How to set up in business on a shoe-string budget?
23rd March 2010
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Statistics reveal that new business start-ups are on the increase, figures rose from 432,300 in 2007 to 436,600 in 2008, with the overall number of businesses in the UK rising to around 2.9 million. 

Setting up in business in today’s economic recession can be a challenge in itself especially as many existing businesses are downsizing to keep afloat.  It is therefore vital that new business start-ups keep a firm hand on the purse strings.  Here are some helpful tips on how to get started and save you money in the process!

Software that doesn’t cost a fortune!
Don’t buy traditional software packages, as you have to pay out a large amount initially in one go, plus training, implementation and maintenance costs will need to be factored in.  You will more likely have to pay to keep this software up-to-date in future too.  Instead, get your software hosted online (cloud computing), that way you pay as little as £15 per month and you won’t have to foot the bill on maintenance, implementation costs and best of all  your software is always the most up to date version for FREE.  You’ll not only save money, you and your team will be able to access the software remotely too via PC, Mac, laptop or mobile.

Don’t hire an admin assistant or secretary
The cost of employing people these days is high and reliability can be an issue.  A much cheaper alternative is to use a virtual PA or assistant on a pay as you go basis.  The virtual industry market is booming in the current economic climate as more and more small businesses are cutting costs and reaping the benefits of low risk outsourcing.  What is great about virtual assistants is that you don’t have to pay sickness, holiday or other benefits.  Over time you build up a great relationship with your virtual PA, none of your customers are any the wiser, they just think you have taken on extra staff.

Don’t hire a receptionist
Many business start-ups make the grave mistake of trying to answer calls themselves only to get frustrated by constant call interruption while they are in meetings or trying to grow their businesses.  Fact is that many rely on their mobile voicemail or an answer phone when they are too busy.  Unfortunately, statistics reveal that 80% of callers will not leave a message resulting in lost revenue.  Don’t be another statistic; use a virtual receptionist to take your calls.  Depending on your business requirements call answering offers flexibility.  You can permanently divert all calls to a virtual call answering provider or just divert as and when you need to.  It is worth the investment as it makes your business look bigger and more professional and as we all know first impressions count.  It is also much cheaper than employing a part-time receptionist and you get more hours covered – having your phones manned during office hours.  If you are a global business then some providers offer 24 hour support too!

Don’t buy office space
Running a business from an office can be a huge overhead for a business start-up.  Fortunately, today’s market can provide better solutions that guarantee to save money.  Take the virtual office for starters – a small business can run their day to day office from home making considerable savings and tax benefits.  When they need to meet clients face-to-face they simply set up meetings or conferences in a virtual office business centre.  It has been a godsend to the small business owners especially when they have needed to impress an important client, first impressions count and they manage to project the right professional image but at a price they can afford and the customers are none the wiser!  Hiring a part-time virtual office will set you back a meagre £29 per day and you can opt for a private office or shared open plan space, it is up to you visit Regus or Basepoint for further details. 

The home office no longer has the stigma it use to as more and more start-ups want to save money in these uncertain times.  You only need to visits sites to see the benefits and the volume of business start-ups setting up from home.  It makes sense to set your budget accordingly, as you grow then your needs will change and that is the time to look at office rentals.  For those start-ups who want the best of both worlds, why not work from home 80% of the time but 20% from a virtual office.

Telecom provider
Look at reducing your phone bills every quarter by installing VoIP technology.  VoIP allows you make your phone calls over the internet at the fraction of the cost of a normal phone call saving you hundreds of pounds on your annual business phone.  It is really easy to set up and run don’t be put off by telecom technology.

Look at more cost effective ways to market your business.
E-marketing is a very powerful and cost effective way to market your business.  It enables you to send out newsletters, mailshots, special offers and loyalty schemes directly to your customers via their email address at no extra cost, you save on postage and/or printing costs too. It also encourages them back to your website to see what other services you offer. The only investment is the time needed to design your promotional e-mail material it is so simple!


About the Author

Claire H

Member since: 8th March 2010

I wanted to create tools that actually help people to grow their businesses,

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