When your business is first starting out, money is tight. You don’t have a lot to spend, so you have to be frugal so you have money in the bank for day-to-day operations. Sure, you have to “spend money to make money”, but that doesn’t mean you should spend more than you have.
Besides being a necessity when you’re first starting out, being frugal in your business can help foster an environment of creativity and innovation. You and your employees will have to find ways to get things done without spending a lot of money (or maybe without spending any money at all). By fostering that in the beginning, you’ll set your business up to still be innovative down the road.
If you’re not sure how to be frugal in your business (because everything seems to cost so much!), check out these five tips.
1. Set the Example
Once you decide to run your business frugally, tell your employees. Explain that if they need to go on a business trip or buy supplies, they should look for discounts and deals to do it as cheaply as possible. You can even encourage them to turn their computers off at the end of the day to save on your electric bill.
That means, of course, that you have to set the example and be frugal, too. When you’re traveling, look for reasonably priced hotels. Choose office furniture that costs about the same as your employees’ (although, it will be tempting to buy your dream furniture). Take that extra minute at the end of the day to turn off your computer.
Ask your employees for money saving ideas. It will show that you’re committed to being thrifty and will get your employees onboard because they’re helping you make decisions.
2. Furnish Your Office Cheaply
If you have to buy office furniture, you might think that you have to spend a lot of money. But, you can furnish your office for cheaper than you think.
First, determine how much you can spend and how much you want to spend. After you’ve figured that out, create a budget and stick to it. It’s way too easy to get carried away with office furniture.
Once you have your budget, start shopping. To stick to your budget, you and your staff probably won’t get all brand-new furniture, and you might not even get furniture that matches. That’s okay.
Go to yard sales (either physically or online) and try to find office furniture for sale that’s in good shape. If there are any companies near year that are closing shop or replacing their office furniture, ask them if you can buy their old furniture from them. You can also get your staff involved by asking them to be on the lookout for good deals.
If you can’t find used office furniture for cheap, you can buy new furniture for pretty cheap by shopping at IKEA or through Amazon Basics.
3. DIY Marketing
If you can’t afford to hire an outside marketing firm right now, don’t sweat it. You can do the marketing in-house for a lot cheaper.
For example, if you have a software subscription that you don’t use, cancel it and save yourself some money every month.
5. Go Paperless
Instead of printing everything on paper and filing it away, save it in the cloud. Everyone will have access to it, but you won’t have to buy as much paper or ink. It can also save you and your staff a lot of time so you can focus on other things.