Running a one-woman-business – how to simplify and save money
If you’ve taken a leap into the great unknown by starting your own business, you know that there are two sides to the independence coin.
On one hand, there’s the glorious autonomy of working for yourself on projects that suit your talents and passions. On the other hand, in the early days at least, when something needs doing, there’s no-one to delegate it to. That can mean feeling stretched beyond your capacity.
There’s also the brutal reality of money flying out the door with start-up expenses and not all that much trickling in. You might find yourself genuinely worrying when your business will start to make money.
We’ve all heard the old clichés of “you can’t make an omelette without breaking an egg” and its less colourful cousin “you’ve got to spend money to make money.”
So as business owners we think we’re well prepared to break those proverbial eggs in the hopes that our omelettes will soon be fluffy and nourishing. But wouldn’t it be great to get to omeletteville by breaking as few eggs as necessary?
Well, in some ways, you can. Here are some tips for not only stretching your budget but also making time efficiency savings. Which is an extra blessing if you’re the only one doing the work!
Combine services wherever you can
When it comes to business services, always look for opportunities for one-stop shopping. This means there is one less vendor to worry about paying, which makes life simpler when it comes to balancing the books.
Also, quite often you can save money by signing up to more than one service from the same company. (Sometimes you can even save money on services that are free.)
Take email. Everyone knows you can get a free email account from Google, so why would you want to pay for one? Well, for example, a selection of these packages come with six of the most commonly used Microsoft Office applications plus Norton Security, which if you had to pay for those two add-ons separately would cost fair bit more than the e-mail account.
Plus, an email that matches your domain has a more professional air to it than Gmail. If you plan on running any e-mail marketing campaigns as part of your business, you’ll quickly recognise this essential tool as one that’s worth a modest investment.
Know when to outsource
Running a business by yourself can be overwhelming at times. And while it might be tempting to save money by doing everything yourself, building a successful company will be far more likely if you’re thinking on a strategic CEO level, rather than getting bogged down in minor tasks.
So what can you outsource? Ideally it’s tasks that need to be done – but not by you. Tasks you may not be good at or enjoy, or just tasks that someone else could do just as well (or better than) you. This frees you up to focus on the areas of you business you (and only you) can genuinely add value, and bring in money.
Limit supplies early on
While it might be tempting to go for that bulk order of something you need, if realistic sales projections don’t support it, it’s better to pay a higher per-item cost and not have lots of leftover stock that you can’t shift.
Once you start seeing the end of your small batch supply, you can calculate your next order more realistically. But meanwhile you haven’t wasted any money.
Don’t skimp on aesthetics
While saving money and streamlining operations can help you through those shaky early days of running your own business, there’s one area where you shouldn’t be too tight: and that’s aesthetics.
Beautiful packaging is the first impression your customer has of your product. You’re a lot more likely to win customers if you can catch their eye, so definitely throw as much resource you can on attractive design.
If you’ll be sending products by post, it’s even worth considering the packaging that you ship in – it assures the customer that what’s inside was worth purchasing. Packaging is just one element of branding.
To delve further into this important topic, take a look at this post: Three ways branding can help grow your manufacturing business.
How can you save money in your business?
These are just some of the ways you can simplify your business to save money. You’ll find more advice on growing a profitable business in these articles:
- Seven things you MUST do if you want your business to make money
- Eight productivity apps to help you work smarter – infographic
- Three easy ways to test if your business idea will make money
- When will your business make money?
Photo by Anthony Tran