No matter what the state of the economy, it is critical that you be as frugal as possible when you are running a business. Keeping a check on your business’s expenses could well be the difference between going bankrupt and turning a healthy profit. One of the basic rules to remember in business is the ROI (Return On Investment) principle. This principle simply means that you should avoid spending money that does not eventually make you money back if you want to stay in business. These ten strategies can help ensure that you run an effective business and still save money.
Many entrepreneurs seek a loan when they want to start a business. This may be necessary in some cases, but you should be careful about overextending your new business beyond what you can easily afford to pay back. You may want to consider the possibility of forming a relationship with a venture capitalist who will be interested in sharing a stake in your company in exchange for a share of your business. This may be a better option than simply taking out ordinary business loans.
Web Content Creation and Design
Of course, it is almost always essential that your business have a website. This site should contain quality content and a clear, memorable layout. However, it is also easy to overspend on this website. With many companies ready to compete for your business, you can afford to shop around for the best possible rate and service.
Outside Help Usage
You can outsource much of your content creation and web design work to freelancers instead of hiring full-time staff. This can save a significant amount of money and hassle since you only pay for the actual job, rather than for benefits, taxes, payroll and related expenses.
When you have a business, you will have to store data files, invoices, proposals and all sorts of other information on your computers. Make sure you back this data up on an online server so that you will be prepared for any hardware malfunction. Online backup systems are extremely affordable, and they can save you a tremendous amount of time and expense compared to trying to recreate extensive amounts of lost data.
Simple Office Setup
If most of your customers contact you though emails and other online means, you may only need a very simple office with basic furniture. If you have to talk to them through online chat programs like Skype, simply make sure you have a nice chair and an attractive background behind your webcam. You often do not need an elaborate office with all the trappings to conduct your business, especially when you are first starting out.
A virtual assistant can be a good substitute for an ordinary secretary at a fraction of the cost. Virtual assistants can help you with jobs for which you have little or no time, such as basic bookkeeping, account management, tracking appointments and the like.
Promotion via Social Media
Splurging on advertising strategies of questionable effectiveness can be a major drain on your business’s resources. Rely on a free presence on social media sites to help get the word out about your business, especially early on.
Efficient Employee Usage
Hire only those employees that you are certain you actually need. Keep in mind that many business tasks can now be handled by far fewer people with the aid of modern technology and software programs. The cost of these programs is often far less than the cost of hiring additional staff.
Good Communication with Employees
A paycheck will only motivate your employees so much. Maintaining regular, effective and honest communication with your employees will help build their loyalty, as well as their work ethic and motivation.
Saving on Advertising Costs
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Consider the possibility of collaborating with another business that sells complementary goods to reduce your advertising expenses. For example, if you run a restaurant, consider setting up a deal with a nearby movie theater to offer a 10% discount to individuals who bring in a ticket stub; you and the theater could then split the cost of promoting the deal, driving extra customers to both your businesses.
Keeping track of expenses and receipts is an important part of filling your taxes with the correct deductions. An excellent service is Shoeboxed, you can take a picture of your receipts add a few notes and it will store it for you online for later access. This will not only save you money but also time when it comes to filling your taxes. See our Shoeboxed review or sign up for free here.
Guest post contributed by Marissa Harper, on behalf of Mayowynnebaxter.co.uk. Marissa lives in France and works in the real estate industry. She has many years experience in buying property in France. In her spare time she also enjoys writing business related articles and contributes to numerous websites.