Five Ways Your Small Business can Save Money
Although starting your own small business is very rewarding, it isn't always easy. For every pro -- making your own hours, doing something you love, curating a strong team of employees -- there's a challenge, and one of the biggest challenges is figuring out your budget.
The first few years of your business should be dedicated to working out the kinks. In particular, you should be figuring out which of your expenses can be cut down on. If you're inexperienced, this can be a bit intimidating, but here are a few things to consider.
If your business is still very small, there's not always a need to rent out a full office space. It's becoming more and more popular for startup entrepreneurs to turn a room in their homes into a small office. Until you reach more than five employees, this is an extremely cost-efficient deal. However, if you've got too many employees to fit in one room, but not enough to justify footing the bill of a whole building, you could look into coworking. Coworking involves sharing an office space with another business or group of individuals who only need a small amount of space, or who will only be there part of the time.
A lot of entrepreneurs don't anticipate the big budget that is required for many traditional methods of advertising. That being said, you could easily cut corners -- which is important in the beginning stages -- by making use of social media marketing. A lot of businesses do very well for themselves just through the use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube. Posting pictures of products, video commercials, information on deals, and shareable content is a great way to spread the word...for free! Some phone systems are all-inclusive packages that even give you a free toll-free number and monthly service. This is a great way to track advertising campaigns to see which efforts result in the greatest ROI.
Needless to say, your business can't operate without phone systems, but those phone bills definitely add up, especially as your business grows. You and your employees could always use your personal phone lines for business calls, but not everyone would be interested in doing that. Luckily, there's another alternative: cloud-based phone systems. These business phone systems have all the features of a regular phone but go through your existing internet connection so they're much less expensive per line. Some even offer cordless phones for even more flexibility.
Bonding with Vendors
Being a loyal customer pays off. Forming a long-term relationship with your vendors will make them more likely to tell you when there are certain deals, and they may even reduce prices for you since they know you will be a consistent, dependable source of business. In order to approach this, make sure you have the same employee work with the vendor each time you contact them, always contact them in advance, and benefit them whenever you can by referring business to them. Even if they don't cut you deals, having a vendor that's dependable and consistent is more money-saving than you might think.
If possible, go completely paperless. Do all your invoicing, payments, faxes, communication, catalogs, et cetera through computers -- this saves you money on postage and materials, which can really add up. It also saves you money on ink, paper, and the labor that it takes to mail things out. In the end, it's the small savings that add up to make a big difference.