10 Money-Saving Tips For Small Business and Start-Ups

  1. Utilise The Power Of VoIP 
    Consider VoIP (Voice over internet protocol) as an alternative to traditional telephone lines. As it uses the internet to run, this can save you at least 50% on your phone bill. Unlike the wired telephone, VoIP simply takes advantage of the internet, which is required to run a business anyway so you can see it as killing two birds with one stone. Furthermore, users bypass the need to pay the phone-carriers extra charges based on distance, geographical boundaries or time. Nowadays small and medium businesses will have customers, partners or suppliers in various countries across the world. So, with Voice communication being a vital part of any business, a large monthly fee can accrue, but with VoIP solutions, the long-distance charges simply disappear. Phone calls to countries may be offered for free (particularly USA, Europe and China) and businesses can generally purchase bulk minutes in advance for incredibly low prices. While a stable and powerful broadband connection is needed to facilitate VoIP, any business would want to ensure their broadband is up to scratch either way, so it is a no-brainer.


  1. Employ Freelancers
    Now freelancing is by no-means a new revelation. People have been freelancing throughout businesses for years. The main revelation is the sheer scale of freelance workers available at the moment, furthered by the rise of the internet and the desire for comfy living. This abundance of ready workers, who are experts in their particular niche, gives greater opportunity to avoid full-time staff and regular staff for positions that don’t require full time labour, paying for a service as and when you need it from sites such as peoplerperhour.com, Fiverr.com and Upworks.com is a very popular method of receiving expert work periodically and without the burden of committing to a regular wage. These sites are very competitive, and the freelancers are so proficient with their specific skills, that they can complete professional work extremely quickly and almost robotically, making their pricing very low. Jobs such as Lead Generation, Website design, SEO, advertising & marketing and much more can be paid for on a one-off basis when its needed, hiring a full time employee to complete such tasks that are only needed for short amounts of time is inefficient and may result in money spent on idle workers who aren’t being used to their full capacity.


  1. Home Office
    Run your business from your home, while you will gain a greater degree of liberation and freedom, you will also save an incredible amount on rent, travel and bills. With VoIP solutions allowing your staff to answer and transfer calls to the business from their mobile or handset, this permits your staff to work flexibly and from anywhere, even their own homes.


  1. Shop Around For Services
    Choose your service providers carefully, compare and cross examine when dealing with services such as Gas & Electricity, Broadband, Phones and Card Machines. Find packages that suit the scale of your business and also offer competitive pricing, sometimes opting for the lesser known companies can save money as they are not able to abuse the price from a position of power and a well-known brand name. Also, try to opt for those with rolling contracts so that you don’t have any long term commitments, giving you freedom to switch providers easily if need be.


  1. Second Is Best
    Buy used equipment instead of new equipment. New equipment would be considered second hand after a few seconds of use and most equipment is built to last. Buying something used but in great working order will save at least 40% of the costs while still fulfilling its purpose just as well as something brand new. You can find all office equipment from printers to computers at a much lower price on second-hand sites such as Shpock, Gumtree, Cash Converters and Ebay. However, with some sites, you should try before you buy as there is always a risk of being scammed when buying items this way.


  1. Take Advantage Of Freebies
    Make use of free software when the requirements are minimal. For many operations and tasks like bookkeeping, schedule management and CRM – a lot of great software is available for free and only require payments when your business grows and becomes more demanding for features and users. At this point of expansion, you can more likely afford the software upgrades as your business revenue can handle it. For example, if you are a new salon or beauty spa and need to manage bookings and appointments – you can try www.Shedul.com for free and you can have unlimited use of the free features which will happily satisfy a small business. As you grow, consider upgrading your package when its necessary.


  1. Free Advertising
    Depending on your industry, consider free advertising outlets that can potentially generate the odd lead or customer. Facebook networking groups and second-hand apps such as Shpock and Gumtree permit businesses to share their services, products, offers and promotions as much as they like. While it can generate exposure from browsers in the local area looking for all sorts of products and services, it will cost you absolutely nothing, so you have nothing to lose, generating even one lead can be considered a success.


  1. Employ Carefully
    Employ less experienced people for the jobs you require, while they may need some extra training, they will not need such a high salary compared to someone with a senior level of experience in a job role who may be over-qualified. Intern positions can attract willing and enthusiastic workers that are happy to gain the experience over a high paycheque. Furthermore, you also have a greater ability to mould an employee to fit the job specification you require as a junior/entry level employee will be flexible and keen to pick-up new skills.


  1. Barter & Partner
    Develop your negotiation skills and take a firm stance to bartering with suppliers and service providers, there is nothing to lose in trying to meet in the middle or get a better deal by simply being more vigilant and resistant to sales talk. If you are already paying for your services, there is no harm in re-negotiating with them to discuss getting your rates cheaper. Furthermore, opting for a partnership where there is a mutual benefit to yourself and the provider will drastically reduce the cost of the service you are getting.


  1. Employ Far & Wide
    Try hiring remote workers who are based overseas, where their standard of living is cheaper, your currency and wage is worth much more to them than any UK worker. Say you are developing a mobile application for your business, face to face interaction with your developer isn’t particularly necessary and can be facilitated by webcam conferences. While travel expenses are eliminated, your developer can be happily based at home in their own country while requiring a fraction of the wage required for a local worker; everyone is a winner.

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