When you run a small business, managing your money and sticking to a budget is essential if you want to grow. In the beginning, you’ll have start-up costs to cover, and you’ll want to budget for things like supplies and marketing. It can be tough to find the right balance and get everything that you need to get started without breaking the bank. But, that doesn’t mean that things suddenly get easier once you’ve found your feet.
In fact, many small business owners find that as they settle into business, they become complacent. There are new costs to think about, like staff wages and advanced marketing plans, and there are always costs like rent and utilities to cover. Once you’ve started making money, the temptation to start spending more can become hard to resist. Many small businesses owners find that it actually becomes harder to manage their money as they gain more experience. If your costs are spiralling and you are struggling to see easy ways to make cutbacks without affecting the quality of your service and products, here are some money saving tips to help you.
You’ll have already learned that sometimes in business, and in life, you need to spend money to make money. It can seem a strange concept when it comes to making cutbacks but reading “how to find a financial planner” and getting help from an accountant could save you a fortune.
The right financial planner can help you to manage your money. They can help you budget for your business, and run it the way you want to, without overspending. They can help you with all areas of financial planning, finding ways for you to save money, highlighting where you are spending more than you need to and helping you to take control of your finances.
An accountant can also save you money. They can help you to record your income and expenses. They can make sure you are recording all of the tax deductibles that you can, and they can make sure your tax returns are filed correctly and in time, ensuring you avoid the risk of a hefty fine.
Paper, ink and a little bit of electricity might not seem like much of an expense when you compare it to other things. But when you are running a small business on a tight budget, every penny counts, and these small costs can soon add up to a substantial chunk of your budget. You can save money by using cheaper office supplies, but one of the best ways to save more is not printing at all. In today’s world, there is rarely a need to have a physical printout of any file or document.
Get into the habit of saving everything on to the cloud instead of printing, and you’ll save yourself both money and time. You’ll also make it easier for your team to work on projects together, and to work remotely from home or another location. Saving files online also makes it easier if you chose to hire freelancers instead of in-house staff.
If your office already uses tablets or works with an internal network, not printing files shouldn’t make any difference to how your company operates on a day to day basis. Just make sure you always backup your work, as there won’t be a hard copy.
Getting to the point where you can hire in-house staff and stop doing most of the work yourself is pretty exciting for a small business owner. But, hiring too many staff too soon is a common mistake. We employ as many people as we can afford to, hoping that our business will grow quickly. Not worrying about we’ll pay them if business slows.
Then, when business does slow, you find yourself stuck with contracted staff that you can’t afford to pay. Outsourcing work can be a fantastic and cost-effective alternative. Hire a few key staff, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that everything has to be done in-house. It doesn’t. Hire freelancers when you are busy and need more help. Or, when something needs doing that your small team has no experience with. You pay for what you need, when you need it, without having to worry about training costs, benefits, or long-term wages.
Negotiate Better Deals
Many of us are guilty of sticking with utility providers and suppliers out of loyalty, at home and at work. You might be paying much more than you need to for things like rent, gas and electric, internet providers, suppliers of parts and stationary and anything else that you pay a monthly fee for.
See if you could save money by switching or try to negotiate a better deal on your current contracts. You’ve got nothing to lose by asking.
In business, time is money. The more time you waste, the less time you’ve got to find new clients, create new products, market your company and make sales. All that time that you are wasting in overlong meetings, or chatting around the water cooler could be spent making money for your business.
So, start saving time. Limit the amount of time that you spend in meetings, by planning them and sticking to an agenda. Give yourself and your staff regular, short breaks to minimise the time they spend procrastinating the rest of the time, and to keep them motivated and make sure you keep your focus throughout the day.
Make the Most of Free Marketing
Marketing is essential to the success of any business. There’s little use in creating the perfect products or services if you fail to let the world know. But, you don’t need to spend the world to do it. Use the internet, get on social media, work with online influencers and find other ways to get the word out. Social media is a fantastic way to reach a wider audience and promote your business in a variety of ways, so make sure you make the most of it.