So you think you want to start your own business? I’ll be the first one to tell you to go for it. My second bit of advice? Plan carefully. While jumping in with both feet will certainly earn you points for enthusiasm, it can easily lead to a rapid reduction in your precious start-up funds. Here are a few easy ways to keep costs under control as you dip your toe in the somewhat expensive
Handle as much of your own record keeping as you can.
Accountants aren’t cheap, so handling as much of your own paperwork as possible just makes good financial sense. This is usually easier said than done, especially if you’re prone to travel. If you’re looking for ways to handle your receipt trail on the road, check out some of the free and low-cost smart phone apps available for scanning, storing and categorizing your various pieces of financial documentation.
Office furniture doesn’t need to be your largest startup expense.
This is particularly true for those launching a business they can run out of their home office. The recycling of an old table into a desk and borrowing a dining room chair are fine to start. Trust me. You’ll have plenty of other expenses, not the least of which is the necessary equipment such as a laptop, printer and a high-value communications plan.
Speaking of communication plans, this is one area where you really shouldn’t skimp.
Purchasing the least expensive calling plan and then paying huge overage fees when you have an unexpected surge of activity is being penny wise and pound foolish, in my humble opinion. Our family and business philosophy contains one simple phrase our friends know well. Com is king. There are many other areas to save money on business expenses, but having the best internet and calling plans we can afford have saved us money – and netted new clients – more times than we are now able to count. When opportunity knocks, you don’t want to miss out because you can’t afford the phone call. Having flexible plans that allow you unlimited calling and data transfers allows new business owners to control line-item costs while still having all of the flexibility
necessary to grow a business.
Don’t go too hog wild on office supplies.
Sure, you’ll need a few things. But strolling down the aisles of your local office supply store and tossing everything into your cart that catches your eye before you’ve even written a business plan is a poor use of your initial funding. Start with the basics, many of which can also be shared with the kids as study supplies and purchase additional office supplies only when you’re sure there’s an actual need for them. Take it from the girl with three boxes of neon highlighters that dried out before I got to use them. There are some purchases that just need to wait until the need arises.
While business plans vary from entrepreneur to entrepreneur, these are basic start up strategies applicable to nearly every young professional getting ready to take the business plunge. Moving forward with basic expenses confidently but carefully will help you roll with the proverbial punches as smoothly as possible.
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