Saving money is a habit
Just like any good habit, it can be developed with time and discipline. However, even if you are a hard core saver, it can be especially tough when you are building a business from the ground up and you are not making any money off of it or making a profit.
It can seem like you are spending more money because you are not bringing in much money as you used to. I will state for the record that I never earned anything close to a six figure salary, but I can save/budget/track like a MOFO. I consider myself to be a naturally frugal person. According to my mom, I get it from my grandfather who turns out was also an entrepreneur. So I guess like twins, it seemed to have skipped a generation in our family.
If you haven’t read the Start Here section of my site, then you might not have known that Makinthebacon started off as a personal finance blog. Or I considered the blog to be in the personal finance niche even though it was more of a mixture of lifestyle/career/personal finance. I did, however, have several blog posts that related to the F word.
Sometimes people have a fear of it. Or their eyes tend to glaze over it. It’s a topic that needs to be part of your regular conversations. Especially when it comes to your business. If there was an infinite supply of it and we never had to worry about money, we’d all be starting up businesses left, right and center. Am I right?
In addition to having experienced varying levels of income and employment, I think having a somewhat frugal mindset has been my saving grace as I continue to build this business. I never had a fancy lifestyle and lived below my means for the most part, so my lifestyle didn’t change in that sense. Many of the tips I’ve listed below, I had been implementing even way before I had a blog. If you haven’t already done so, perhaps now is the time to look into this.
16 Ways To Save Money When Starting a Small Business
1.Use the free version of software and apps if you can.
2. The library is your friend. Repeat after me. The library is your friend. Look into what your local library can offer you aside from books, CDs, and DVDs.
3. Forgo the fancy stationery for now and just get a basic agenda. I know I’m one to talk though because I splurged on a Kate Spade Agenda last year. Mind you, this was when I was still working full-time. Next year, I’m keeping it simple.
4. Forgo all your fancy things for the most part if you can. Or at least bring it down to a minimum. Just treat yourself on Tuesday or Friday. Not both.
5. Barter with another small business owner. If you’re a website designer, offer your services in exchange for another type of service.
6. Analyze your purchases carefully. It’s so easy to develop “shiny object syndrome” when you run a business because you think every product, service, app and method will help your business. That isn’t always the case.
7. Ask yourself these questions: Do I need this right now? Can I afford it? If it’s a course, will I have time to actually sit down, go through the lessons and learn it? If it’s a product or service, think about how will it help your business.
8. Don’t be afraid to tell friends and family no. It’s your money. They should be understanding. You can spoil them later when your business is booming.
9. All the other normal stuff that people do to try and save money. Minimize eating out. Buy things secondhand. Wait till something needs to actually be replaced. Unsubscribe from the store newsletters to avoid the temptation. Buy generic. Price match, etc, etc.
11. Focus on organic advertising methods first before looking into paid advertising. If used strategically, social media can help create awareness about your product, service or event. If you are curious and want to test the waters, keep your budget small. Ask your friends to help spread the word about your business.
12. Set a budget for services you are looking to outsource. Research to compare rates.
13. Track your business expenses and keep them separate from your personal expenses. Knowing how much money is coming out can really help your spending habits.
14. Instead of doing your work at co-working spaces or coffee shops, try the local library. They have quiet study rooms available to help you focus. Bring your own coffee and snacks.
15. Borrow things from friends and family instead of buying.
16. Get a part-time job if you have to. I currently have two other part-time jobs to help me make some bacon as I build up this business.