We’re all familiar with the statistic: ‘90% of businesses end in failure’. Every time we encounter it in an article online we’re reminded that following our dreams isn’t easy. Success requires bucketloads of gusto, effort and thriftiness – particularly in the early days.
Our 10 money saving tactics will help you on your way to becoming part of the 10% of entrepreneurs who go on to grow their business. So get ready to be savvy with your savings, frugal with your finances and economical with your expenses…
1. Build your own website
Having a website is essential nowadays, but getting a professional website built for your business or project can be expensive. It doesn’t have to be, especially if you give it a go yourself. You’ll have plenty of time – or rather money – to hire a professional once your business begins to make a profit.
This can be daunting for people who aren’t tech-savvy, which is why numerous web development companies have created cost-effective and user-friendly solutions that don’t require an understanding of HTML.
Many offer tiered plans. Take WordPress for example. You can choose from ‘free’, ‘premium’ and ‘business’ options.
2. Experiment with free software
There are so many free software packages out there and many of them are just as good as paid-for services (give or take a few premium features). Trying out free software is a great way to save money and help you develop basic skills in areas that you might be unfamiliar with, such as design.
Canva is one such free tool, enabling you to use simple drag-and-drop features and professional layouts to design stunning graphics for your business without having to hire a graphic designer.
It’s great one to use if you want to create a few quick and simple visuals for social media, or an infographic for your blog. You can even use it to design a Kindle book cover!
3. Speak at industry events
Speaking at an industry event or conference is a great way to promote your personal brand and business for free. Share your expertise and learn from other speakers in the field whilst making meaningful connections along the way. (You can also check out what your competitors are doing.)
Don’t forget to take a handful of business cards with you!
4. Invest in a Virtual Office
Thanks to the internet, running a business remotely is a lot easier than it was ten years ago.
A virtual office is designed for remote workers, entrepreneurs and digital nomads who require full financial flexibility.
You can sign up for a membership at a virtual location for as little as a month at a time and avoid the hefty overheads associated with a full-time office.
What do you get?
A virtual office provides you with a physical address and the services associated with an office, enabling you to work remotely but maintain an air of professionalism.
Depending on the plan you choose, you get access to virtual receptionist services such as telephone answering and mail handling, meeting rooms, video conferencing facilities and the option to actually hot-desk in the building when you’re in town.
Virtual offices work wonders for client perception as well as your bank balance. They also make it easier to protect your personal assets and get bank credit.
(Photo by Campaign Creators)
Virtual offices provide frugal-preneurs with a professional space for pitching, meeting and collaborating.
5. Utilize freelancers
Developments in digital technology have made working remotely as a freelancer easier than ever. Upwork’s 5th Annual “Freelancing in America” Study estimates that 56.7 million people freelance in the US – an increase of 3.7 million in the past five years.
Highly skilled freelancers can be found across most industries and professions nowadays and it makes for frugal-entrepreneurs to utilize them. Why? Well, aside from the talent aspect, hiring a freelancer is often more economical than hiring a full-time employee.
6. Advertise on social
Advertising on social media can be effective and inexpensive which is ideal for entrepreneurs who don’t have large campaign budgets to play with.
The good thing about advertising on social is that you can quite often set your own budget parameters and target specific user demographics, interests and locations, etc.
Some social channels use a cost per click (CPC) model, so do your research first.
7. Give bartering a go
People have bartered since the beginning of time – or 6000 BC to be exact, when the practice was introduced by Mesopotamia tribes.
Instead of charging or being charged for goods and services, offer to exchange a product or service instead.
For example, imagine you need some professional photos for your website. You’ve done your research and found the ideal person for the job. As an SEO expert, you’ve noticed some room for improvement on the photographer’s website – things that, if fixed, will make it easier for people to find them. So you suggest a skills swap – you’ll audit their website in exchange for 3 professional team headshots.
8. Buy in bulk
You’ll often get discounts on items you buy in bulk. So, if you want to increase your profit margins, buy goods that won’t expire in bulk from your chosen vendors.
9. Buy secondhand too
Buying brand new equipment is a common pitfall and just isn’t necessary sometimes. Ebay is a must for many frugal-preneurs, and you can quite often find good quality freebies on community sites like Freecycle.
When buying secondhand, ask an expert to look for any flaws and determine whether they can be fixed and whether it’s worth fixing them.
Leasing equipment is another option that can be significantly cheaper than buying new. Seek out reputable businesses and ask them about availability and cost – perhaps you can use your bartering skills to get a better price!
10. Invest where necessary
Sometimes, investing money in aspects of your project or business is necessary, especially once you’ve started to grow. Once the revenue starts rolling in you can consider investing in better equipment, infrastructure and the talent that will take your startup to scaleup – and beyond!