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Cutting costs in your first year of business

Cutting costs in your first year of business

So you’ve finally taken the leap into the unknown and decided to start your own business… congratulations!

Setting up by yourself takes a lot of work. Your to-do list is a mile long and it can be hard to know where your priorities should lie.

With so much to plan and buy, you need to be super-organised and vigilant with your finances – especially in the first few months. Stay focussed on the things that are essential and don’t get bogged down by trivial decisions.

Take a look at this list of five things to avoid wasting money on in your first year.

1. Office politics

Tempting as it may be, you don’t need an office in central London within walking distance of Selfridges and Regents Park. Like everything in London, office space is overpriced and oversubscribed.

Save your business precious pounds by setting up a home office. Maybe in time you’ll move into your own space, but in the meantime enjoy making those all-important calls in your PJs!

Don’t have the room to set up at home? Free some space by renting a self-storage unit at Shurgard. Either move bulky furniture out to create space for your new office, or use your unit to store paperwork and stock.

With 26 accessible locations across London and the Thames Valley, you can easily pop by and pick up anything as and when you need it.

2. Get by with a little help from your friends

Know someone with spare office space? Have a friend who’s a website wiz? Keep your overhead down by calling in favours from your friends, they’re probably eager to help.

Take advantage of their skills for social media, marketing, web design or anything else you may need. If they aren’t able to help, don’t be afraid to use your networking skills to see if they know anyone who can.

3. Only the best will do

‘But it’s for my business’, you say, ‘my employees deserve the best’. Maybe they do, but can you really afford to purchase brand new MacBooks for the whole team? Probably not.

Invest in technology that’s business essential now, like cashflow tracking, email servers and secure file sharing. Look at cheaper ways to equip the team; older models or re-furbished laptops are often a fraction of the costs and will work fine until you are a little more financially secure.

4. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate

Nothing in life has a fixed price. Save your start-up plenty of pounds by consistently negotiating with suppliers on products or services.

You’ll find they are willing to give you products and services at subsidised rates, especially if they think you could be a loyal customer in the future.

5. Lavish lunches

Enjoying Mad Men-esque lunches in swish restaurants with free flowing fizz and oysters? Unfortunately, unless you’ve somehow morphed into Don Draper you’re dreaming and need a serious reality check.

It’s scary how much the odd tenner spent on lunch amounts to over a year. Set yourself a daily limit and settle for the humble meal-deal sarnie or packed lunch. Your wallet and humility will thank you down the road.

Have any start-up tips from your first year? Have a business idea you’re itching to put in motion? Share with us in the comments below.

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