By Sonya Watts
Building a business from the ground up is a challenging endeavor, and grand visions are fought for in the unforgiving market arena. Small companies have little time to prove themselves and beat the hungry competition. Even the industry giants cannot afford to pour funds down the drain, so smaller players have only one option–to save money wherever possible. Here are techniques to help you keep expenses as low as possible.
Use all resources at your disposal when it comes to managing money. Excellent budgeting applications allow you to track expenses, plan a budget and keep all information in one place. Small businesses can benefit from software developed for personal finances such as Mint or Simple, but also finance management apps like Expensify. This one is a free tool that enables users to import day-to-day expenses from the credit card and create detailed expense reports.
One of the areas where spending should be cut down is money transactions between the owner and other parties like employees and clients. Note that online services like PayPal are often cheaper than traditional ones like banks. Also, by using an Escrow account as a holding tank for documents and deposits you can make sure that there are no unexpected expenditures. Such payment options are also safe, which makes them a win-win scenario.
Branding, marketing and PR are paramount for many business organizations, but they also cost an arm and a leg. Digital marketing has changed some rules, though, and made countless low-cost promotional channels available. Social media like Facebook can provide free public attention. Using appropriate online marketing platforms you can perform marketing tasks with more cost-effectiveness compared to solutions like outsourcing.
Most often it is people that make or break a company. A workforce is a considerable expense, so businessman should strive to hire students as a general or office staff. There are many young, educated people looking for relevant industry experience and seeking internships. You might also come across some top talent that could help get your business off the ground.
A business environment affects operations in many ways, and some people pay a truckload of money for rent, electricity, security in their permanent offices. For small businesses, it is always a wise option to share the rent with a similar enterprise. Options such as co-working space are always more affordable than renting space on your own. Furthermore, save money on utility bills and shrink your energy consumption. Turn off the equipment and lights when they are not needed and steer away from the excessive use of the heating and cooling system.
To navigate the perilous waters of the today’s market, an entrepreneur must strive to tighten the belt. There is less venture capital in the early stages, and less consumer money as you grow. But, by coming up with smart, inexpensive changes, you can stay ahead of the curve. There is no shortage of efficient ways to save money and improve the financial picture. And in the end, this will decide whether you fight for survival or enjoy the spoils such as increased market share and customers’ loyalty.
Sonya Watts is a passionate business consultant from Melbourne, Australia. She has a wide range of interests, including online writing, technology trends and marketing in general and likes to share her own experiences in those fields.