Running your own business can be really rewarding. However, if you’re not careful, it can also start to get really expensive. Vicki O’Dell gives us a round up of her best tips for saving money while maintaining your businesses integrity! See if you can use any of these money saving tips to help give your handmade business a little boost.
1. Pair up with a non-competitive business. Do you do graphic design, create brochures or offer other desktop publishing services? Maybe you can pair up with a print shop to share advertising costs in a local ad or a mail campaign.
2. Share childcare with another WAHM. Every work at home mom needs an hour or two each week to really push through a project without interruption. Swapping some childcare with another mom can give you the time you need without paying for the childcare.
3. Barter some of your goods and services for goods and services you may need. If you need a gift basket for a gift or promotion you may be able to approach someone who creates baskets as their business and trade product from your inventory for the gift basket you need. Or find some other home based business that offers services you need and propose a trade. They may just say, “YES”.
4. Don’t forget to ask for referrals. If you’ve just finished a job and the customer seems happy be sure to ask for referrals. Better than any advertising or mass mail campaign personal referrals are a great money saving way to get more work. Depending on your business you may also be able to offer a small discount for referrals.
5. Do your market research. Be sure to do your research prior to launching a new project. Who are your customers? Do they need what you are selling? How much are the willing to pay? Doing research before sinking money into supplies and tools for a new line of product can save hundreds or thousands of dollars.
6. Do your research before buying office equipment. Look for the lowest prices on furnishing and tools. Find a company that offers a low price guarantee (if you find the same item cheaper elsewhere they will match/refund the difference). Do your research online for electronics. My favorite site to visit prior to purchasing an electronic device is cnet.com. You will find reviews for all sorts of equipment there. Also check amazon.com for customer reviews. The more knowledge you have about a product prior to purchase the happier you will be.
7. Buy used equipment for new ventures. If you are thinking you’d like to sell screen printed T-shirts check around for used tools and equipment to start you out. This way you get a feel for whether the new venture will really work without investing in brand new machines and tools. Then if the whole thing doesn’t work for you for one reason or another you can re-sell the item you just purchased for close to the same price you paid.
8. Print your own. If you have a brochure or letterhead that needs to be printed but you don’t need very many it may be cheaper to print your own. If you print small batches regularly it may be cheaper even if you need to spend a little money to buy a printer. Double sided printed materials at office supply stores can cost 50 cents a page. Than may not sound like much for your first 10 or 20 pieces but if you will need hundreds of pieces over time it can really add up.
9. Send postcards rather than brochures or letters. Postcards can be printed from your home office and are cheaper on postage than an envelope. The added bonus here is that postcards take no effort on the part of the recipient to read so your mailing will be more likely to be seen.
10. Plan ahead. There is nothing like waiting until the last minute and having to ship out an item overnight or express to wake you up to how much those services can cost. Plan ahead and pay your bills on time. Late fees can quickly eat at your profits. When traveling for business book ahead for the best rates. Planning ahead can not only save you money but a lot of frazzled nerves that come with trying to get important things done at the last minute.
What tips do you have to share that might help your fellow business owners save money?
By: Vicki O’Dell, The Creative Goddess
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