When starting business there are many ways of saving money. Saving money in business is sometimes a case of making a decision between your business ‘NEEDS’ and your business ‘WANTS’.
Work from home
Whilst not all businesses can be operated from home it is likely that your new business can take its first steps from a spare room in your house. Many new businesses convert a spare room to an office. Garages become temporary storage facilities. Consider the costs of renting a new office or business unit for your new venture. They will include solicitor’s fees, property rent, business rates, telephone installation and rent, electricity, gas and water charges, new furniture and equipment, just to get you started. Whilst working from home is not free and you will still be using utilities and paying some business rates, the savings can run to thousands per year. Do you WANT to operate your business from a separate location to your home, or do you NEED to get an office, factory, unit etc.?
Do not pay for banking. Most of the high street banks provide free banking for at least 12-24 months. Whilst a £5-£10 administration fee may not seem expensive, this fee leaves your account every month. Imagine someone physically removing £10 from your wallet every month. That’s £120 per year of your money when you could be getting free business banking. Are you sticking with your existing bank because it’s easy and you want to be loyal. There are generally very few reasons that people NEED to keep their banking with one bank. If you have agreements, loans, overdraft facilities then there is a justifiable reason to stay put. If not, and you normally keep your account in credit, then switch bank accounts now.
Stationery and furniture
Only buy what you need, not what you want. There is a temptation for many start ups to kit out their office with new equipment and supplies. It is understandable that this may feel like a positive step towards setting your new business up, but the reality is that you could probably make do with existing equipment and stationery requirements are very low. Do you need that new PC, filing cabinet, colour printer, selection of folders and paper? Perhaps a family member or friend could help you out with some supplies from their office or place of work. Get the basics and avoid the lure of the local stationers.
Switch energy suppliers. We are constantly being told that the energy companies are increasing their prices, so shop around for the best deal. Uswitch have provided free energy comparisons for many years.
It sounds too east but you can save pounds by using energy more efficiently. The following tips should help you cut your bills and reduce your carbon footprint-
Do not leave any equipment on stand by.
Going to lunch? Turn off unused PC’s, office equipment and lights. It takes seconds to power up a modern PC.
Do not heat rooms that are not being used
Switch to energy efficient light bulbs
Printing and design
This is a subject that causes much debate between start up advisors and designers/printers. There are two sides to the argument.
1. Printed stationery, logos, branding all cost money. It may be argued that any money spent on nice letterheads and creative logos could be better spent on advertising your new business, promoting your products, buying stock, etc. An expensive letterhead will not bring your first customers through the door. You could simply produce your own basic stationery layout to get you up and running and look at adding a corporate image to your business when you have taken some orders.
2. Logos, branding and designed stationery present a corporate image for your company. It is argued that building a professional corporate image at the beginning of your business will save you having to re-brand at a later date.
Consider your market. Who are your potential clients and will printed stationery make them more likely to use your service? Is a corporate image essential to developing your business and establishing relationships with customers?
Is printed stationery, branding and logos a ‘need’ for your business or a ‘want’? There is no doubt that many business start ups need business cards for networking and meetings. But do you NEED, compliment slips, letterheads, invoices,