When it comes to small businesses, one of the most important aspects is keeping afloat financially. Like time, money is something you can’t invest likely, or take big risks. Which is why in this article, we’ve decided to discuss seven ways in which you can save money to later invest for better endeavors. Some require creativity, others professional advice, and there are some that need your tech-savviness.
We hope that the next few paragraphs will give you an idea, or provide some kind of a guideline on how to make money by saving it.
If you’re still in the early stages of getting your company off the ground, seriously consider working remotely, at least for the first few months. Unless your business benefits significantly from having everyone in the same office, it’s a waste of money. There are enough digital tools nowadays to help you form a proper digital office.
The best part is: most of that software has free plans with the OPTION to pay for a premium version.
Just as an example you can set up:
- A time tracker, to know who is working on what and when;
- Toggl, Asana
- An upload and time management platform, to have an overview of tasks;
- Trello, Basecamp
- An instant messaging platform, where you can organize everyone into chatrooms and have synchronous communication during work hours.
- Slack, Discord, Skype
Establish a Bartering System
Many companies enter into bartering agreements with each other. For example, an SEO firm can offer their website building and social media managing services to a maintenance company that cleans their office. When bartering, two companies don’t exchange a cent between them, just services.
While it’s a great way to save money, look into the bartering regulation with your tax expert. Odds are there are a few things you’ll have to do to be eligible for tax write-offs and keep everything legal.
Advertise at Conferences
Volunteer as a speaker for conferences to build your brand’s exposure. While working pro bono shouldn’t be in just anybody’s book (especially for a small company), conferences and workshops are a great way to establish a following, get customer feedback, and network.
Connect with your industry peers for a chance to find a mentor, or get further advice on saving money in your specific niche. However, don’t simply attend for attendance’s sake. Doing your best as a speaker is sure to leave a good impression, opening doors to collaborations and future partnerships.
And if you have branded merchandise, it is also a good opportunity to start planting the seeds of brand loyalty.
Never rush to scale your business. No matter how grand the prize may seem. Take small steps and do them one at a time. Incremental increases give you an opportunity to track and measure how effective each step of the change is. That way you will know if you should invest more time and resources into that specific strategy. Smaller steps will also limit the losses should a change not go as planned.
The “big risk – big reward” mantra should become yours only when you’ve gained enough capital and have a fallback plan in case things go south.
Purge Your Subscription Box
Did you know that you’re probably losing out on quite a bit of money due to subscription renewals for many services?
It could be memberships to certain online publications, or exclusive industry-related listings, premium versions of some tools you’re barely even using, etc. Go through your inbox and identify all the services you’ve signed up for in the past year, yet they’ve stayed unused.
On their own, these subscriptions are a harmless bit of money. Added together, they may be unnecessarily costing you hundreds of dollars each month.
Be Financially Savvy
For those of you who really like to dabble in finances, this will be a no-brainer. You’ve probably investigated quite a bit already and found all the best ways to work around for hefty tax refunds and credits. You would be surprised at what counts as tax-deductible:
- Employee benefits like bonuses, company picnics, the 401k, mileage;
- Credit for employing people with disabilities or employment barriers (such as food stamp users);
- Using your home office as a working space;
- Various bartering services with other companies, and
- Much more.
However, for those of you who don’t want to risk making a slip up while investigating and calculating, causing potential loss of hundreds if not thousands of dollars, there is always the option of hiring experts. Getting a tax professional to look over your credit and possible tax refund legibility you missed can be considered a saving grace (no pun intended).
DIY Where You Can
Once you start your company, a lot of things won’t be available right away. You may not be able to afford a marketing expert, or a programmer to build you a website. For the very beginnings, this is not a big issue.
Even without experience, you can jump in and try some DIY marketing and programming. Nowadays, there are websites that offer free hosting and a very easy setup. WordPress and Wix are just two that come to mind. And as for promotions, doing some copy and content writing for the early stages shouldn’t be too difficult.
Outsource Where You Need To
As a small business owner, you’re probably used to doing multi-faceted roles, with each one requiring a specific set of skills. What’s important on that note is that you don’t stretch yourself or your employees too thin. It’s times like these, you have to consider external options.
Even though outsourcing implies an additional ongoing cost to the business, you need to factor in your own and your employees time saved that can now be spent on more meaningful tasks. You should also consider the expertise of your outsourcing partner, which could make them more time-efficient than you when managing specific business functions.
Think about where your time and effort can be best spent, and consider outsourcing the rest. Of course, be sure to weigh up the outsourcing pros and cons.
Small business owners have to make a lot of things work. With only a few tools at their disposal, they need to think creatively and stay frugal. At least for the first year of their existence.
However, that doesn’t mean they won’t see big returns in the coming years. Whether it’s through tax refunds, or holding off just a little while longer until they move into an office space. There are plenty other ways to save, so long as you keep your ear to the ground.
Consult your accountant, your peers and mentors. Every industry holds its own little secrets.