As someone who runs their own business, I’m always looking for ways to save money. With the advances in technology, there are some great tools and applications out there that can help make things simpler and quicker. For example, sending out a newsletter to your contacts is far easier and cheaper with email marketing than it was when you had to print copies out and send them via post.
This is just one example and there are many others. To get you started, here are five simple ways that you can save money in your business.
- Work Virtually. Save on overheads and staff costs by working remotely with your colleagues or outsourcing part of your workload. There are a wide range of online software and tools to help you do this. For example, you can make free calls via the Internet, set up webinars for online meetings, and share your documents and PC screen so you can collaborate on projects.
- Use Free Software. Rather than spend hundreds of pounds on software such as MS Office, Photoshop or Adobe Acrobat, use their open source alternatives instead, eg OpenOffice, GIMP and CutePDF. They contain all or most of the tools that you would find in paid for software and you can carry out the same functions so it won’t affect the service you provide to your clients.
- Become Social. It’s free to set up an account on Twitter or Facebook and is a great way to promote your business to your target market and build relationships with contacts. If you’re using Facebook to promote your business, create a Fan Page not a Profile. You can also find out what people are saying about you using websites such as Twitter Search and Twilert. These are free and you can use the information to adapt your products and services to customers’ needs and respond quickly to any feedback.
- Barter. If you require a service but have a limited budget then bartering may be the answer. Bartering involves trading goods and services directly with other businesses for something they have that your business needs. For example, a web designer can create a web page for a virtual assistant for free in exchange for some help with their admin tasks.
- Be Paper Free. Do you really need to print everything out? If you cut back on paper, you not only save money but also time. The more paper records you have, the more time you spend trying to organise and track them down. You may not be able to go totally paper free, but there are web-based services that you can use to send out invoices and quotes, scan receipts, and send and sign contracts via email. A paperless system not only cuts back on the time you spend printing out documents and posting them, but it’s also more environmentally friendly.
These are just a few examples that I have set out here, but I hope it’s given you some thought on how you can save money in your business.