When it comes to starting a new business, costs are key. If you’re not careful, they can soon mount up, making it hard to survive in those crucial first months. But if you’re savvy, there are several ways you can cut your costs without compromising on quality.
If you have an eye for detail and some creative smarts, consider establishing your own branding. Approach this as a professional would, by starting with a brief. Makes sure you do your research and check out the competition. Logos, business cards, and brochures can all be created with readily available software. Brush up on your skills by taking relevant courses. For example, courses like Adobe Illustrator training courses by Training Connection. Apart from saving you a ton of money, creating your own branding will allow you to make updates as and when needed. This is essential in a fast-paced digital environment.
Many small businesses use their cell phone number as their main business line. This may work for some industries and freelancers. However, if you are looking to present a professional image, you should also consider a local number. Setting up a contract can be expensive, but there are a couple of options to get around this.
VoIP providers such as Skype can provide you with a local number. There is a cost for this but it is nominal. When calls come in they are directed over the internet. Setting up an app will allow you to take calls on your cellphone.
Another option is to set up a pocket landline with your cellphone network provider. Again, you can set up a phone number for your local area. When calls come in they are directed to your cell phone and can be answered in the usual way. Costs vary, depending on your package but usually start at around $10 per month.
One of the biggest ongoing expenses for businesses, after staff, is rent. Therefore, many small businesses prefer to work from home initially. There are many advantages to this type of flexible working, but it does come with its challenges. The first is where to direct business post. You don’t want to give out your home address for security and privacy reason. The solution is to set up a virtual office. For a small monthly fee, your post will be collected at a business address. Depending on your package this can then be redirected to you at home. Or, you can arrange to collect it on a regular basis.
Some virtual offices also provide meeting rooms and other facilities. They can be hired on an ad-hoc basis as and when needed. This provides you with somewhere to meet clients and colleagues.
There are lots of ways to market your business that are either free of charge or have a small cost. The most obvious is through social media. We’re all familiar with the main social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. The challenge is to work out which ones your target market are using. This will help you allocate your resources to that area. It’s also important to consider new channels such as gaming. If you have a physical store could it become a Poke Stop? And don’t disregard up and coming channels such as Snapchat.
Always collect contact details when you’re doing business. Start right from the beginning so you can send targeted updates and marketing messages. There is lots of free software available that allows you to send out email newsletters to your contact list. Make sure you adhere to the relevant privacy guidelines.
Do you have a small business? What ways do you find to save money without compromising on quality?