An inevitable part of entrepreneurship is paying for services and supplies for your business. What you don’t know until you get started is how many expenses you’ll have and how much those expenses will cost.
Many business owners look back and wish they had done things differently. Whether it’s choosing cheaper, even free, services or going with the premium option in the first place, here are a few tried-and-true money-saving tips to consider:
1. Have a Business Plan and Stick to Your Budget
This is more than just a general tip, it’s necessary for your company’s success.
When you don’t have a business plan, you have to guess what items or services your business needs, and you could end up spending money on unnecessary goods that don’t contribute to your financial goal.
A solid business plan includes a budget, which details the start-up and recurring costs as well as forecasts revenue. This plan ensures you leave no stone left unturned, taking account of expenses well in advance of investment. Planning for all expenses and regularly reviewing expenditures ensures you don’t make rash decisions that could put your budget, or even your business, in jeopardy.
2. Use Free Tools to Run Your Business
Why pay for services you can get for free?
You’re reading an article on FreeConferenceCall.com—we obviously want you to stop paying for things like video and audio calling, but several collaboration and productivity problems can be solved with other free-based tools and apps.
Looking for an accounting software that can provide everything from tracking expenses to sending out invoices? Wave is a free alternative to options like FreshBooks and QuickBooks.
Want to share files and allow teams to make changes to documents? Google Drive is valuable cloud-based service that allows file sharing and collaborative editing.
3. Avoid Spending Money on Shared Spaces and Meeting Rooms
Video and audio-conferencing platforms make it unbelievably easy to collaborate with teams and organizations without having to operate in a shared space.
When using audio, video and screensharing tools, you can save on rent, employee travel and equipment maintenance costs. FreeConferenceCall.com, and other free conferencing tools, allow you to engage with clients, schedule sales pitches, conduct employee training sessions and host presentations for up to 1,000 participants anywhere in the world.
4. Track Every Transaction
Make sure to keep track of all expenses and income. Expense and income tracking serves two purposes: 1. It allows you to monitor spending alongside income and make changes if you are not reaching your financial goals and 2. It helps you maintain and organize records for tax purposes.
Every business needs a formal system for storing receipts, updating profit and loss statements and managing data. With your transactions organized, you can regularly check for mistakes, compliance issues and ensure you are ready come tax season.
To track your expenses and income, you can use bookkeeping software like QuickBooks or go old-school with Excel sheets.
5. Hire a Financial Professional
The real MVPs of finance are CPAs and chief financial officers (CFO).
Your CPA or CFO can provide everything from budgeting to tax planning. A professional can create a customized tax plan to ensure your business maximizes yearly returns and minimizes taxation while ensuring you don’t have any red flags in your accounting that would open you up to IRS auditing. Waking up to a letter in the mail requesting an audit can be a devastating experience and having a professional on staff can make sure you never have to deal with the time or stress involved in an audit.
6. Consider Outsourcing Instead of Hiring Full-time Employees
When you hire full-time employees, you pay for more than just their salary. Business owners may be responsible for employee health insurance and retirement plans. When you contract workers, you can manage costs based on the number of projects assigned and save a ton in employee-related incentives costs.
However, this tip comes with a flip side. At some point, the cost of outsourcing can surpass the cost of a new hire. Know your costs and when you hit the tipping point first review your current workforce to determine if you can spread out the job duties before hiring.
7. Review Recurring Costs Spending Biannually
If you’ve paid for a service for some time, it’s time to reevaluate.
Don’t continue using a service just because you’re familiar with the system. Often, competition creates better, cheaper versions of the same tools, and you’ll find plenty alternatives to paid programs.
As you take on more employees and require more licensing for products, make the game-changing decision to find a cheaper or even free version to a paid service.
Running a business can be a time-consuming venture, and it can be difficult to find time to ensure your expenses are always in line with your business plan and revenue. Investing some time once or twice a year to ensure you’re using the most effective and affordable tools can ease the time burden, boost productivity and keep your business on track year-round.