If you’re looking at setting up a new business, the statistics for success are never great motivation. According to the Small Business Association, 30% of startups fail within their first two years, while 50% fail within five. After a decade, around two-thirds of all new companies will have closed their doors for good. Furthermore, the second most common reason for failure is lack of cash.
Managing expenses properly plays a pivotal role in the well-being of any company, but budgeting during the early days of your business’s existence forms the cornerstone of a healthy game plan for long term success. With this in mind, we’ve decided to highlight three easy ways of squeezing every penny, to ensure that your shoestring budget-run business has every chance of being a roaring success for many years to come.
1. Don’t be afraid to go bargain hunting
You may have a specific dream about how your new working environment or shop-fronts could look, with fine furniture, technology and mod-cons in place. However, it’s important to spend within your means to ensure that you stick within a budget.
Don’t be afraid to bargain hunt when furnishing your spaces. Purchasing second-hand supplies can save your business fortunes when creating your workplace. It’s also important to consider the drawbacks of buying non-critical assets. While building an aesthetically pleasing environment may carry great benefits for productivity and attracting customers, it can also run your business into the ground before it has a chance to blossom.
There are plenty of great online marketplaces that offer deals for buying second-hand office supplies. Taking the time to explore used essentials will certainly help your budget moving forward. It could also be worth your while upcycling any customer-facing parts of your company. Upcycling can be a time-consuming approach to decorating your shopfront. However, it can also build plenty of character, and add an unforgettable atmosphere that can’t be replaced by paying more for generic aesthetics.
2. Embrace social media
Exposure is pivotal in helping your website take off, and when it comes to startups, there’s nothing better than free promotion. As social media is so accessible and diverse, it makes for a perfect tool to leverage in reaching your target audience. Websites like Facebook and Twitter are excellent platforms for building your business’s presence both online and locally, while also enabling you to interact with customers.
Twitter, in particular, is great for building brand awareness because of the ease in which accounts can interact with each other on the network. You could make your posts topic-based and utilise hash-tagging for ease of reference. However, if you’re aiming to appeal to younger audiences, or have a business that produces visually appealing food or items, then Instagram makes for a more strategic proposition.
The number of social networks you build a presence on is entirely up to you, and is only limited by the amount of time you can commit to each platform. But given its low-cost power of connecting people, social media is something that every small-budget startup should be looking to exploit.
3. Seek out low cost payment processors
An excellent way of making sure you squeeze every penny out of your new business is to invest some time in looking at different payment processors for handling customer transactions.
To give perspective, a business earning $100,000 a month could be losing anywhere between $3,000 and $7,000 on processing fees, let alone fixed monthly fees some processors charge. Merchant Savvy did a comparison which found that a business could save up to 40% in processing fees by choosing the most appropriate provider.
If your business has a shopfront, you’ll need to embrace the age of contactless payments as a means of ensuring that your customers can make purchases in whatever way they see fit.
The best way of ensuring that your business utilises payment processors in the most efficient way possible is to keep an eye on the fees that come with available card machines. Fees can vary based on the type of card reader you invest in, and can come in the form of transaction fees and rental costs. When it comes to card reader transactions, you can expect to see swings of between one and two percent, so it’s worth shopping around.
Use these tips to squeeze every dollar you can out of your business. Even if you’re an established business, budgeting appropriately and using free advertising are essential to long term success.