As the saying goes, you have to spend money to make money. Marketing, buying in stock, and even office decorating can all severely dent your financial goals. But, as a business start-up, that’s not something you can honestly afford.
You have to be frugal, decisive and smart. It’s not always easy to cheaply produce world class results, but there are ways to do so. You have to focus your money on all the areas that need it, and find the free methods where they exist. Believe it or not, but it’s possible to save hundreds of dollars a year by making some simple changes.
If your business is offering a product, then you’ll have to deal with various payment methods. You want to give your customers options, but you don’t want those options to cost you money.
Even basic methods like PayPal, eBay and credit card payment will all take a cut of your profits, but they’re all vital to the growth of any business. You can’t rely on standard cash transactions forever.
Luckily, you can help yourself here. Some PayPal and eBay fees can be claimed back as business expenses, so track them. Also, merchant services can cut card processing fees by up to 40%, which adds up over the year.
In general, it’s important to track transaction related costs. You need to see how much you’re losing, and look into ways of cutting that loss. You shouldn’t be punished for selling a product after all!
Free, creative marketing.
It’s a typical business venture, but producing business cards will probably not help. How many times have you received a flyer or leaflet through your own letterbox and put it straight in the bin? People aren’t interested in dull marketing ploys anymore, and they want to be engaged in an entertaining fashion.
Some of the biggest companies in the world aren’t famous for their products, but their marketing and social media. Look at a brand like Oreo on Twitter, who produce hilarious video content which engages the consumer, like this The Shining skit.
Or take Netflix, who understand their audience completely. They produce gifs and images that relate to their consumers, whether it’s a quote from a film or a line that summarizes how we feel about “Netflix and Chill.”
While these are mega corporations, and far from a start-up, they still give us lessons to be learnt. Your online image is important, and it’s free, with only an internet connection needed. If you’re creative, you can engage people the world over with a single tweet or image. You won’t have to have a huge marketing budget or a whole team of people. You’ll just need yourself, and a phone.
Used equipment, and utility bills.
You may want an office space to go along with your start-up, but it doesn’t have to be fancy. Buying used goods like desks, lamps and chairs is an easy way to shave a few dollars off your expenses. At the end of the day, a chair is a chair, and it works either way.
In a similar vein, energy saving bulbs can cut utility bills for your building, and selling recyclable goods is a good way to make your costs back. Many companies will want to purchase old materials that would otherwise be thrown, so ask at your local recycling plant for contacts.
These are a couple of basic ways to improve your financial turnover, and there’s plenty more out there. It can take a while to produce great financial results, so you need to help yourself early on. And, if you’re a start-up, this has never been truer than it is for you.