It’s hard to think that some of the mega-corporations today came from such humble beginnings as small businesses! With nothing but a wing and a prayer, these forward-thinking future CEOs forked over lots of their time, and tons of their money to pursue their dreams of entrepreneurship. And to imagine that most of our household items, the ones we couldn’t possibly manage our day to day without, are quite literally a product and combination of innovation and the courage to see it through to the end from merely a dream.
Wherever you want to go, however big your game plan is, you have to start somewhere and plan out your year from there. The first step? Acquiring capital to build the foundation your business will grow from. As you gain momentum acquiring clients and making sales, you’ll start to see more black than red. Until that happens, minimize stress by minimizing costs when possible. Here are a few of the best ways to save money when you’re getting your small business off the ground.
9. Seek Out Used Equipment
The saying, “Work with the best tools you can afford,” couldn’t ring truer when it comes to small businesses. If you need an expensive machine, look for an established company and ask if you can buy their used goods, or better yet, if you can lease them. Bring in an expert to appraise the equipment – if it passes, negotiate a deal to buy it. If it doesn’t, consider leasing.
Also known as survival tactics, trading in your time and know-how to receive materials is a win-win scenario that maintains the cash flow of your business. For example, if you have a hand lettering graphic design business and your supplier asks you to produce a series of handmade prints, consider asking for materials in return, like the specialty paper or high-quality ink and pen tips you use.
7. Run Your Business – From Your Basement
In any city, renting out commercial office space is notoriously expensive, or at the very least, a cost your small business can do without right now. Consider a more cost-effective scenario until you’re able to hold down a rental space that accommodates you. Until that becomes an option, save some money by using a friend’s extra room, your dining room, even your unfinished basement!
6. Buy Everything In Bulk
If your small business deals in goods that don’t expire, buy all at once! Vendors will give you very large discounts which means you can increase your profit margins more than if you bought retail.
5. Offer Flexible Working Options
Need employees? Employing someone full-time is a big commitment for a small business owner. All of a sudden, things like insurance, pension, and health care become factors not part of your budget. If you need an accountant, you can hire one on a short term basis or remotely. Computer glitch? Call an IT guru and pay as a one-off. Need a writer? Choose freelance.
4. Hire “Fresh” and “Green”
Highly qualified individuals come with very high expectations – expectations and expertise that come at a cost small businesses shouldn’t be dishing out at this point in the game. Chances are, you aren’t dealing with high-level strategies that would require you to hire top-tier talent. Perhaps entry-level, fresh from school individuals or interns are better suited.
3. Ramp Up Negotiations
Get clear on your communication and speaking skills if you want to position your small business in the best light – and get the best deal for it! Maintaining a good relationship with vendors and suppliers will help you get discounts so you can sell at a higher price in retail. You can even establish terms of credit agreed on by both parties so you can make payments when it works for you.
One of the ways a small business can see growth early on is to pay out using only profit. That means deferring payment to the freelance digital artist, for example, and waiting until your business makes a sale instead of paying out of pocket. That way, you always have money in the bank as a safety precaution for you and as a way to grow.
1. Get Into Free Software
Make use of the free online software designed to give your small business the upper hand. With programs for accounting, human resources, and video conferencing meeting software, you can get set up in no time with 30-day trials that sometimes go on even longer.
Consider video conferencing and group communications software like FreeConference.com that keeps everyone on your team on the same page – for free! Meetings are critical to getting a small business off the ground, and with features like free international calling, free screen sharing and a free online meeting room from FreeConference.com, you’ll see how your small business can benefit and gain momentum. Get conferencing for free here.