It’s a frightening statistic: 90% of startups fail during their first year of business. Some have poor planning while others are a great first business idea that executes at the wrong time. The world of business is fickle, and it comes down particularly hard on newcomers. So, what can you do to lower your chances of being another failed statistic? Instead of listening to the same tired advice over and over, go over these tried and true lessons on ways to save company money. Thanks to content marketer Lisa Michaels for this terrific guest post.
6 ways to save company money:
Understand you can’t be everything to everyone
When your product or service is shiny and new, it’s tempting to cast a wide net to advertise it to everyone. This is rarely the best use of your marketing budget, however.
To stretch every last advertising dollar further, focus on your niche market.
Whose interests does your product align with so well they will snap it up?
By focusing on this target market, you increase the chances of a high return on investment. As your business grows, you can expand your advertising to target a wider audience.
One area where even experienced business owners often overreach when it comes to marketing is online ad campaigns.
Google AdWords offers many tools for targeting your ads to a niche group of customers who will have a high interest in your product.
Hiring a freelance marketer who has experience in setting up ad campaigns can help you create a profitable strategy instead of throwing out ad money that generates little revenue.
New isn’t always necessary
It’s easy to get caught up in the “newness” of it all when you’re starting your first business. Soon you’re looking into a new workspace, new clothes, a new computer, and on and on.
While it feels productive to invest in your image and the image of your company, you probably don’t need to go all out right from the beginning.
Office space is great, but if you can start out working from home, you’ll save on rent.
You probably don’t need the latest and greatest in technology unless you’re working in an advanced technical field. If a need does arise, you can always purchase those items at that time.
You don’t need to go it alone
Too many entrepreneurs think that they need to fly solo. Either they worry someone will steal their idea if they share it, or they simply don’t realize help is available.
Many seasoned professionals have invaluable advice to share based on years of experience. Often all you have to do is ask!
Several opportunities exist for connecting with these business owners. Try out a few of the following to build your professional network:
- Local networking events.
A quick search for business or marketing networking events in your area will help you discover organizations and associations that can connect you with other entrepreneurs. Once you’ve built up a network, consider asking one of your connections to be your mentor.
- Small business administration.
The Small Business Administration offers online resources and local assistance to counsel, mentor, and train small business owners.
Whatever stage you’re at in launching your company, the SBA can connect you with free business counselors.
- Business incubation centers.
If there is one in your city, a business incubation center is an excellent resource for helping your company navigate the growing pains of those first few years. They can provide resources such as affordable office space and advice on your business plan and marketing efforts.
More ways to save company money: Secure and organize data
Another costly mistake for newcomers to the business scene is not securing and backing up important data.
As more and more software moves to the cloud, it has become easy to use cloud storage for operations and data backup.
Based on your type of business, you may want public or private cloud storage. Each has advantages and disadvantages that will help you determine which one is best for you.
Often cost and data security are the two determining factors when choosing the best cloud storage option for a particular business. Some even let you track how shared data and documents are used and access, and you can even limit forwarding them too.
Track everything – Yes, everything!
Once you’re officially up and running, it’s time to monitor how your company is doing. You should track projects, marketing, and overall productivity.
Virtually every bit of data related to sales and marketing can be tracked, and you should track as much as possible. Plenty of options exist for tracking in-store visits and purchases, online ad clicks and spending, and social media performance.
Why is tracking so important?
The more you track, the more you can analyze, get insights about your customers, and improve.
Perhaps that product you thought would be a best seller isn’t doing so hot, yet a product you haven’t paid much attention to is flying off the shelves. Without collecting and analyzing the data, you might never notice and can waste money on items that don’t turn a good profit.
Get the right start for ways to save company money
Starting your first business can feel overwhelming, but it’s also an exciting time.
There are plenty of people and resources out there who can help new entrepreneurs navigate the ins and outs of creating a successful company.
By taking advantage of these opportunities, you can avoid overspending on unnecessary costs. Every penny counts, especially during that crucial first year.
These can help you pinch those pennies for maximum profit.
About today’s writer
Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor and a content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.