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Top Tips For Those Taking The Plunge Into Setting Up Their Own Business!

Updated: Mar 18

Quick Money-Saving Tips For First-Time Small Business Owners

Quick Money-Saving Tips For First-Time Small Business Owners

There can’t be many small business owners out there who would complain about having too much money, but you'll find a fair few complaining about a lack of cash, it goes without saying, and when you’re just starting out as a first-time small business owner, it’s a constant battle to figure out which are the essential expenses and which are the ones that you can afford to cut.

The battle to save money might not get any easier, but you will start to get more confident. Part of the battle is just ensuring you keep your eyes open and give yourself enough time.

Use Good Free Tools Where You Can

Paying for software will sometimes be unavoidable. However, part of putting your business together and getting out there is figuring out which tools you can use without parting with any money. AI software is getting better and better, and it’s starting to be deployed in areas that you may not necessarily have thought about. Take your company’s logo, for example. It’s the kind of decision that can keep a business owner up at night, constantly second-guessing themselves. But you can use AI-driven tools to design your logo free of charge. There are so many different options to choose from, and you are sure to find something that really clicks for your brand.

Do Your Research

It’s not always as simple as all that to find the time to do your research. But when it comes to business expenses, it may help to remember that there is a direct line between the time that you take on this and the money that you’ll save. Some costs will be easier to compare than others (you won’t always be able to just click on a price comparison site!), but a quick look around the internet should help you big time. Check reviews of services you might be considering using. I've personally made the mistake of not checking up on a company before using their services, and it cost me money, time and unnecessary stress, so have a read up on reviews before handing over your money; you'll often not get a better idea of a company, than by reading reviews made their customers!

Don't Forget Safety

Health and safety is incredibly important in the workplace, but even more so when you're just setting up your business. One health and safety issue could set you back before you've even opened, so you need to get it right. If you're planning to work with explosive chemicals, for example, you need to ensure each chemical is stored in proper storage containers from sites like Storemasta. Even if you're opening something as innocent as a bookshop, you still need to establish fire plans, heavy-lifting policies and customer risk assessments. The last thing you want is for a bookcase to fall on one of your new customers!

Other health and safety measures include maintaining a clean and hazard-free workspace. This could involve hiring commercial carpet cleaning services in Denver, CO, or in your local area, to take care of a deep clean of carpets that may be holding thick dust and allergens. You should also ensure you have wet floor signs where appropriate, and eliminate any slip or trip hazards when they arise. 

Separate Your Finances

Make sure that you keep your personal expenses and business expenses separate! When you start out, it can feel like the easy option is to use the same bank account, and you'll 'remember' what money is yours and what is the business money... you won't!! It will all get very confusing, so get a dedicated business account from day one!

Think About Hiring A Financial Advisor

Spending money to save money may sound counterintuitive, but this is not an area where you can afford to make any mistakes. There are so many different ways to lose money if you aren’t being careful with your finances. Anything from missing the date for filing your tax returns to not hearing about a government grant could come back to haunt you quickly. A good financial advisor is not just something that big businesses can afford. Look for one with experience of working with small businesses who will understand the kind of challenges that you are facing. A good financial advisor can also be a great sounding board, whether you’re thinking of expanding into a new area or worrying about how you’re going to manage the next stretch.

They'll also advise about your business status, and if you should stay as a sole trader or would benefit from becoming a limited company (which I recommend!), and also advise on the dreaded VAT and the thresholds and how they work, it's not always as clear cut as it seems, and getting it wrong could cost you a small fortune!

Don’t Be Afraid To Negotiate

If you’re starting out, you may feel like you’re getting a lot of pushback from suppliers and vendors regarding price because you’re new. While that may not be the case, it’s possible that you are being charged a higher price because you are an unknown commodity to them. Just because you understand why they’re doing that; doesn’t mean you need to settle for it. If you think you should get a better deal, don’t be afraid to try and work one out. If they tell you no and you need to work with what you’ve been given, then fine. But they might find some wiggle room for you and tell you that you can renegotiate after a period of happily working together. The main thing to remember is that you need to approach these situations in the right way (don’t be rude!) and that you can’t take them personally. Everyone is having a tough time right now, and prices are going up.

If you can support another small business, then great, the bigger companies are often very set in stone with their responses. Still, if you speak to a small business, who are trying to build its own brand, you will often find a more responsive approach from them because you are both doing exactly the same thing and the more successful you become, the more successful they may become, and so it's a joint effort!

Watch Your Energy Usage

This point particularly applies to anyone running a small business from their homes or a store. The rising cost of energy bills has been one of, if not the biggest, story in the United Kingdom over the last several months. The government has recently announced that it will not be extending its help with energy subsidies, so it will only get more challenging for many people. So, watch how much energy you’re using and keep an eye out for ways that you can keep that amount down. For example, make sure that you are turning off your machines when you’re not using them. There may be times when you need to buy second-hand appliances to save money but keep an eye on their energy rating. Remember that newer models will have a much better rating, but if you're paying massively more for the newer appliance that does the same thing, perhaps buying new is a false economy; you can always buy new as the business grows! Things like turning off the lights when you don’t need them on may seem small, but they will make a difference!


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