Every new business needs to save money instead of spending it needlessly, but when you open your first business, you’re not yet equipped with the knowledge of how to save money. That’s why we wrote this primer on how to save money, authored using the advice of business owners who operate efficiently and productively. This article details how a new business owner can save money on starting, maintaining, and operating a business. Let’s launch into how a new business owner can save money.
The erroneous assumption that opening a business requires a commercial bank loan stops many individuals from opening a business. In reality, many people open businesses after crowdfunding startup money using websites like GoFundMe. Just as many use their zero-interest or low-interest rate credit cards for funding.
Other options include working a second job to save the money for opening the business. Devoting all your earnings to a second job can mean building your savings quickly. Finding investors from among your family and friends can also provide an option for fast funding and may come with zero interest rates, so it ranks highly among the ways a new business owner can save money.
Marketing with Promotional Materials
Marketing a business requires more than newspaper ads and a Yellow Pages listing. Start with signage that’s visible from the road and a banner that hangs in the store window. Most local printers offer custom banner printing, along with printing signs.
If you opened a business in a rural area that lacks such a shop, consider ordering signs and banners from the same website as your custom business cards. Online stores like Vistaprint and 4Imprint offer bundles of marketing materials, so new business owners can save money. These packages of necessary items typically include business cards, a banner, a store sign, and, sometimes, letterhead.
Marketing also requires online materials and collateral such as a website and a blog. Many web developers offer package deals for a design and the text of a specific set of pages. Some offer blogging packages that help you launch your website’s blog with relevant articles that provide it with SEO content. Buying a package that provides bulk content can save you money and get the ball rolling on building your business’s SEO ranking in the search engines.
Other technology needs abound when launching a new business. Consider contracting with an IT assistance company. These businesses help by setting up everything computer-related at a company, including their cash register systems and computers. While this might not sound like a way a new business owner can save money, improperly installed software or hardware creates downtime, which causes a business money.
A computer technology firm can set up copiers, scanners, printers, computers, cash registers, and other equipment. They also network that equipment, so everything works together seamlessly and efficiently. A properly networked office with modern equipment lets employees print from their smartphones, check on projects on the go, and work in the cloud.
Finding the Perfect Location
Every type of business has the right location. You need to determine the hot spot area for the type of company you want to open, then find the ideal spot for it. A warehouse located in an industrial area makes sense, but an ice cream shop would not.
A new business owner can save money by determining the most sensible areas of a town or city to locate in, then contacting a commercial real estate agent to find suitable properties to rent or buy. This agent saves you time by finding the right properties in relevant areas. They know which neighborhoods undergo growth and which have ceased to offer viable locations for businesses.
You will need a high traffic area near a residential area for a retail business or an eatery. Service businesses, especially those that do not need to meet with clients, can site their offices in more out of the way areas, such as industrial complexes or new commercial complexes on the edge of town. If your business won’t rely on foot traffic or easy vehicle access, you can choose cheaper locations.
Caring for a Property
When you lease a location for your business, it typically comes with property management services. That saves you from needing to maintain the public areas of the building and its exterior. If you open a business in a building you own, you need to hire service companies for cleaning the exterior, interior, and for business lawn care.
Forget trying to do it all yourself because you already have a business to run. That’s not the way a new business owner can save money. Save money by hiring a company that offers more than one of the needed services, then negotiating a custom package price for the job.
Sometimes, a property does not start out the way you want it. You need to renovate it before you can work from it. In those situations, you can either do your own demolition or hire a company to do it. Because most cities won’t haul away construction debris with the weekly trash, you will need to obtain estimates from junk hauling companies, and hire one of them.
While you might demolish things on your own, hire a general contractor to make any needed repairs and renovations to your business, especially if clients will visit it. This might not sound like a way a new business owner can save money, but having a safe, clean, spotless business location helps attract customers. A general contractor performs renovation work every day, so they know what they’re doing. Your office will look like a professional renovated it, instead of like a do-it-yourselfer did it.
Just as you dress nicely for a business meeting and groom yourself neatly, your business location requires that same kind of respect and treatment. Consider painting the interior, putting in new fixtures and counters, and installing new doors and locks. The latter requires both a carpenter and commercial locksmith services. Typically, when you hire a general contractor, they hire sub-contractors to perform specialty work, like installing new locks, but if you only need the new locks, hiring this service remains your task.
Working with a general contractor offers an important way that a new business owner can save money. That’s because they include all of the work you need done in their bid. Because their bid includes labor, you absolve yourself of spending countless hours obtaining bid after bid for piecemeal services, such as locksmiths, plumbers, and commercial roofing services. One contractor handles finding all of the sub-contractors for you, leaving you time to focus on the nitty gritty of your business operations, processes, and procedures.
What To Do When a Business Flounders
Sometimes, despite implementing every method a new business owner can save money, their business loses money. Consulting with business bankruptcy lawyers can help a business owner decide when they need to declare bankruptcy and when to open a new funding round. Hiring a certified public accountant (CPA) can help you avoid needing a bankruptcy lawyer.
It may sound odd that a new business owner can save money by hiring for a specific position or contracting the work out. Here’s how it works. Opening a business requires many more skills than just the main topic of the business. It takes marketing, budgeting, business planning, accounting, IT, maintenance, and cleaning skills. Just as surgeons don’t scrub down the operating room or make their own surgical tools, other business owners should not try to do everything by themselves.
Although it sounds as if it would provide a cheaper way of doing things, it takes up the business owner’s time with things that do not earn them money. It also typically results in the owner needing to hire someone to fix what they messed up. If you heating, air conditioning, and ventilation (HVAC) systems blows out, you hire an HVAC professional to repair it. If kids break the glass in your store display window, you hire a glazer to repair it.
Doing each item the correct way the first time saves you money. So, hire a CPA to help you plan your business budget, accounting procedures, set up your merchant account, and other bank accounts, and much more. By obtaining the services of professionals who specialize in helping businesses succeed, you avoid many problems. An accountant provides you a heads up when money flows bottleneck.
A CPA can’t control sales and the economy, but they can let you know the first month sales dip. That lets the business owner address the situation by learning the reason for the dip and creating a workaround, such as better marketing, offer sales, or customer outreach. A business account sets up processes for proper money management for many businesses, so to find a great one, ask successful businesses who they use.
Start Your Business with a Plan
Sure, you dashed down a terrific idea on a napkin over dinner with your buddy, but that does not count as a business plan. Visit the U. S. Small Business Administration website for guidance on writing a business plan and a marketing plan. Your business will need both plans.
You will need to write at least the outline of these plans on your own. You can then turn to independent contractors on Freelancer or Upwork to conduct the essential research, such as the competition analysis, and write the full plans. Contracting the nitty gritty work saves you time and leaves the research to a professional who does it every day. They already know which databases to access and which websites provide the needed information, including annual revenue and number of employees and contractors.
The Small Business Administration offers examples of both types of plans. This lets the business owner understand the format of the plans they should receive from the contractor. It also provides some guidance on what a person needs to know to launch a company.
Other websites also provide examples and guidelines for these all-important plans. Check Investopedia, GoFundMe, and Forbes for relevant examples of each. Forbes and Inc. offer ideas for free and low-cost marketing ideas that can help you quickly attract an active customer base.
In-Person and Word of Mouth Marketing
Many experienced business owners don’t fully understand the concepts of in-person marketing and word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing. In-person marketing often takes the form of experiential marketing, an activity that engages customers with individuals representing your business, whether brand ambassadors or employees. If you have ever taken a sample of a food item in a Costco or Walmart, or received a sample of a face or body cream at the mall, you were the customer contacted by an experiential marketer. This form of promotional marketing puts the product in the hands of customers or potential customers.
Some of these types of events use lavish sets, such as Virgin Mobile’s faux Christmas tree farm, set up in major malls across the U. S. during the height of shopping, it touted the service’s latest plans and phones. Your new business does not need to spend millions of dollars and hire professional models to reach consumers. A bakery can slice a cake into bite-sized morsels and serve them outside the eatery’s front door. A bite of chocolate cake conveys more than any ad or commercial and only requires an employee to hold the tray and offer samples.
Launching Your Business for Less
Launch your company for less expense by implementing simple precepts. Start with a well-developed business plan, marketing plan, and business processes, including accounting processes that your CPA helps you develop. Contract with professionals for plumbing, roofing, electrical, and countertop installation to get your location ready for customers. Hire a web developer to create an original website for you. Those that offer a package with professionally written SEO blogs will help you build your search engine rank the quickest.
Saving money when opening a business does not mean doing everything on your own. It means obtaining proper funding first, then hiring a relevant professional in the area needed, such as a plumber to fix leaking faucets. Doing everything correctly the first time saves you money and time. When you run a business, you begin to understand the old adage, “Time is money.”, and you won’t waste either.