Entrepreneurs

Council Post: Nine Smart Tips To Save Money When Just Starting Your Business

When you’re trying to get a business off the ground, you don’t always have a lot of resources at your disposal. In order to gain some momentum, it may then be necessary to “cut a few corners.” However, this doesn’t mean you have to betray your ethics, as there are a few elements of business you can reasonably (and legally) cut or save money on to help give your business the kick-start it needs to get going.

For guidance on where to begin, nine members of Young Entrepreneur Council offer a few suggestions on how to save money in the early days of your startup and why you should do so to provide better service to your customers and successfully grow your business.

1. Use Off-The-Shelf Solutions For Non-Critical Tasks

Don’t waste your most precious resource (engineering time) on building things that are not core to your product. Using off-the-shelf solutions to fill in gaps for everything that isn’t critical to your product (e.g. landing pages, marketing automation, etc.) could end up costing a few hundred to a few thousand dollars out of pocket, but it will save tens of thousands of dollars in engineering time. In addition, your team will appreciate the ability to be laser-focused on the most important problems they can solve. – Sandeep Kella, Assembly

2. Perfect Your Product Instead Of Scaling

Don’t spend too much on expansion or scaling. Focus on putting more and more value on your product or service instead of trying to produce more. Startups can get too excited sometimes and hire more people, but it’s the last thing you should be doing. Instead, you should be focusing on perfecting your product or service. Your original group of employees will also thank you more for sticking and growing with them, making them more loyal and driven to take your business to the next level. – Maria Thimothy, OneIMS

3. Use Upgradeable Software

The best way to strategically cut corners in your startup’s early days is to invest in software that comes with free and premium options. You can download the free copy and get your site established. Once your business takes off, you can upgrade to the premium version of the software. We started our business with mostly free plugins and eventually scaled up as our profits increased. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

4. Manage Your Own Bookkeeping

Manage your own bookkeeping and finances while your business is small. A business owner needs to develop a basic level of familiarity with accounting and finance operations before they will be able to transition these tasks off to a firm or a finance director when the company scales. Not only does it save money, but it builds a skill that will be critical during scaling. Additionally, while bookkeeping, pay special attention to understanding and learning the applicable tax law. If you reframe your thinking from cutting corners to working on skills that you need to really master before outsourcing, you will be a much better entrepreneur for it. Constant upskilling is an integral part of being a successful entrepreneur. – Matthew Capala, Alphametic

5. Ask For Discounts Whenever You Can

When you first open your startup, you need to be extra careful about how you spend. For that reason, make sure you ask for discounts whenever you can. There’s no shame in sticking to a budget, so when doing business with vendors and suppliers, ask what options are available to you. The worst thing that can happen is they tell you no, but you won’t know until you try. You can save money on software, office supplies and much more simply by inquiring about discounts and other options. – Jared Atchison, WPForms

6. Sell Only What Your Customers Really Want

Cut excess products or services and only sell what your audience wants! If you spend enough time upfront doing market research, you will then know how to deliver products and services that will sell. What is your high-ticket offer? What are your most popular products? Don’t allow yourself to get sidetracked by having too many offers. Less is more when you’re starting out. – Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

7. Outsource On Freelancing Platforms

In the early days, especially when you’re pre-revenue, it can be tough if not impossible to hire full-time employees. That’s why low-cost hiring platforms like Fiverr and Upwork make it easy to find one-off hires for short-term projects and contracts. You save a ton of money this way and don’t have to deal with any of the bureaucratic red tape that comes with onboarding a new hire. – Amine Rahal, IronMonk Solutions

8. Focus On Free Marketing

Don’t spend thousands of dollars on marketing in the beginning. Start with free marketing through social media pages (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest). This is all free and an easy way to get your name out into the world. Through these pages, talk about your business and become the “expert” in that field by posting tips and words of wisdom. Post daily and let others “watch” and “see” the building of your business. Using free marketing in the beginning is a great way to save money for any business. No matter what, it takes time to build a business presence online, so start off with the tools that are available at no charge. – Lisa Collum, Top Score Writing

9. Write All Your Own Content

We decided to save money when we started our business by writing all of our blog content ourselves. When you’re starting out, you may not have the funds to hire writers full time. Another benefit to this money-saving tip is we were able to create a strong foundation for our blog. Eventually, we hired writers and they had a long list of content that showed off our brand voice and value proposition. I believe that this tip saved us money and helped us establish the vision for our brand. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

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