The present boom of technological and material advances, in keeping with rise of commercialism, has generated a massive need for businesses and entrepreneurship. However, the competition is so cut-throat that most startups find it difficult to break even within a year or two. If you are smart about it, however, you can make significant reductions in costs in your business consistently: and effectively generate more profits at the same time.
Promote your company without going broke
In the “Businessmen and Entrepreneurs Guide to Success”, one of the key factors for success is an active promotional strategy. While hiring a PR secretary and Ad Campaign manager sounds like serious business, most businesses don’t realize how much they can benefit from a Do-it-Yourself approach. Taking a multi-pronged approach, you can build up a massive online and offline promotional campaign at very little expense to yourself.
- Create a Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter page to spread the word about your business.
- Build up an interesting portfolio of promotional activities in the neighborhood: hand out cheap, company-logo marked t-shirts or caps, even pens and pins, which you can get for bulk at very cheap prices.
- Rope in friends, families and former customers to spread the word on their own social media pages and work circuits, etc.
Make an initial investment on your office space to eventually cut costs
When it comes to office space, there are several factors to be considered: do you work from home? Do you really need to hire office space? If you do need office space, consider two factors: a) mobility, b) location.
- Often, if most of your work is done online, you can benefit from hiring an office space which is not exactly in one of the business or commercial districts: cheaper rent can result in effective monthly savings.
- Another thing for you to consider is whether you can install automated electrical devices (lights, thermostats, etc.) and solar panels: these are an investment when you start out, definitely, but in the long run it can end up saving you thousands of dollars in wasted energy.
Office Inventory: What do you Really Need?
Every business professional and entrepreneur knows that the one constant in any office is the constant demand for supplies: pens, coffee, forms, legal paper, or printer ink are all significant drains.
- A store such as Walmart or Target is the place to go: stock up in bulk especially during sales.
- Printer ink and accessories can be especially expensive to buy, and since they are on the must-have list alongside paper and lights, you should invest some time and look online for the best deals.
- As far as forms go, you might consider getting normal sheets of paper and then printing them yourself: as long as you’re getting cheap deals on printers and ink, you should end up saving a sizeable amount of your monthly budget for office supplies.
Invest in the right kind of employees
Most startups begin with a couple of trusted employees, and while most people consider hiring experienced ones, at the beginning at least you could gain from hiring fresh, promising young minds. The advantage of this is that,
- Your employees are unlikely to ask for the kind of inflated salaries which most seasoned professionals expect, and
- They are glad for the experience itself.
Interns are also a wonderful addition to any office team: for them, the experience is a great addition for college or grad school application, whereas for you, they are cheap laborers with the enthusiasm and ability to work hard for a good recommendation. It is definitely a win-win for both parties, and you should seriously consider this.
Set up shop online in an attempt to save costs
Now we come to the final point, which shows you exactly how you can provide your customers with what they need: while benefiting from online resources.
- If you deal in products that are easy to ship and sell, consider one of the many open marketplaces such as Amazon Marketplace or Ebay. Setting up shop online saves you from the hassles of hiring additional employees, renting shop space in a good locality, and utilities.
- If you invest even part of that money to create your own website, retail on the web, and ship for free, you can come out at the other end spending less than you might have otherwise.
Just take companies such as AirBnB and Uber as examples: they do not own the vehicles or apartments, but provide resources and connections, thus effectively generating immense profits each year.
A few final words of advice
While these aren’t the only ways of evading unnecessary costs while setting up your business, our mission was to provide you with only some of the most effective and convenient to implement techniques. Your enterprise is your labor of love, as it should be, and with these methods you only stand to gain rather than bleed money.
Theresa Todman, Managing Partner/CEO of B&M Financial Management Services, LLC . Theresa specializes in bookkeeping, accounting, QuickBooks solutions, small business tax issues and consulting.