As most business owners know from experience, saving money is just as important to a start-up business as making it. Often doing this involves optimising processes to get more for less and cutting corners wherever possible without impacting the quality of your product or service. Here we provide five insightful money-saving tips that will help keep your business alive through the tough initial start-up phase.
Kill meetings with conference calls
One of the most wasteful practices among businesses is unnecessary meetings. These can eat into profits by taking up your time. To prevent this, limit meetings to those that are really needed. Always go into these meetings with a time limit and a specific agenda, and once everything has been discussed, excuse yourself. Your other option is simply to avoid meetings altogether and get people accustomed to mailing you instead. Instead of meeting up with business partners across the city or abroad, you can use a video conference tool like Skype or Google Hangouts – both of which are free.
Hire a freelancer instead of an agency
Whether you’re running a start-up company or an established business, you need a highly competent support team to handle all the required daily tasks. Usually small companies either hire people they don’t really need full time or go to agencies they’ve heard of for contract work. This is an expensive mistake. Instead consider hiring a freelancer with precisely the skills and experience you require from companies like oDesk or eLance. If you need a virtual assistant or a web-design expert, for example, you can find the ideal candidate on a freelance site and work with this person remotely. You can pay freelancers per hour or per project, and maintain long-term relationships with them, without having to offer them costly employment contracts.
Join a business association or membership site for discounts
You can make small monthly payments to join various business associations and membership sites that offer a wide range of discounts on important business services such as insurance, travel, online advertising and so on. Plan out a budget and review how a membership site or business association could save you money and help your business in the long term.
Make wise business property investments
Few start-up companies can afford the high costs associated with renting prime office space. Also, you can’t predict how your start-up business may grow or how fast. You might find that a property you lease isn’t big enough to meet your needs, which is a problem if you’ve already entered into a long lease. One creative and increasingly popular solution is to use a self-storage unit as a non-traditional, low-cost office space. Self-storage units are available in a wide range of sizes for terms as short as a month, and make for highly secure, effective office spaces at really affordable prices.