Sure, monetary concerns are front and centre when you’re starting a new small business. The very worst thing you can do, though, is to let worrying about money distract you from doing what you do best so concentrate on money saving tips and strategies that enhance your business, rather than interfere with it. We’ve put together seven cost-cutting strategies that won’t just ‘not harm’ your business they’ll actively improve it.
- Go Green: By now, everyone knows that it’s important to do their bit for the environment, and recycling is now standard in any half-decent office. The good news, though, is that running a green office can do wonders for your cashflow energy-saving measures, working online and reducing paper usage, and running your laptop from its battery power by default rather than leaving it plugged in are all good both for your utility bills and for the world around us.
- Explore the Cloud: The cloud is an amazing tool for any business. Using Dropbox or Google Docs, you can access all your files from any device and any location without shelling out for heavy-duty storage infrastructure. You’ll only need one diary and to-do list for your whole company if you use Evernote, Google Keep and a good calendar application, and you’ll never have to worry about losing it or leaving it behind and almost all of the apps that can replace paper calendars are free to use. You can replace the expensive Microsoft Office suite with GDocs or Zoho, both of which are free. Keep your eyes peeled more than you might expect can be taken into the cloud for free or for reduced costs.
- Leave Your Cubicle Behind: Think outside the box, and don’t assume you’re going to need traditional office space. Working from home is more possible now than ever before now that everyone can keep in touch digitally, and it has plenty of appealing benefits like zero commuting time, the comforts of your own living space all day long, and the ability to hire and work with employees based anywhere in the world.
- Join the Open Source Revolution: Even if there are some times when you don’t want to be reliant on a permanent internet connection for access to your cloud computing, there are still plenty of open source alternatives that work offline. Try OpenOffice or LibreOffice instead of Microsoft Office and its licences, Thunderbird instead of Outlook for offline email access, TurboCash or GnuCash instead of Sage or Quicken for all your accounting, or even Linux’s free Ubuntu or Mint operating system instead of Windows’ expensive Professional installs whatever the software you need, there’s a completely free open source alternative out there for you.
- Hang Onto Money For as Long as Possible: This is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and it’s used by all the biggest FTSE100 companies: take your payments from clients and customers as quickly as possible, and pay your bills as late as you can without risking extra fees. This way you’ll have more money in the bank for longer, giving you a security net in case of emergencies and maybe even accruing interest in your bank account.
- Socialize Your Marketing: Word of mouth has always been one of the most effective marketing strategies available, and thanks to the social media revolution this has never been more true than it is now. Work on your networks, and they’ll grow into a wonderful two-way dialogue meaning that you can be closer to your target audience than ever before, and they’ll find it trivially easy to tell everyone they know about what you can do.
- Search for Freelancers: Freelancing is an increasingly popular lifestyle. It’s flexible, it’s fun, and it’s incredibly varied but only the most skilled professionals last as freelancers for long. Search online for freelancers in your field and you could make enormous savings; it’s cheaper, easier and quicker than hiring a contracted employee, and if you shop around there’s no reason the work shouldn’t be of even higher quality.