As my readers know, the mission of Money Buffalo is to help you all spend money in a cost-effective way so that you can save money for the important things in life. This can include cutting out unnecessary expenses through anything from 4 bad money habits to getting a college degree for $10,000. Today, I want to apply these dime-stretching concepts to small business owners.
If you are a small business owner, you likely already know that it’s essential that you are spending every dollar wisely. Seemingly small expenditures add up and could be the difference between the business staying afloat or being forced to turn off the lights. Below, we will discuss some helpful ways on how to save money on your small business necessities.
My wife and I are both self-employed and had to rethink the way we view money when I left corporate a few years ago.
Run Your Business Out of Your Home
Running a business out of your home is one of the easiest and most cost-effective methods of running a business, especially in the beginning. If you are an online business, it makes no sense at all to waste money on office space until the business has grown.
For instance, my “office” is a guest bedroom with a work desk in it.
While an office space may make you feel official or give you a place to focus on work, it is an inadvisable move when money is tight. Microsoft, Amazon, and Google were all famously started from a garage, so there is no shame in it. Your goal in the now should be to focus on building your business in a smart and effective manner. Worry about being official or looking legit later.
Instead of spending time and money flying or driving, have a video conference instead. One cool app is Screencast-O-Matic. You can record and edit videos which can also make this an easy option for on-demand streaming for clients that are several others away. Sound cool to you?
Taking Care of Your Equipment Matters
Almost every small business these days has an online presence, which means that you are working on a PC or laptop. These computers are the most essential tool you will be using on a daily basis. Every craftsman knows that you have to treat your tools respectfully. So, whether you have a new or old computer, it is essential that you monitor your computer performance to maximize efficiency at work.
At a minimum get a “mid-grade” computer in the $400-$500 range. You get extra memory and speed that means you don’t have to replace your computer as soon.
As my readers know, I care deeply about being environmentally friendly. Going green is not only smart from a public relations standpoint, but it also makes a lot of sense financially. Do your best to conserve power, print on both sides, reduce paper waste and reduce your energy output. If you are working from home, this is doubly important since cutting down on your energy use will also reduce your energy bill.
Barter with Other Small Businesses
If you are a growing business, a fantastic way to save money is to barter your services in exchange for other goods and services. Other small companies are in the same position as you; they want to avoid spending money wherever possible. If your business needs something specific, reach out to these companies and bring up a barter as a possibility for payment of services rendered. The worst thing they can say is no.
In a nutshell, time can be just as valuable as money.
Buy Used Equipment or Older Models
A mistake many small businesses make is that they invest a ton of capital in brand new equipment. Like an office, it may feel good to have the best and the newest gadgets, but it is not essential. When you are starting up a business, you have to cut costs by focusing only on the essentials.
Query local businesses that are more established to see if they have any interest in selling their older models or have plans to upgrade in the near future. If they agree, bring a knowledgeable person with you to check out the equipment and make sure that it is in working condition. It might even be worth it to conduct an IT audit to see exactly what you’ll need, as this may be a much lower price than what you want.
If you are a small business, every dollar you save matters. By being thrifty and spend conscious, you set yourself up for success in the future. Even when you eventually hit your stride and are no longer forced to take cost saving as seriously, having such a mindset will help you manage your business and its expenditures wisely.
My wife and I look at Craigslist and eBay to find items we need. You’ll be surprised how much money you can save if you don’t wait until the last minute to look.