If you’ve done your research and made a solid business plan, then hopefully there won’t be too many unexpected expenses or surprisingly high costs when you launch your small business. However, the initial phase of any new business is always expensive, so here are our six suggestions for keeping start-up costs low:
Work the System
Grants, business partnerships, memberships of professional associations or business groups all have the potential to offer you perks and/or a financial boost, whether it’s funding for a particular type of equipment or a great deal with a stationery supplier. Thoroughly investigate what’s available and make full use of any help or discounts offered.
Stay Open-Minded About Your Premises
Don’t be tempted to rent out more space than you need. Keep it simple, particularly if your business won’t have any public visitors. Could you share premises with another company; rent out a mobile unit or a converted container; or even just rent desks in a co-working space? A co-working space may not be your own, but on the plus side, co-working premises can be great places to network and share resources – and if there is only one or two of you in your company, these spaces allow you to socialise a little too.
Hunt down Freebies, Trials and Discounts
From software to magazine subscriptions, there are hundreds of items that you can try before you buy, plus many freebies or discounts available with introductory or regular orders. I once got a laminator free with an order of printer paper!
There are often free trial versions of software, some of which are time-limited, and others that offer an ongoing trial version with limited features or capacity. While these stipulations may be a problem for large companies with multiple users, they may not cause an issue for SMEs. Search the internet for codes and offers that are relevant to your needs.
Consider Hiring Freelancers or Using Agency Services
If you need an extra pair of hands very part-time or as and when required, or need a one-off or occasional task such as some graphic design work, then it’s usually best to hire a freelancer or use an agency. This can save you the time, money and hassle of advertising a position and recruiting for it, plus the complications of payroll and training etc.
Freelancers or virtual assistants won’t usually need you to furnish them with a workshop, computer, desk or private healthcare package, either!
Consider an Apprentice
Another option to consider if you need more help is offering an apprenticeship. An apprentice will work towards a qualification while working in your company, learning not only their trade, but your preferred way of doing things. There are financial incentives for employers taking on apprentices, and you gain an inexpensive employee who could eventually become one of your greatest assets.
Work out Your Hourly Worth
Are you taking on tasks that aren’t your forte – tasks that could be done more quickly, efficiently and ultimately more cheaply by someone else? Are you neglecting those tasks you’re good at, such as producing the products your business sells or drumming up new customers, because you’re spending hours sorting out payroll, pensions and book-keeping?
An accountant will have these tasks done for you in a flash (so check out our wonderful accountancy services for small businesses!) and free up your time to focus on the business. Basic admin tasks, too, may be better off delegated to someone else.
While even the best-prepared new business owner will come across unexpected costs in their first year, hopefully our tips will help you keep your expenses to a minimum while your business becomes established.
Want to learn more?
Subscribe to our newsletter to get accounting tips like this right to your inbox
About The Author
We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!