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Has the idea of starting up and going alone got you researching the ways to go about it? Or have you already taken the leap of faith into exploring your new life of independence with taking on the challenge in running your own business? It’s at these difficult transitional times your likely to hear the pros and cons from all involved in your life in some way.

Have you really thought this through? Have you lost your mind? You have a comfortable way of life why risk it all? That’ll be so demanding, your best off where you are.

Ways to Save on your start up costs [1/6]

Any aspiring businessperson who has made the transition from employment to going it alone has had these comments and obstacles in some way or another. People close to you are likely to have your best interest at heart, and their concern is valid as starting up something fresh is a challenge that has many peaks and troughs along the way.

Any successful businessperson who has successfully made the transition all tend to have no regrets and would never go back to being answerable to an employer again. There is certainly glamour and a sense of fulfilment in achieving a successful business brand, however this article attempts to highlight the difficulties many will face during the transition and explain ways to minimise the cost in starting up your own business.

“Before anything great is achieved, your comfort zone must be disturbed” – Ray Lewis

Taking the leap of faith means you’ve decided to take on the challenge of the very few, wanting the best things in life is not an easy challenge for most of us who have to work for it and find a way to swim against the mainstream.

Arriving at this decision means you’ve embarked upon the ambition only very few have the backbone to endeavour.

However, meeting life’s little challenges head on means it will be worth the time, energy and investment it takes into starting up on your own. Knowledge is power and knowing the obstacles before you start them is one sure fire way to help you overcome them or avoid completely.

Sometimes there is no better lesson learnt than experience, as this tells you what not to do in the future. Learning life’s lessons the hard way is the best way to gain knowledge first-hand that will prove invaluable, so it is important to realise that we all make mistakes. The point of this article is to help you spot mistakes before they happen, and going into business pre armed is essential, especially when talking about money.

Buy used

Buying second hand is a tremendous way to save on your start-up costs. Equipment for the office such as printers, computers, fridges, tables, chairs etc are best to be sought second hand, and you’ll be surprised at some of the bargains out there.

This mentality from the start sets your thought process int one that is all about budgeting and conducts this thinking into your everyday way of life. For example, buying a second-hand coffee machine will allow this little investment to save you money in the long run and allow you to focus.

How?

Every time you go to Costa coffee, you’ll slash out money on your morning coffee, mid-day and even evening coffee. This habit is all to accustomed, and a habit many can get caught up in without -paying too much attention to it as it comes into affordable everyday living costs. Failing to see how a trip to a coffee shop, once a day to three times a day can affect your budget will rob you of the potential effort that needs to be put into starting up a business. Not to mention the time you will save by not going to indulge in just this one example. Were not saying be anti-social, its just evident that times in your life are meant for focus and there are moments which are meant for socialising and play. Socialising will feel more deserved when you’ve reaped the rewards of focus, budgeting and labour, as opposed to dwelling over what could have been with all the naysayers.

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Saving in areas like this are a great way to introduce yourself to budgeting and enjoying the thrill of grabbing a bargain. As eBay states, someone else’s rubbish is also someone else gold. Sometimes people would rather give something away for convenience, rather than have it clutter up their homes moving forward.

Alternative platforms for buying second-hand equipment which is ideal for people looking to buy close to where they live is a site called Gumtree. Here people list items either for a price or free on collection. Furniture is ideal for finding on these platforms, as people need to move larger items sometimes for free as they need it removing from their premises as quickly as possible. You’ll find a variety of items for sale here and searches are conducted in sub sections and an area location device that allows the search to your specific interest and local facility.

You can save tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of pounds over time buying second-hand and it’s more fun and creative anyway to pick up a bargain, knowing its being recycled. Buying used will save you a tonne of money.

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Keep overheads as low as possible

Try to work from home for as long as you can. By establishing the foundations of your business by working from home allows you to stay focused on aspiring up the business ladder, without the worries of paying for bills in the form of office space straight away. Sometimes people can waver off from their initial goals just to pay for the bills, some even have to resort to part time work to have to pay for the rent, which goes against your initial decision to quit employment and go it alone.

There is nothing wrong in dreaming big, renting office space, or even owning office space maybe part of your long-term goal, but it is important to be realistic whilst holding optimism that this is temporary and you need to prove your worth before leaping into undue overheads that will affect your cashflow.

Contract labour as a last resort

Even the tightest purse string business owners out there are aware that sometimes you need to pull in the professionals to help you aspire to your goals. Sometimes if you need specialists help it makes perfect sense to acquire the expertise in an area that you are unfamiliar with, that will take up your time, and add to your stresses.

Should you need you need a specialist freelancer, copywriter, web designer, or a business coach try to work on an hourly contract basis. This way you are keeping control of your time and managing your budget, as we all know time is money.

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Global talent

The internet has certainly helped made the world feel like a smaller place. With an overwhelming amount of people in the civilised world hooked up to the internet, it has never been so easy to seek advice, learn a skill, or share information with people from all over the globe.

Today many business owners can delegate their work to other countries to help increase the brand awareness, administer daily activities, marketing, social media, SEO, website content writing etc.

It’s not uncommon nowadays for business activities to be conducted on the other side of the globe to benefit an organisation on an entirely different hemisphere. Outsourcing work has become popular amongst larger firms and exploited over the years due to obvious advantages of reduced labour, making red herrings for human rights and slave labour. Recent practices and laws passed by human rights makes this kind of exploitation a thing of the past as legislators are looking to solve the problem globally and offer fair working rights for all. It is still safe to say that businesses looking to outsource are primarily interested in reducing costs as well as acquire leading experts in particular fields.

Keep track of your time. Time is money

Meetings are an important facet in acquiring new business, and in the early stages they are difficult to avoid. In certain instances, they can be a waste of time and unproductive. Deadlines and goals are clear representatives of what is to be expected for your business, and you may find regular meetings zap up your time, realising that not a lot was achieved in the first place.

There is some very good time-tracking software available on the market you may find useful, apps and programs are designed to take the stress out of billing and finances as well as managing your emails, and activities schedules for the day. They’re great tools for helping you manage and bring a sense of organisation to how you spend your time.

Your time will be best spent on working on high-value tasks that will generate more money for your business. Eliminating distractions on social media maybe highlighted in your time planner to, so try avoiding these time killers.

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Get a website

Today more so than ever it is crucial for businesses to appear online. Even if you think your business isn’t tailored to an online community, think again. Most people shop online these days, not from just a desktop computer but from a mobile phone. Don’t be complacent by not tuning into the benefits a website can bring you. Today the technology is more sophisticated than ever allowing consumers to search for your products or services, even find your company on location services as results will be filtered on what is nearest them. There are so many opportunities with the internet today it may seem overwhelming but having your own shop visible online can give you the sense of accomplishment and position that you and your business crave.

Software has come down in price to, Adobe suite amongst others, used to be an expensive option to fully kit out a team with software that’s compatible with each other. Nowadays you can just buy the cloud version for an affordable payment each month, scaling your costs right down and offering user friendly experience for you and your staff.

No longer is the market dominated by Microsoft Office & Outlook Express, today Google Apps and Gmail are readily available for next to nothing. You can setup a business Gmail account for next to nothing per user per month. Gmail and Google Apps are the best in the market that are very efficient and comes with a lot of free to use open source software.

Barter

Comical characters may come to mind when using the words, barter, haggle or trade. Tradesmen know these phrases all too well and its still very much alive today.

Today although more sophisticated in the language that is used, such as ‘Is that the best you can do? Getting into the habit for asking for discounts for early payments helps establish an edge and a benefit to people in your immediate business vicinity. Should these attempts just offer a mere saving, it is still a saving and puts you in good practice for deals in the upcoming future. Be tough too, you may be surprised at what lengths people will go to in order to keep your business.

Tips on conclusion

  • You must have a solid budget.
  • You must manage your cash flow daily.
  • You must constantly review and analyse your spending.
  • You must track everything! Every penny!
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Whatever is meant to be is meant to be, however going into business with open eyes and a solid depth of information (that’s on going) will assure you and your business has every chance of becoming a success. There will be highs, there will be lows but remember

“You only know you’re on a peak when your coming down, and only realise your in a trough when your climbing out”

Bracing for these moments is all part of life, there will be some days tougher than others but no truer words to leave this post are more applicable than

“Those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail”

Have a question or something to add?

Should you have any questions or need help with any of the information discussed in this article then please get in touch via our telephone number or email contact information. Alternatively fill in our online query form and we will get back.

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