Sure, having available cash to buy everything you need precisely when you need it is great, but it can also work out more expensive too. Starting lean means you need to get mean when it comes to spending — consider every single cent you spend, as this will ultimately save you money.
If you’ve got a killer idea and a great work ethic, that’s worth more than any amount of cash. These seven ways to save money when starting a business, combined with your determination to succeed and a splash of creativity, will get you off on the right track.
1. Work on your core and get stronger
When dedicated people first start any business, they get tempted to try and provide as many services as possible. The will to please and demonstrate how valuable you are can be strong – and detrimental.
Don’t be tempted to come out with all your guns blazing. Keep products and services ‘up your sleeve’ for later on. Work out what your core strengths are and concentrate on building them up until you’re in a position to offer more and more to clients. It’s not a sprint; developing a long-term business is a marathon.
2. Utilize digital coupons and savings
Even the day-to-day costs of running a workplace can add up to big money at the end of the month or financial year. Take no saving for granted and realize that no cost-cutting measure is too small. Consider taking advantage of coupon websites like EpicSaver, where you can save valuable cash on everything from office coffee to graphic designers.
3. Share an office, work remotely, or use a coworking space
Many businesses find it hard to rent exactly the right space, and you can take advantage of that. Try scouting out other ventures in your area for spare office space, and you can even place wanted ads online.
Taking on a lease is a big commitment, and it’s also likely to be one of the most significant expenses you face. If you can’t find a local business prepared to rent you some office space, think outside the cubicle. Even if it’s a temporary measure, try a coworking space, work remotely as much as possible, and just come together for regular meetings if you need to. Use open-source solutions for collaborating and managing projects where you can.
4. Buy second-hand tech
Your computer is probably one of the most important tools in your locker when you start a business but don’t use that as an excuse to buy that expensive laptop you always wanted. You can spend big once you’re a zillionaire.
Many of the big electronics stores and manufacturers offer reconditioned laptops and desktops, and they come with warranties. Chances are, once your business is a success, you’ll need to upgrade. For now, make do with what’s cheaper and does the same job.
5. Use Zoom or other web-based solutions for calls and meetings
Since the pandemic arrived, using Zoom and Skype has become second nature for most workers and business owners. It’s far cheaper than clocking up minutes on your mobile or landline, so use web-based communications whenever you can.
You can use your social media accounts to reach out to customers and clients cheaply, too, via WhatsApp and Messenger. When you’re trying to build a customer base, the web can save you thousands of dollars.
6. Be cash flow healthy
Before you get tempted to take out a loan or sign up for a company credit card, do two things. First, before you make any purchase, ask yourself if you absolutely really, really need that item. Secondly, even if you need something, take a few minutes to talk yourself out of borrowing.
All borrowing costs money. It’s an unavoidable truth, and remembering that can not only save you a whole heap of cash when you start a business, it can also be the difference between success and failure. Debt drains cash flow, and that’s the lifeblood of any business – it’s tough to keep cash flow healthy when you start up, so don’t put any unavoidable strain on it.
The longer you borrow and the more you need, the greater the cost. Even the interest on a five-year business loan for a few thousand dollars adds up during the term. Scrimp, reinvest profits where you can, and check for available grants. You’ll be glad later on, or when cash flow gets tight.
7. Embrace the frugal mindset
Especially when you quit a corporate job and branch out on your own, it can be hard to break the habits of your previous working lifetime. Switching to a more frugal approach can be challenging. It’s different when your business is on the line, and you’ll need to adjust your mindset so you save a cent everywhere and every time you possibly can.