In many ways saving money in everyday life translates itself well to business, but some methods are not as obvious as others.
In one of my previous articles I spoke about free to cheap advertising tactics, here are a few of the best:
2. Online Business
Setting up online needn't cost an arm and a leg, you can either sell your products very cheaply through auction sites such as eBay, sell via a Facebook page or if you're a service you can set-up a website promoting yourself using free software such as Wordpress.
Whatever software product you're currently paying for, there are always free alternatives available, and whilst free versions may lack some of the more advanced features of their pricier counterparts, it's an excellent way to get started until you can afford to upgrade. Google for example has excellent alternatives to Microsoft Office and one of the benefits of using 'cloud' based products is that usually they're backed up without any configuration needed. Try download.com for a list of hundreds of free software products.
4. Menial Tasks
Procrastination is one of the silent killers of productivity and that's why you should consider outsourcing websites such as upwork.com, elance.com, mturk.com and fiverr.com, whilst also saving a bucketful of money. Spend more time on your super important revenue generating tasks and less time on tasks such as creating graphics, web research, writing letters from audio recording, updating websites, data entry, website or app testing, voice overs for your online videos, email response handling, translation, website Q&A, etc..
5. Office Tips
It's the total sum of all the small parts that add up to create a big dent in your finances, so don't overlook the obvious.
6. Skill Exchange
Are you skilled in a particular profession? Why not trade skills with another business owner, enlisting each other’s services without exchanging cash.
Never pay full price. The next time you're buying something haggle and aim to get a reduction of at least 10% or more. You'll be surprised at what you can get knocked off the price, and if someone won't discount, find another company who will, over time these savings will stack up, even if a dollar here and a pound there.
When paying your suppliers, assuming you don't pay cash up front and get 30 to 60 days to pay, ask each one of them for a 1% or 2% discount for paying early. There are quite a few companies who does this by default and it's usually hidden in the terms and conditions on the back of the invoice.
Do some of your customers pay by bank cheque (check)? Banks charge for cashing them and usually payments made to you via online are free.
The next time you're dealing with your accountant, lawyer or consultant, ask them for ways to reduce their bill. You'll be surprised at alternatives they might have to do this, such as switching from pay-by-the-hour to a monthly retainer, guaranteeing them X months business ahead.
How many of us search for a new supplier only to stumble across the first one and enlist their services. By looking at a minimum of three you'll give yourself a better chance of getting it cheaper and finding someone you'll get on with the best, and you never know if you quote the lowest price to the one you like the best, maybe they'll price match.
Are you confident you'll stay in your current office or industrial space for another 5 years but the lease ends in 2? Why not consider renegotiating with your landlord for immediate rent reduction in favour of increasing the rent period by another few years.
Bonus Tip: Time
Meetings are one of the biggest killers of employee time and crush productivity. You can't eliminate meetings, but you can adopt the following to help:
Saving money doesn't have to be a chore or hard work, it's about thinking differently and adopting a new approach. Make notes around your desk to remind you, and after a few weeks your new ritual will become the norm. Time and Money are the most precious resources to a business, save them wisely.
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Author: Darren Williams
Darren has created over five companies in the past 14 years and successfully sold them all despite only being 32 years old. His fifth multi-award winning business ‘Harland Corp’ was one of the fastest growing online hair and beauty companies in the UK winning 16 awards out of 16 including one prestigious national accolade. It attracted over 1 million unique visitors per year between its six ecommerce stores, employed 18 staff, operated from a 7000 Sq Ft warehouse and turned over £1 million per year with a 731% growth rate during one of the worst recessions in living memory. Harland dispatched over 10,000 products each month, with 10% of those being exported to over 37 countries worldwide including Barbados and Afghanistan. He was named as one of the most influential people in the North East in 2011 alongside business legends such as Sir Peter Vardy, Tom Maxfield and Duncan Bannatyne, winning national press coverage along the way. In 2014 Darren was listed in the '35 under 35' list by The Journal newspaper.
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