During the early days of a new business, funds are tight and the pressure to succeed is high. Cutting costs without compromising on quality is the holy grail of any start-up business – and this, as we all know, is very much easier said than done! Part of the solution is sheer hard work, but there are tips and techniques out there that can make a difference.
Here are five money-saving tips to help your new business:
1. Work from Home
One of the big advantages of starting up an e-commerce business rather than a brick and mortar store is the money saved on property rental and utilities. Where possible, try and run the business entirely from home to avoid additional rental costs. Be sure to invest where it counts; in top-notch internet connection and ergonomic chairs; you’re likely to spend a lot of your time sitting behind a computer screen.
2. Use Skilled Freelance Labour
A start up requires a lot of different skills to shape the business, its ethics and principles. Web presence in particular is vital to its success, but a website that’s both intuitive and attractive presents its own set of challenges. You’ll need to employ a range of skillsets, from web design, coding, copywriting and photography to web management, customer service and stock control.
While you and any partners may be able to cover some of these, other skills may require dedicated specialists. Skilled freelancers are the way to go, and that’s where People Per Hour comes in. It’s a database of skilled freelancers in a range of disciplines offering their professional abilities at affordable rates. This makes it ideal for one-off jobs –take a look at the website.
3. Take on an Apprentice
If you need an extra pair of full-time hands and can dedicate some time to training, an apprentice may be the most affordable option available to you. Apprenticeship schemes have enjoyed something of a renaissance in recent years with the government dedicating significant effort to encouraging companies to take on apprentices.
Companies taking on an apprentice may be entitled to a £1,500 grant which could cover the wages of a 16-18 year old, earning the minimum wage of £2.68, for 15 weeks.
4. Cut Delivery Costs
As a shop existing entirely in an online portal, it is likely that amongst your highest overheads will be delivery charges. Intelligent use of courier and delivery services can help you cut your delivery costs, increasing your profit margins and/or passing these savings on to your customers. With different couriers offering a range of prices for services, it can be beneficial to utilise the service of a number of different companies.
Rapid Parcel is a courier comparison tool which allows you to determine the best courier prices for all of your services quickly and efficiently. Check it out here.
5. Concentrate on Customer Retention
On average, the cost of attracting a new customer is 500-800% higher than the cost of retaining existing customers. This makes it incredibly cost effective to concentrate on keeping existing customers satisfied and coming back for more. Concentrate your efforts on excellent levels of customer service, staying in contact and making yourself available for any queries customers may have and rewarding loyalty.
Have you got any more money-saving tips for start-up businesses? Share your thoughts below.