When you start a new business every dollar you save can be just as important as every dollar you spend.
One of the number one reasons why new businesses close down is because they simply run out of money.
Often those businesses have potential and COULD have become something much more than a sign saying “out of business”, but the founder(s) waste money on things they didn’t really need.
What I’m saying is that if the founders had been more cautious with their spending, the money would have lasted longer and during that extra window of time they may have made it work!
If you are starting a new business you need to have this same money saving mindset. Here’s my top tips as a 3x Entrepreneur and the founder of Task Pigeon (a task management application) on how to save money when starting your business.
You Don’t Need An Office
Until you have paying customers who are demanding to meet you at your office you don’t need one. From day one you should be working from home or your garage.
You shouldn’t even waste money on a desk at a co-working space. If you can’t work from home go to a library instead.
If you need to meet people or clients suggest meeting at a cafe or ask if you can come to them instead.
Use Whatever Laptop You Have
Starting a business shouldn’t be like Christmas. It isn’t an opportunity to go and buy a shiny new computer, phone or any other gadget.
If you already have a computer or phone then that’s what you use until your business is generating sufficient revenue to make upgrading worthwhile.
I can’t tell you how many times I have seen people start a business with $5 – $10k and then go and spend (waste) $2k of that on a new laptop. You simply don’t need it.
Stationery & Business Cards
You know what else is a waste of money? Business cards and stationery!
If you are starting out you probably don’t have anyone to give a business card to anyway. And anyone you do give it to will most likely throw it in the bin if they are aged under 40.
There is also no need to buy paper or envelopes stamped with your logo, branded pens or promotional USB sticks.
A black, blue and red pen plus a notepad is more than you will need to get started. Or throw away the paper altogether and manage your tasks in online task management application like Task Pigeon.
Save Money When Meeting Clients
If you have a business that involves meeting clients in cafes and restaurants then most likely you are going to need to offer to pay if you want to win their business.
If you want to minimise expenditure then schedule meetings in the morning or afternoon, rather than lunch. That way you can get away with just buying coffees as opposed to a lunch.
Take Advantage of Programs for New Businesses
Most technology companies offer a host of incentives or deals for startups looking to get started. Sure there is a bit of a catch, they hope you on-board with their tool, grow your company and then never leave but if it helps save you money each money then it is definitely worth it.
In addition to Task Pigeon some tools I use include:
- Mailchimp for free email marketing
- Woopra for tracking user events (free tier available)
- Canva for creating social media graphics
Hopefully the tips I have outlined highlight the importance of saving (as well as spending) money to grow your business. Your most precious commodity is time. The more time you buy yourself/your business the longer you have to figure out how to market and sell your product.