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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

It's Official: Money Doesn't Grow on Trees

Whenever I see a young, fresh faced entrepreneur walk into the office with their £1400 laptop, £500 iPad and £500 iPhone I smile on the inside. Starting a business with your own (or someone else's)money is not about going out and spending two thousand pounds on new toys to play with.

This week I am going to be looking at ways to save you money and explain why new shiny toys are not the answer in your formative months as a go getting entrepreneur.

Work as Hard Saving Money as Making It

Just think how hard you work making money. Sometimes you feel as if nobody wants you or your services. Now, on the other side of the coin you are happy to drink iced frappicappichinos at £4.50 a pop whilst using your £40 a month phone to check Facebook and LinkedIn.

All the hard work of getting the contract and completing the project has just been spent on cold coffee and looking at cat videos.

Write down your expenses in a spread sheet, monthly contracts, travel expenses and analyse your outgoings. Can you lower your phone tariff? Is there a weekly bus ticket? Try and see where you can make savings and do this at least every 3 months to keep on top of it.

Shop til you Drop

The internet is a wondrous place. Whether you work from a bedroom in inner city New York or a remote hut in Scotland you all have access to the same online stores.

Hardware, software, promotional material etc. can all be bought online and delivered in a relatively short space of time.

If you are getting ready to kit out your new office or just looking for a new laptop use the power of Google and eBay. You will be amazed at the cost savings. Here are some of the keywords I use when searching for cheaper alternatives:

  • discount software/ hardware
  • reconditioned
  • stock clearance
  • previous model search (e.g. iPhone 2/3/4)
  • eBay item "name"
  • Google store "name"
Even with the cost of delivery I would expect a good 25%-30% saving.

Don't Spend Money, Spend Time

You have skills, knowledge and a business based around these. Can you find companies you need products and services from who would be interested in a trade of services?

It can be something really simple, maybe in return for a frappicappichino you will write a review on Foursquare of their amazing coffee house. To you, it is a 5 or 10 minute review but to the coffee house it is a glowing endorsement of their establishment for a cost of about £2.

Trades are a great way to exchange desirable skills, you want X, they want Y. Try and think of other companies who you have offered services to but turned you down, can you offer a trade instead?

Every penny saved is a penny earned

Keep in mind that money is a resource. If you can reduce your costs and increase your income through trades and revenue your company has a far better chance of becoming a success.