Launching a new business is a costly endeavor. Creating budgets and sticking to them is no easy task, and money is often the key to success or failure for entrepreneurs. In many situations, saving money is less about cutting back and more about finding creative solutions. Here is a roundup of money-saving tips to try with your new business.
Cut Marketing and Advertising Costs
Generating name and brand awareness is an absolute must when you’re launching your new business and looking to gain respect within your industry. Traditional advertising can be expensive, but it probably isn’t the barrier to entry you think it is. There are other methods for making a name for yourself that are less costly.
For example, you can leverage your expertise in your area by offering expert advice. Writing blog posts and articles to be published in a variety of websites and trade publications in your industry, often called “outreach marketing,” is an inexpensive and effective way to utilize connections and draw prospective customers to your business. If your business is primarily local, consider teaching a class or speaking at a community meeting to draw some attention.
There are also ways to utilize a more traditional marketing approach at a lower cost. Piggybacking on any related direct mail you might already send is one way to save on postage. For example, you could include marketing material with your invoices or other mail. In retail, you can take advantage of any point-of-purchase opportunities by sending coupons, newsletters and promotional flyers home with your current customers.
In retail, the expense of establishing a permanent location can be great. To cut down on this cost, cut out expensive point-of-sale (POS) systems and go mobile instead. Utilizing mobile card readers to turn your smartphones and tablet computers into cash registers saves on the initial investment, and also saves on fees over the long term. Prices vary between POS apps, hardware and software, but utilizing mobile POS systems could open the door for living in the cloud.
Speaking of living in the cloud, entire cloud-based technologies for data hosting in any business can eliminate the cost of hardware. Cloud-based software providers offer pay-per-year user services, and save you from having to purchase and maintain expensive software suites in house. If that’s too much, the most basic data-hosting and data-transfer systems are actually free.
If possible, telecommuting could be another avenue of cost savings for your new business. Making a portion of your business virtual can save on office space and the associated operating costs, as well as other overhead expenses. Converting even a small portion of your staff can be beneficial.
Telecommuting is one way to take a lean approach to running your new business. Another possibility is simplifying your distribution process. Eliminating warehousing and managing inventory intensely are key principles behind just-in-time delivery systems, and at the very least, can be implemented in many small business operations — at least in manufacturing.
Creating mutually beneficial partnerships with other shippers, vendors and suppliers is another way to build rapport and effectively save money. You’ll be building relationships, and at the same time, negotiating lower prices and trading services.
With the right mixture of creative solutions, technologies and proficient management, you can save significant amounts of money in the early years of your business venture regardless of your industry. These suggestions can help you meet your business needs without breaking the bank.