Innovative ways to snip startup costs

Sometimes, people have an idea for a new business but are unable to get it started because of the money needed. The lower the startup costs are, the more chance you have of getting your business off the ground. Let’s have a look at how you can keep the initial expenses to a manageable amount.

Plan Everything

Before you do anything put a plan together of how to proceed, what costs will be involved and when those costs will need to be paid. Don’t let any of it be guesswork. It needs to be as accurate as possible if your business plan is to be of any real use.

A plan will allow you to prioritise the costs so you can deal with the vital ones first, and delay any that can wait a while.

Devices

One way to keep the costs down is to let employees use their own devices and save you the cost of buying new ones for a while. This will work as long as you realise the importance of better networking services, which will make it all manageable, and as long as you make sure the correct security measures are in place. Employees who bring their own devices to work are often more comfortable using them, as it is what they are familiar with, which can help with productivity too.

Contractors

Contractors and freelancers can save you money to start with as you only pay them for completed work. Unlike with employees, you have no obligations to pay them sick pay, holiday pay, maternity pay or anything other than for completed assignments.

You need to be careful to make sure they are genuinely a contractor or freelancer though. Pay someone an hourly rate, for instance, and they become an employee under Inland Revenue rules.

The Professionals

Professional people, such as accountants, can save you a lot of money. You have to remember they will have dealt with many people in your situation and may well know ways you have not thought of to save some money. Listen to their advice, as you will probably find that they save you more than they cost you.

Free Marketing

The cost of marketing your startup can be significant but without it no one will know your business exists.  This is where you should turn to social media, which is one of the most powerful marketing tools available.

Financially it will cost you very little. To manage it effectively the cost will be in your time. You need to post regularly, always be positive and aim to make as many new friends and contacts as you can. There are well over 2 billion people who use social media every day, and that is a huge audience for your new business if you can make sure that you have the presence you need.

As your business grows you may find that you do not have the time to give social media the attention it needs. That is often when people hand over the job to an employee or use a social media agency.

Whatever your new business is, you need to keep the startup costs to a minimum and only spend anything you really have to.

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Christine Buske is a former academic who left science at the bench, and now considers herself a woman in tech. She is a frequently invited speaker, and enjoys talking about career transformation (particularly leaving academia for the business world), tech, issues around women in tech, product management, agile, and outreach. She is a proud Canadian resident, and qualifies as a "serial expat".

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