One of the hardest things about starting a small business is finding money to even start it. A study from CB Insights reveals that 29% of the time small businesses and startups tend to fail because they run out of money.
According to the National Small Business Administration, cash-flow problems are a leading cause for business failure. To prevent this from happening to your business, you’ll have to think frugally and get creative in how you spend your money. It will be critical to keep expenses as low as possible and keep track of cash flow.
Here are a few ways to save money for your small business.
Going virtual cuts costs typically accrued by brick and mortar businesses. Bills for running a business eventually begin to pile up, but you’ll begin to save by not having money lost on opening a storefront.
The items it takes to begin such a venture include (but are not limited to) rental, electricity, water, gas, insurance, shelving, and labor. Insurance alone is steep. Then there are laws and regulations that must be adhered to—such as safety—or risk being handed a hefty fee.
In comparison, a virtual business is more affordable, plus it’s easy to track your customers with embedded analytics. Be on the lookout for holiday specials on domains and hosting; your website will serve as the face of your business. Work remotely from either an inexpensive coworking space or home office setup. You’ll still need a physical street address for market presence, official documents, and financial institutions.
While a home address and P.O. Box may be the least costly options, you may want to consider using a private mailbox for registration purposes. You can check with UPS, PAK Mail or your local mailing provider for a private mailbox. Additionally, for a monthly fee some virtual offices and coworking spaces offer customers access to a professional mailing address and delivery services.
Learn to create stuff in-house.
As a budding entrepreneur, especially with little startup capital, learning how to wear multiple hats becomes a necessity. It’s never too late to further your education. Build up your skills from marketing and design to business development and more by taking free or low-cost courses. Keep in mind that building new skills and refining them will take good time management and dedication on your part.
Several cities throughout the U.S. have developed small business initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship. Visit your local library and small business development center for available classes or workshops. It is also worth mentioning you can access Lynda.com’s 3,000+ courses free of charge through select libraries.
HubSpot and Facebook offer free courses for digital marketing. Get certified at no-cost in Google Adwords, Google Analytics, Bing Ads and other training programs to better understand search engine marketing for your website. Learn how to make a website, including content management systems like WordPress and Drupal, and maintain it through tutorials from W3Schools or YouTube videos.
Use free content to effectively tell your story and promote your business.
Software, tech applications, and media assets can cost a pretty penny. Take advantage of free open-source projects and public domain resources to perform necessary management and marketing tasks. You can apply the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired from the free courses you’ve taken to customize free assets, incorporating them into an impactful content-marketing strategy.
Popular free resources include:
- Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice (word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, drawing tools and more)
- Mautic (email and social media marketing automation)
- “Forever Free” plan with MailChimp (marketing automation)
- Canva, GIMP and Pablo (imagery creation)
- Musopen, Kaboompics and Pexels Videos (media assets)
Partner with other businesses and barter services.
Another way to free up some cash for your business is to develop partnerships and trade goods or services. We do stress ensuring the exchange is mutual and both parties agree the trade is fair. If you’re unsure of what services to offer, list out your skills or ask the other party what they need.
Options could include carpentry, interior decoration, art creation, graphic marketing materials, catering, personal shopping, or even a photoshoot. Find potential collaborators to work with through local businesses, meetups, Facebook groups, and more.
Stick to a budget and monitor cash flow.
You don’t realize how much money has sunk into the business until you put the numbers together. On top of the major monthly expenses, the minor ones accumulate over time. Adobe Creative Cloud runs about $600 per year. If you use premium WordPress plugins, it may cost you nearly $60 every year for each one. The list goes on.
It’s hard to cut off unnecessary expenses if there isn’t an awareness of whence it’s coming. Use a budget to list out expenses. Budgets help show where money is coming in and going out (cash flow). A budget is essential to keeping your business afloat.
It costs money to start a business and keep it running smoothly. However, it shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. The key to saving money for your business is prioritizing what you actually need and managing cash flow. You might want to explore a new solution for businesses trying to save on expenses, it has now been made possible for you to apply for a gas card, this would allow you to save money on fuel ensuring your businesses is running as cost-effective as possible.
Honey and Fox is the sweet and sassy guide to help you navigate the world of adulting. Led by two best friends, the blog is their way of honestly reporting on the adulting struggle and building a community where people can figure out how to survive and thrive as adults together.