If you have made the brave decision to follow your dreams and launch your own startup, then you are hopefully enjoying the sense of fulfilment that comes from carving out your own niche in life. However, the day-to-day realities of running your own business can be challenging in both expected and unforeseen ways, and there are bound to be obstacles along the way.
One major hurdle many small businesses and startups face is the question of starting costs – and then the cost of running the business once it’s launched. It can be very expensive to kickstart your own venture and get it off the ground – not to mention keep it afloat.
Fortunately, there are a number of tips and techniques you can use to reduce your overheads and hopefully make the financial side less stressful going forward. With that goal in mind, let’s dive right in and explore some of the cost reduction methods that you might want to explore.
Investigate Your Workplace Options
One of the trickiest aspects of launching your own business is finding the right premises – and paying for it.
If you’re only just starting out, you may currently be running your startup from home, but there will probably come a time when you want to expand and acquire your own brick-and-mortar workplace.
Of course, leasing or buying a commercial property can be prohibitively expensive, particularly if you are in a sought-after location such as a bustling town or city centre. However, there are ways to keep your property costs down as much as possible; for example, you may want to consider sharing a building with another business, so you’re not footing all of the bills. Alternatively, you can opt for a small property to begin with, and then in future, when you have amassed enough revenue, you can think about branching out to another larger unit.
Another option that you might want to try out for the time being is the acquisition of your own virtual office. By paying a small monthly subscription, you will have access to your own prestigious startup ‘location’, complete with mailing address, meeting rooms, and even your own business telephone number.
For businesses that are only just finding their feet, a virtual office can offer the best of both worlds, until they have enough money to hire or buy a dedicated physical office space of their own.
Sourcing Your Equipment The Smart Way
Depending on your startup’s line of business, you may be in need of a range of equipment and technology. However, all of these essentials can lead to some hefty bills if you choose to buy them new.
As a result, you might want to think about picking up some items second-hand, such as PCs and printers. You can find used office equipment in good condition for a fraction of the price that new models would cost, and they should still work just as well.
Your other main option is to lease your equipment instead of buying it outright. Often, you will find that the maintenance of the items you rent is included in the price of the lease, which will help you to save money on repairs or replacements.
Finally, if you have several staff members, you can ask them if they would prefer to use their own laptop and mobile devices for work; this will save you having to pay for them out of your business account.
When it comes to the technological side of things, you can reduce your running costs by doing some research and finding holistic office solutions that will only cost a modest amount per month.
For instance, if you will be dealing with a large volume of digital files such as PDFs, you can use a PDF compressor such as the version provided by Smallpdf, which can compress PDF files by up to 99%. By choosing to sign up to their cost-effective Business payment plan, you will also gain access to a range of other helpful tools that they provide. As a result, you will benefit from a holistic office solution that you didn’t have to fork out a great deal of money to pay for.
A Flexible Approach To Staffing
If you are on a very tight budget, deciding how to staff your startup may be a significant challenge. To begin with, you may not be able to take on permanent staff.
In this case, freelancers will probably be the best solution, as you can find people with the specialist skills you need for different roles. You also won’t have to worry about providing equipment or office space for them to work in, as they will probably be completing their tasks remotely.
In time, as your budget grows, you can then start to think about acquiring a few full-time staff to help you manage operations.
Embrace Free Marketing
Marketing your startup is an essential part of making it a success. However, many forms of physical marketing – and even some virtual ones – can be on the costly side. To help keep your expenses to a minimum, take advantage of the free marketing options afforded you by social media.
Create accounts for your business in Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and focus on creating engaging and informative content on a regular basis. This will help to increase your startup’s exposure and build up its reputation, particularly if you pay close attention to customer engagement by answering queries and making suggestions to anyone who expresses an interest.
Over time, you will then be able to add word-of-mouth to your free marketing, as satisfied customers will help to spread the word, in person and online.
Following your dreams and launching your own business is a bold but challenging undertaking – and, at least in the early months and years, it’s a good idea to do what you can to keep your overheads as low as possible.
By using some of these helpful budgeting hacks, you can hopefully significantly reduce your startup’s running costs; keeping your hard-earned cash for the all-important task of growing your business and turning it into a flourishing venture.