Getting your startup running can be a challenge, especially financially. One of the most common reasons that businesses fail is that they simply run out of money. This is why saving cash at the start is so important for a startup.
From purchasing office equipment to conducting market research, there are plenty of ways that you can cut back on expenses, giving you the opportunity to focus on business growth. Here are five essential tips to help you on your way.
Unite Your Team for Free
Many startups have team members that work remotely in different areas of the country (and the world). Using free team collaboration software can help you to save money, as well as helping you to all communicate effectively. This Skillcrush list of the best remote working tools recommends apps like Asana, Trello, and Float for tracking projects and tasks, ensuring that everyone knows what they’re meant to be doing. Meanwhile, apps like Slack, HipChat, and even Workplace by Facebook can help unite your team and cut down considerably on emails. You can have a conversation in real time, or catch up on previous posts when you have the time. Collaboration software means that your team can also interact with each other, and share valuable advice, hints, and tips easily. This is also a very quick and efficient way of sending and sharing documents.
Buy Your Computers Second Hand
If you are starting your business from scratch, you don’t have to purchase your work equipment brand new. Buying your office computers and laptops second hand can save you a substantial amount of money. Computer equipment generally depreciates by 25% annually, especially when new models and software hit the market and this includes brand devices as well as refurbished goods (which are used goods that have been tested and repaired). RefurbMe lists prices for the refurbished MacBook Air 11”, with deals starting at $309 which is a 72% ($790) saving on the RRP and this includes free shipping. While prices do tend to vary for refurbished and second-hand technology, depending on the specs that you buy, less than $400 for an Apple laptop with a strong battery life, Intel HD graphics and processors is a decent price. That would also suit most employees in your organization, allowing them to write reports and complete tasks during their commute or when they are traveling between offices or work-related conferences.
Do Your Own Accounting
When your business is first starting out, it may not be necessary to employ an accountant. Forbes explains that a good online accounting package can help you to make sense of your business finances in a simple way that is jargon-free. Many packages give you the option to link straight up with your invoicing system, so you can monitor exactly when your invoices have been sent out and if they have been paid. You can link this information straight to your business bank account too. A reliable accounting package can help you to keep track of business purchases, making sure that you don’t go over budget. Options include QuickBooks, Kashflow, Freshbooks and Sage50 Cloud. They can be used online or with your tablet or smartphone.
Use Social Media for Research and Marketing
Social media is your friend if you want to conduct some valuable market research. Through Facebook and Twitter, you can set up polls and questionnaires to help gauge responses to your products and services. This is a way of accurately tailoring your business to your target audience. Social media is also an essential free marketing tool. You can easily share your products and your business ethos to a wide range of followers. According to a study conducted by Fractl and BuzzSumo, 90% of social sharing happens through Facebook – take advantage of this and create a Facebook page in order to generate free publicity for your new business.
Offer Visual Content for Free
Employing a graphic designer for your startup can be a big expense. There are a number of websites, such as Canva and DesignBold that you can use for free to create beautiful visual content for your business. This includes social media headers, leaflets, posters, brochures, and infographics. The drag and drop software is really simple to use and there are thousands of free illustrations and graphics that you can use to enhance your content.
Saving money when you are starting up your business can be essential to get it off the ground. By monitoring your expenses carefully, you can focus your funds elsewhere and concentrate on business growth.