As someone who is partly self-employed these days, I’m more aware of keeping track of my pennies and a whole lot more careful these days when it comes to running my business as a blogger/digital bod. I am more aware of my outgoings, immediately wondering if I can expense something i.e. petrol, travel, camera equipment, and generally have way more empathy for actual business owners these days, especially if they have premises!
There are lots of tips and advice out there when it comes to saving money when running your own business, and these are some of my favourites:
Run your business from home
It sounds obvious, but if you don’t HAVE to run your business from elsewhere then operating it and working from home is definitely the way forward for reducing overheads. On a small scale, I find avoiding working from the local cafe saves me up to a tenner a day (those coffees and a sarnie soon add up), and on a bigger scale testing the waters with an online shop is infinitely less expensive than have a physical one (as much as a do like to browse).
Be a Fan of Free Software
When you go online, there seems like a ton of free software available for businesses which you only need to download and nothing else. Almost every aspect of a business online i.e. accounting uses such software. Just make sure you cancel at the end of the 30 day trial period and don’t actually sign up. All you have to do is uninstall it from your computer and then search online to find another 30-day free trial period after the installation process- sneaky huh?! This is a great way to survive until your business is financially stable to buy software and maintain the updates of the software.
Investigate cheaper travel costs
Lots of rail companies offer discounts on travel or travel cards throughout the year, good if your business perhaps involves travel to see different clients. If you’re an agricultural or farm-related business then here can offer you competitive diesel prices when it comes to bulk buying or fuelcards. If you drive and use a lot of petrol, then keep an eye out for the best petrol rates, and also use your same credit card consistently to purchase your fuel and then gain air miles (you’ll probably need a holiday after the hard work of setting up a business!).
Buy Goods in Bulk
When you buy goods in bulk, suppliers will more often than not give you very large discounts. This will enable you to make a fair bit of profit after sales. It also means that when you are dealing in goods that do not expire, buy them in bulk and save on costs, therefore increasing the profit margins of the business in the near future.
Buy Used Equipment
One mistake many fledgling businesses make is starting a business with brand new (expensive) equipment or machines. This is not always the way to go unless you have a lot of cash kicking about or are VERY certain about your business. Consider leasing in the short term, or bring along an expert in the field of your equipment who can take a look at any possible second hand machines and establish whether they are still sound and fit for use.