The first couple of years for a start-up can be amongst the most difficult, building up an audience and battling to remain in existence. Having a frugal and financially-responsible business model and implementing cost-effective ethics are hugely important at this stage. Here are five ways in which a start-up can save money without compromising the quality of the services and/or products.
Never Miss an Advertising Opportunity
Many newer and smaller businesses bemoan a lack of funding to implement an advertising campaign, citing the expensive costs of television and radio airtime. However, everyday business endeavours are in themselves packed with advertising opportunities. All business mailings can include advertising materials, promotions and unique offers. Piggybacking your advertising can help cut costs directly appeals to your market demographic according to J. Donald Weinrauch, co-author of The Frugal Marketer.
Take Advantage of Skilled Freelancers
If your start-up requires a number of different skills, you may feel pressured into undertaking a lot of unfamiliar tasks or expanding your workforce. Both of these options can be problematic – either stretching yourself beyond your skillset or taking on too many costs. The internet is jam-packed with talented freelancers with a range of skills and abilities at great prices. People Per Hour is a fantastic service with a great range of talented individuals with skills as diverse as photography and web development. One-off jobs can be completed at a cut price by an individual with the correct skills.
Cut Down on Delivery
More and more commerce companies are starting up on the internet rather than out of a bricks and mortar site, due to the money-saving potential of inhabiting virtual space rather than physical space. This however can lead to high levels of delivery costs. Make sure you keep your services competitively-priced, by cutting down on delivery costs. All courier services charge different amounts for different services, so use a company such as Rapid Parcel or Parcel2Go to ensure you are always getting the best rate available for your delivery needs.
Take Advantage of Government Schemes
Keep abreast of government schemes for local businesses to make your money go further. Tax breaks are available for small business in a bid to improve the strength of the country’s economy as well as other benefits. Apprenticeship schemes have grown in scope and popularity in recent years with added incentives offered to companies employing apprentices. Employers may be entitled to a £1,500 apprenticeship grant as a part of the government’s scheme, making it more affordable to expand the workforce.
Utilise Free Software
Where possible, take advantage of free software. Services such as Skype are just as effective in the workplace as at home, allowing you to make free business calls to clients, customers and colleagues. The instant chat feature also allows you to stay in quick and constant contact with your colleagues during the workday, and transfer important files. Additionally, Dropbox is a free (for the starters’ package) online storage service, ensuring you have access to all your important documents at all time.