Starting your own business can be the key to a life of independence and profits, but the business world also carries significant risks. One of the best ways to protect your finances and help ensure you’ll never be out of pocket is to identify ways to save on all your business expenses from day one. Here are ten frugal business tips for establishing a leaner, meaner business and enjoying long term savings.
1. Location A prestigious office location still carries weight in some circles, but thanks to virtual office set-ups, you can receive the benefits of a London W1 postcode without the expense of hiring a physical office. You can contract receptionists, call centre staff and other personnel at this city centre location and hire meeting rooms and conference facilities when needed, and all your correspondence will be processed through this location.
2. Buy recycled When setting up a new office, the cost of furniture and electronics is typically a major expense. Looking for computers, furnishings and other items that have been well looked after by careful former owners can be an effective way to cut costs, and will also demonstrate your company’s commitment to ‘green’ issues.
3. Remote working Hiring freelancers or staff who operate from their own homes and other remote locations could mean you don’t need a physical office space, and will also save on insurance costs such as liability insurance.
4. Get online Most modern businesses can benefit from a strong online presence, but moving your business into the virtual realm entirely has numerous cost benefits. Virtual shop-fronts can be created for relatively little expense on major retail hubs, where your business will potentially receive much greater exposure than it would on the high street.
5. Cloud computing Outsourcing your storage and security services to a third party will save you the cost of setting these up yourself and hiring dedicated staff. Cloud servers boast exceptional security and are the most flexible option for growing your business.
6. Business broadband When evaluating broadband packages for your company, speed, reliability and security should be your primary concerns. Many dedicated business broadband packages are bundled with programs and features that would otherwise cost more if purchased separately, which could be useful for getting your online business off the ground.
7. Free software If you’re hesitant to invest in software for your new business, you could find freeware available from major publishers or hosted on reputable download sites, or trial versions that will let you experience the product for a limited time and see whether it’s really right for you before deciding to make a purchase.
8. Insurance Many small business owners view insurance as an area to save money, but if you are underinsured, this could cost you dearly in the event that equipment is stolen or damaged or someone is injured on your premises. It’s generally recommended that you should take out the most comprehensive level of cover you are comfortably able to afford.
9. Energy-efficient electronics Electricity is another major expense for many businesses, which can be minimised by favouring energy-efficient solutions. Low wattage bulbs and timers on monitors and other devices can result in substantially reduced energy bills for the long term.
10. Conference calls Making use of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology rather than traditional phone systems can lead to big savings on international calls and even call transfers, and can reduce the need for costly business trips when meetings are conducted face-to-face via video conference calls.
What frugal strategies have you made use of in your new business?