We know firsthand that running a small business or startup isn’t easy. As business owners ourselves, we’re passionate about small business and want to support entrepreneurship and creativity. In business, we need to spend money to grow and succeed, so it’s important to identify where we could be saving money in order to invest it more wisely.
Here are our 7 money saving tips that bring real results for small businesses and startups!
1. Invest in digital marketing and good branding
Although this is all about saving money, the truth is that spending money in the right places can lead to growth and savings in the longer term. Branding and digital marketing are two areas that small businesses and startups can’t afford to skimp on.
Compared with traditional marketing avenues, an intelligent digital marketing campaign can reach your desired target market with a much lower budget and return highly qualified leads in a much shorter time period. The digital route is ideal for small businesses and startups because it’s an extremely cost-effective approach that will attract your ideal clients, keep your sales pipeline full, and enable you to track your ROI.
Branding goes hand-in-hand with digital marketing because it helps to build trust for your business – and trust is your most important commodity. A strong brand not only gives your small business an identity, but it also makes you more memorable, encourages people to buy from you, brings your employees a sense of pride, and makes your marketing efforts far more effective. Here’s HubSpot’s Ultimate Guide to Branding in 2019.
2. Really understand your target market
Before you rush away to throw money at branding and digital marketing, you need to slow down, breathe, and take some time to really understand your target market. This crucial step is so often overlooked by small businesses and startups, and it’s the reason some entrepreneurs feel that digital marketing is a waste of money.
Without creating user personas or avatar profiles, your marketing will be too generic and your brand could fail to appeal to the right people. Always remember: if your brand and marketing attempts to appeal to everybody, it won’t appeal to anyone.
Successful branding and marketing is super focused, and it communicates with your ideal customer on a deep, emotional level. Connecting with people on an emotional level is what drives sign-ups and sales, so getting to know your target market in great depth and detail will help you save money and generate a greater return on your marketing investment.
3. Use Open Source and Cloud applications
There is no need to buy expensive office software when there are so many affordable and effective cloud-based solutions. Google’s G-suite is one example of a cloud-based software solution that’s really popular with small businesses and startups. It’s cheap, secure, private, and simple – what more could you want?
Open Source software applications are another money saving option for startups and small business. In addition to being more affordable, using Open Source software means better security, better support, more control, and an ever-increasing product quality due to a high level of market competition.
4. Identify and automate repetitive manual processes
When small businesses and startups automate their systems and processes, everything becomes a lot more efficient. Saving time not only means saving money, but it also means more time and energy can go into money-generating activities. Automation can also eliminate the need to hire paid staff for repetitive tasks, but on the other hand, it can make your staff available for tasks that require more brain power and add more value to the business.
You can automate just about everything, including your scheduling, invoices, sales funnels, email marketing campaigns, sales processes and even your social media.
First, identify the repetitive, manual processes in your business, then check out these 5 essential business automation hacks. Keep in mind there may be some costs associated with setting up automations in the beginning, but your business will immediately start saving time and money when your new workflows are up and running.
5. Focus on activities that bring in the most money
Is your small business or startup spending money on fancy restaurant meals? It’s time to shift your company culture towards potlucks! Are you about to rent or buy an office space or purchase expensive office furniture? Instead, check out your local co-working spaces or keep an eye out for free/ cheap second-hand furniture.
It’s important to put a cap on how much money you spend on things that don’t have the power to generate a return. On the other hand, spending too much time and energy on ‘free’ activities is also costing you if they don’t result in money coming in. Invest your time, energy and money in the activities that have the greatest power to yield a high return.
6. Outsource as much as possible
Employees are expensive. For this reason, clever startups and small business will consider outsourcing or micro-contracting wherever possible. Outsourcing is especially helpful when a task pops up that doesn’t warrant hiring an employee, but you either don’t have the require expertise, or you simply can’t take on any more tasks yourself.
If you’re not a digital marketing expert and don’t have the time to learn – outsource it!
If you’re not an expert in business finance – outsource it!
Unless you’re a small business taxation specialist – outsource that too!
Outsourcing these tasks will help you grow faster by giving you more time and energy to focus on the big stuff: your customers, your vision, and your products or services. Imagine having access to expert services on an as-needed basis for a comparably small investment. Well, you do! Unsure where to find these great micro-contractors? Here are the top 10 best online outsourcing platforms 2019!
7. Talk to a small business tax expert
Running a small business or startup isn’t easy. There’s so much to think about every day, and tax is usually the last thing on your mind. If you’re a small business owner or startup founder, then you’re the person with the vision. Understanding that vision and creating a mission to bring it to life is what you do best – not accounting. Leave that to the experts!
Chances are, your business is missing out on eligible deductions and not getting the maximum legal return at tax time. Small businesses also have access to a range of tax concessions, but taking care of your small business taxation is so much more than just preparing your company tax return at the of the financial year.
A small business tax professional should know how to help a small business or startup grow, and implement the right processes to re-sculpt your business for efficiency and maximum profit. ABA Tax has the skills and expertise to understand your small business needs, identify organisational gaps and tailor cost effective solutions to fill them.
Now is the perfect time to start saving money for your small business or startup, so get in touch with ABA today for a free consultation and analysis of your needs!