Starting a small business is a scary endeavor, and in this tough economy, nobody has the ability to take risks with their money. But what can you really do when starting a business to be more successful? Here are some financial ideas that will help you to save money for your small business, and hopefully lead you to a successful fiscal year.
Don’t Pay for Big Budget Software
Image via Flickr by Tax Credits
There are many open-source programs that will do just as well for you as big budget names that will cost you thousands just for a user license. Some companies pay thousands upon thousands of dollars just to fill their computers with unnecessary expensive software. Figure out what you actually need and decide if what brands can offer you customized software so you’re not paying for extras that you don’t use. Smart business decisions will truly save your small company in these tough economic times.
Don’t Splurge on Office Supplies
Laptops are becoming cheap, powerful, and energy-efficient as time goes on. Instead of spending hundreds on desktops, whose processing power and resources you won’t truly need, pick yourself up a cheap laptop. Some laptops will cost you less than $300, and have impressive battery life that will reduce the amount you have to pay for keeping those hulking desktops alive while you and your employees work. Encrypted laptops are very secure, and a smart business decision.
This mentality goes for other office supplies as well. You don’t need to buy expensive furniture, or top-notch supplies to have a successful business. In actuality, the more budget savvy you are, the more successful your business will be. You don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics, though, just look to furniture rental companies, or inexpensive furniture stores that will give you a discount for buying in bulk.
Image via Flickr by glasseyes
Consider repainting your walls a brighter color. Dark walls actually draw more energy, and thus take more to light. So if your office has darker wallpaper, paint, or similar issues, then it’s costing you more precious electricity to brighten them up. Repaint your offices in a nice bright white or spring color and watch as your energy bill drops. Also, Find heat-regulating shades for your windows and your energy bill will decrease. While black and brown might be fancy to look at and give your office that “Mad Men” appeal that you’ve been dreaming of, be financially sound and stick to white-washed walls and some bright office decor.
Implement a BYOD Policy
Bring your own device, or BYOD, allows employees to bring and use any device of their choosing to the office. Not only does a byod program allow for highly versatile, easy to manage employees, it also encourages a more relaxed work environment. Satisfied employees and positive work environments are always in demand. With a quality secure BYOD policy in place, your company can operate efficiently and safely.
Social Media Marketing
Marketing can get very expensive in order to reach more visitors and making more money. You have to be very careful how you go about it. Do you really want to spend hundreds of dollars on a TV advertisement that might only reach a small sample size? Conversely, how many people use social media sites everyday? Social media sites are free to sign up, and allow you to reach a global audience if you desire. Social media marketing sets you up for a strong online presence, so you company’s name, products, or services are seen by more people — and it’s free.
Consider a Four Day Work Week
A four day work week, at first glance seems like it might be too much of a hindrance to productivity, but take these things into consideration: many employee management researchers say that the most you can ever expect to get out of an employee is roughly 70% in a work week. This doesn’t mean that they won’t be doing their work or completing their jobs, just that they have other concerns and only have so much of an attention span. By reducing your schedule to a four-day work week, you can not only boost employee satisfaction, but save money on payroll, electricity, and more. Taking a hit in work time might be a solid option for a company just getting off the ground.
These are just a few of the many ways that burgeoning small businesses can save money in these tough economic times. Employee satisfaction and cost-efficiency are two of the most critical elements of getting those formative years done with. As the saying goes, working smart is better than working hard!
Richard Wirth is a graduate student of the University of Texas at Dallas’ Arts and Technology program. He helps manage a small business in the Houston area, and is currently studying to enter the MBA program at his college.