Starting a business with next to no budget is today a common entrepreneurial theme. Making a successful company out of nothing is the dream for many start-ups, however, most find it difficult to achieve due to the amount of running costs they have to deal with, which inevitably lead to the demise. Reducing these costs to save money is the crucial way of sustaining your business and its growth, making your solo project a success rather than a waste of money. This should be your immediate focus when you begin so If you’re wondering how you can make the shoestring budget work for you, find out how to here.
Tools & Software
Cutting costs is vital to a small business, but in some cases when you need high end software or tools to run your company or provide your service, it can be hard. This is a tough task as you can’t save or cut on something you need to make your living.
Instead of cutting though, you can find alternatives and there are many out there, whatever field you may be in. Take for example if you are a journalist. Microsoft Office is the obvious choice needed to formulate your articles. As common as this tool is, it is quite expensive, especially if you need the money in before you can afford to buy software. To do this, why not utilise Google Docs? A free option, this can even be paired with tools such as Grammarly to enable you to offer high end, perfectly written pieces to get the ball rolling. For many digital services, the same principle applies, use free trials or limited access in the beginning until you have the money to spare.
Let’s say you’re in a trade. The physical nature of things means corners can’t be cut quite as easy but where you can look is to second hand options. Get the tools you need to do the job and save on having to get brand new stuff that performs the exact same job. A simple but cost effective tool, this is a great way to save money especially in the early days.
Tax & Insurance
Being a one-man band means that you have a lot to deal with and all at once. Unless you know the ins and outs of this – maybe if you’re in this line of work or just well clued up – it is a tricky task especially when you are unsure on how much you need to pay and what you even need to pay in the first place.
In order to make taxes and other finance issues as simple as possible, simply use accounting software. This can come in a range of different packages, but you are looking for one key factor: free. Wave is a good example of this, a free software which helps you with accounting, receipts and even invoicing. The free version doesn’t do payroll, but as a one-person small business, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Insurance should also be a factor that is heavily considered. All too often do startups begin and try to get away with no insurance, only to find themselves in hot water – this could financial cripple the company before it starts if you’re not careful. To avoid this, you need to consider what insurance you need, if you’re offering a service, professional indemnity insurance or contactors insurance is vital in order to keep yourself protected.
At the end of the day, without this protection, you could see your small business fall at its first hurdle. It’s always to better to be prepared ‘just in case’, rather than not at all even if it comes at a cost. Just shop around first as there are many deals to be made for startups.
Unless you have to, hiring someone when you start out a small business is not the best decision financially. Outsourcing however is the next best thing. For small controllable fee’s, you can get someone to carry out administrative tasks, whether its site changes, content, or general data entry, which is time consuming and takes away from you doing what you’re good at. Although you may lose some money to outsourcing, the added revenue from you pushing your services or offering your skills, will help gain business. Plus, you won’t have to do the mundane tasks, which is always a bonus!
The Working Environment
When starting out, unless it’s vital, refraining from buying or renting an office space. Working from home is a massive cost saver. Whilst heating or electricity costs may go up, this will come at a far lower amount than renting a place would. If you don’t have a desk or the right equipment, then you can simply buy second-hand office furniture and refurbished technology in order to kit out your own home office. There may be a slightly higher initial investment, but it will save you money in the long run.
To conclude, it’s tough starting out a business and the need to feel like you look official and are official can sometimes lead you to make costly mistakes. Don’t get too far ahead of yourself by buying a brand-new office and hiring staff you don’t need just for appearance sake. Get the basics right, cut cost corners and get protected. Getting only what you in, in the early days gives you time to build your brand and finances so you can afford to development and branch out further down the line.