-effective website.
You don’t have to pay thousands of dollars to create a working website with all the bells and whistles. You just need a basic but effective website that contains all there is to know about your business, your products and services, and the reasons why you are better than your competitors. Many website development packages and tools are available to you online for free. Use any of them to make a smart looking, professional website that can be uploaded in mere hours, not weeks. But remember this: make a cheap looking website and you are sending a message to the online community that you are also running a cheap business.
Buy low print run but high quality business cards.
Purchase low run but high quality business cards. You would only look back if you hand out cheap looking business cards that look like you printed them at home. There are online business card provides that offer quality for a reasonable price.
2. Maintain a minimum number of employees.
Pay for staff only when you need them.
Hire part-time employees or contractors that you can pay by hour. This way, you only need to pay for help when you require it. If it is the off season for your business and you are busy meeting prospective clients, you don’t need to pay huge salaries when your employees are doing little or nothing.
Another benefit of having casual employees is that it allows you to roster them on and off to efficiently use them and pay them only when you need their help. You are not required by law to pay casual employees holiday leave or sick pay.
Ask for help.
Ask help with your business from family and friends. Use this network to spread word about your business. Relatives, particularly the retirees, will usually be eager to take on a challenge of helping a family member set up and grow a profitable business.
Use offshore contractors.
Get offshore contractors to manage your infrastructure and provide support. Virtually all kinds of offshore contractors are available today, from manufacturers to virtual assistants. The things you can offshore today are limitless, from building professional websites to full-scale manufacturing. Doing this would give you significant time and money savings. The realm of business is international and business back-office support has also expanded into a worldwide phenomenon.
Adopt it and reap the benefits.
3. Save money on equipment and business space.
Set up office in your home.
Think about operating your business from home if you want to save money. This is a strategy that you need to seriously take into account if you wish to run a lean operation, particularly in the early days. Today, business technology is more affordable and the Internet can connect you with anyone in almost every corner of the world, allowing you to virtually operate a national or even an international company from the comforts of your own home.
Lease or share.
If you don’t want a home office, then think about sharing an office or sign a short-term lease for a serviced office. You get a professional ‘shop front’ appearance and ambience with a shared office or serviced office. This is crucial if clients favour going to you. You can get full secretarial services, such as taking messages and sending mail, and answering phone calls on your behalf, from most of these shared office facilities. You can save money by not signing a long-term lease for a costly office space. As an alternative, consider a shared office arrangement or a serviced office facility.
Save cash by renting equipment or outsourcing.
Opt for the temporary use of business equipment or lease it, rather than purchasing it. An important tip, particularly to those engaged in manufacturing, is to make your product without investing so much cash on many pieces of plant and equipment. Nearly any kind of equipment, even those used to produce small quantities, can be outsourced. Instead of making a capital equipment investment, rent or lease the equipment, or even hire a contractor to perform your entire manufacturing operations. This strategy allows you to keep your production costs at a minimum.
Avoid building up your business costs and squander your money when opening a new business. Majority of newly created businesses close within a year due to the owners ignoring these important tips to run a lean business and keep costs at a minimum. When starting a business, the key is saving money where you can.
If you are starting a new business, it would benefit you a lot to hire an accountant or a finance specialist to increase your chances of making a success of your business. PJS Accountants offers a range of business planning services including Tax planning and compliance, Accounting and other bookkeeping services. Visit one of our specialist advisors or contact PJS Accountants.