There are many unforeseen costs when starting a business, so it’s important to be aware of where you can spend less without sacrificing too much. Prior to joining Cox, I ran a small, family business in Tucson, and I’ve learned what is crucial to invest in, and what things you can spend less on. Here are some tips to help you survive the early, cost-conscious years of your business.
Create partnerships. Developing relationships with other startups is a great, cost-effective way to spread your name. Focus your time on creating alliances with related business that might promote your items for free.
Negotiate with vendors. Take time to find the vendors that are going to give you the best deal. Do not be afraid to negotiate for a better deal.
List positions at local colleges. Recent graduates may not have a ton of experience in the industry, but they are eager to dive in and learn everything they can about your business. Many recent grads will accept entry-level compensation, which can be less costly than hiring someone with a lot of experience.
Mix up your marketing budget. Consider a mix of traditional and new advertising. Look to add social media and email marketing.
Go green. By switching to green appliances, saving paper, and other green methods, you can save hundreds of dollars a month.
Buy in bulk. Buying in bulk is a great way to cut costs. This will save you money on both product and shipping costs.
Hire interns. Many interns will work at your business in exchange for college course credits. As a bonus, interns will often work just as hard as full time employees to gain the experience that they desire.
Cut down on maintenance. Do you have a cleaning company come clean your business every day? Cut this cost by only having them come once a week and have staff members take better care of their own spaces in order to save money.
Scale back employee time.If you find it cost effective, move to a 4-day work week. This will ultimately save on your employee costs and electric bill.
Sublet unused space. Rent out additional rooms in your office that you might not use, or rent out your space at night. This will save you hundreds of dollars a month on rent, which you can ultimately invest back into your business.
Lisa Lovallo is the Southern Arizona market vice president for Cox Communications. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.