You’re not alone if you feel overwhelmed by the expense of launching a new business. Whether you need to shell out extra cash to rent an office space, design your brand image, or market your product, you might find it tough to stay within your budget without cutting corners.
As you get your business off the ground, here are a few areas where you can minimize costs—without compromising on quality.
After coming up with your business’s name, the next step—designing a logo that sets the tone for your entire brand image—can be daunting. Hiring a professional designer isn’t always within our budgets, and few of us have the artistic chops to create a logo ourselves.
To keep your logo DIY without compromising on good looks and professionalism, try your hand with automated logo design builders. These tools are more affordable than hiring the extra staff, and they allow for plenty of customization options to give your logo that handcrafted look.
Launching a shiny new website is an integral part of starting a new business. Since a website is often the first place customers will interact with your business, you might be tempted to pour time and resources into perfecting your site’s UX and SEO.
Luckily for us, as building a website has become more universal, it’s also become increasingly efficient and cost-effective. Automated web building tools are helpful solutions for solopreneurs and businesses that have only a handful of employees. They have drag-and-drop interface that allows even novice designers to build attractive, fully functional sites.
Accounting is a necessary expense for businesses, but it doesn’t always require hiring an accountant in-house. QuickBooks, Xero, and other accounting software are inexpensive solutions to manage your company’s finances on your own.
When choosing an accounting software, prioritize those with features that suit your business’s particular needs. For example, if you plan to grow your business but work exclusively within the US, software that will adapt to your business as it scales is more important than a platform with global management options.
Marketing can be a big expense for your business, but it’s also an area with huge cost-saving potential. Cut down on traditional forms of advertising; they tend to be expensive and are quickly becoming obsolete. Instead, jump straight into digital marketing, and be sure to focus on organic (read: free) digital marketing initiatives.
Dedicate time to organic marketing techniques on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, all of which come with their own free insights and analytics tools. You can also take advantage of free SEO tools such as Google Analytics, which helps you save on the cost of an SEO platform. And, don’t forget about word-of-mouth marketing; happy customers are your best advocates, and you can implement a referral program that pays existing customers to refer new customers to your brand.
You don’t want to pay for wasted time, but procrastination and mismanagement can waste huge amounts of time and make the workflow inefficient. Managing your team’s tasks effectively, on the other hand, helps you get things done faster, letting you take on new projects and earn more profit in the long term.
You can cut business costs by using free tools that help you manage your project workflow. Tools like Monday and Trello let you organize and prioritize tasks and share them with your team. Company communication channels like Skype and Slackare useful for coordinating with team members and clients, helping you avoid the hurdles and expenses that come with misunderstanding and miscommunication.
Another trick to save on costs is to hire freelancers for tasks that aren’t a core part of your business. Freelancers are cheaper to employ than in-house employees, since you aren’t expected to provide them with pricy add-ons like health insurance benefits and paid time off.
While you shouldn’t rely entirely on freelancers—you want to build a strong base of in-house employees, too—you might try hiring a freelance SEO specialist to assist your organic marketing efforts, or a freelance content writer to help you build your blog. For small and emerging businesses, hiring freelance can be the secret to keeping costs at a minimum while still taking care of a wide range of tasks.
As your business grows, you’re going to gather more and more data with each passing day. Buying multiple hard drives to store all the data can be surprisingly costly.
A more cost-effective way to store data is to opt for cloud-based data storage platforms, even double as collaboration tools, allowing for real-time collaboration on documents in addition to document storage.
Office supplies can be expensive, particularly when you buy items individually from the local supply store. Try buying in bulk from big suppliers and wholesalers—and don’t forget to negotiate the price. Even if you have just a small number of employees, you can buy items that you know you’ll use later in the year.
The cost of utilities—electricity, gas, water, and more—can add up if you’re not being careful. Once you choose your office space, take a look at your electricity system before diving into the work. Opt for greener solutions to save on energy costs, like energy-saving LED bulbs, insulated windows, and even solar power. Helping your business and the planet at the same time is a win-win!
If you don’t have a lot to spend right now on office space, prioritize other expenses instead. You can still impress employees and clients with a compact office that’s strategically designed.
If you’re building a small business with just a couple employees, try running it from a space within your home. If you do opt to rent a separate office space, find ways to make rooms multi-purpose. A well-designed break room, for example, can double as a conference room.
Ready to launch your new business? Don’t be intimidated by the costs. You have a range of options to help you build your business on a budget, from hiring freelancers to using automated tech tools. With the use of online tools and strategic planning, you’ll be able to cut out some of the expenses while meeting your business goals.