When starting a new business you need to keep a tight grip on your costs. Until you are making a decent profit each month it’s a good idea to spend as little as possible. Here are four ways to help get your business up and running for free:
1. Don’t go out and buy a new computer.
When you start a new business it’s tempting to think you need to invest in a new computer and other hardware. This isn’t true. In fact, spending a lot of money on non-essential equipment before you start is a surefire way to put yourself on the back foot financially.
Instead of splashing the cash on a new PC use your existing computer and other equipment for a long as you can. One idea is to set yourself a profit target to work towards before buying yourself any new equipment. This can act as an additional incentive in the early stages of your business.
2. Use free cloud-based software.
This is similar to number one, there is no need to spend lots of money on new software when you’re first starting out. You can usually find a decent free option online. For example, Open Office or Google Docs will provide you with free alternatives to Microsoft office. There are also free image manipulation programs you could use instead of Photoshop, for example.
The may come a time when you need the extra features of paid softwar,e but the chances are you can make do with openly available options instead when starting out. You should only upgrade when the cost of not having the expensive software is less than the cost to you in wasted time when using the free option.
3. Design your own website.
When first starting out you don’t need an immaculately designed, all singing, all dancing website. Don’t spend a lot of time and money trying to create your perfect website before you’ve got a base of paying customers.
There are many free website builders available, although a good option is to use a self-hosted WordPress blog. There are plenty of clean and simple free themes for you to use which are more than good enough to get you started. There are plenty of online tutorials which will teach you how to do this or just ask around your friends as somebody is sure to know what to do.
When your business is up and running you can always pay to upgrade your website later. One advantage of waiting to do this is that you have a better idea of what to put on your website as you’ll better understand your customers and what they are looking for.
4. Get a no cost virtual phone number.
It’s a good idea to get a dedicated phone number for your business rather than using your personal number. A good option is to get a free virtual phone number and simply divert calls onto your regular landline.
Most numbers cost nothing to reserve and are either free or low-cost to operate. Some number ranges will even pay you revenue when people call you up! A good example of this is an 0844 number in the UK.
One of the advantages of using a cloud hosted virtual phone number is that you can also connect it to various services. For example, you can connect it to an answerphone service, the fax to email service, a group divert service, or a virtual switchboard which can then be used to build out complete phone system. It’s up to you.
As you can see, you don’t have to pay out lots of money to start a new business. In fact, it’s a good idea to keep costs low until you have the cash flow to pay for these things out right. By spending a little time searching for free and low-cost options you can to get yourself up and running with minimal cost.
About the author:
Matthew Guise is an online marketing expert for Callagenix Ltd, a hosted telephony services provider based in the UK.