All entrepreneurs dream of seeing their company on the pages of Forbes, or their brand positioned amongst the hottest global start-ups. After launching, it doesn’t take long to realise that dreaming is one thing, but turning it into reality is totally different.
The struggle to survive (and thrive) in a competitive market, whether that’s stealing market share among already established businesses, or “disrupting” a traditional industry, is real. Additionally, new businesses have to very carefully manage their finances in the early start-up phase – it’s a time when marketing, technology, and other costs associated with launching far outweigh the revenue coming in.
If you’re contemplating launching a small business, or already have one, and are facing a battle between revenue and costs, keep reading.
Here are some proven tips to trim those expenses without sacrificing your chance of success.
#1 – Hire a multi-tasking team
Obviously, you need solid team to run a business and you can’t be a one-person army. It’s easy for founders and solo-preneurs to fall into the trap of thinking they can do everything themselves. Unfortunately, there comes a time where other people are needed for specific tasks.
A smart way to hire is by looking for people who are across a range of different specialities. For instance, look for freelance workers who have previously worked in a large company – often, these gems can perform the duties of various inter-related roles, simultaneously.
Hiring skilled freelancers is often a cheaper way to operate than hiring a full time staff member, and it is certainly cheaper than paying a dedicated person for each function. Plus, if they are able to work remotely, you will save on technology and office costs which can really eat into the profitability of your business.
#2 – Save money on overheads
As above, the fixed costs of overheads such as office space, technology, and utilities can destroy the profitability of any size business. You might be surprised to know that something as simple as electricity prices can really escalate in commercial settings.
While you wouldn’t be a very popular boss if you turned off all the lights and air-conditioning during summer heat waves, what you CAN do is look for ways to buy cheap electricity. It pays to shop around for deals on all kinds of utilities, as the savings can be enormous.
#3 – Be clever with advertising
Thanks to the internet and social media, traditional methods of advertising are not the only option to reach out to new customers. If you launching, or tight on budget, rule out the idea of buying ad space in newspapers or online, as these costs can blow your budget in one go (with no guaranteed return.)
While not easy, switching to relatively inexpensive advertising methods like building your online presence and focusing on online marketing is worth the effort. Whether it’s building out a content platform to bolster your brand, or building a strong social media presence, digital marketing is a more cost-effective and measurable way to get the word out there.
And don’t forget the power of simple PR. Building relationships with local media can work wonders for fledgling businesses, and the cost for doing? ZERO.
#4 – Take your time
Initially, it is better to take things slowly despite your desire to become a global company instantly. Expanding your business will also expand your expenses. It’s also a good idea to weed out any issues with your product or service before pushing it out in front of millions of new people.
On the flip side, if you do decide to expand quickly but you don’t have the necessary teams and infrastructure in place, this can signal doom for your business if you can’t keep up or meet the expectations of so many customers so quickly.