Brought to you by Compare Fuel Cards:
Ask any successful entrepreneur, and they’ll tell you, without fail, the hardest part of any business is navigating the first year. There is so much at stake when a company is in its infancy and trying to get on its feet that any single bad decision can bring the house of cards tumbling down.
There is no getting away from the fact that to build something solid, you need to have the strongest possible foundations. Here are some of the best tips for saving money in the first year of a new business without having to sacrifice any of the quality of your venture.
1. Don’t Skip the Financial Planning Stage
The first step to any business startup is making sure that you settle on a realistic and full coverage financial plan.
Everybody has big dreams at the start of any venture, but to ensure that you don’t over-stretch yourself in those early stages, you need a financial plan that includes every possible aspect of your day-to-day business operations. Having a strong plan to refer back to can also be of great help when you need to make decisions in a pinch.
2. Make Efforts to Grow Your Network
You won’t be able to do it all on your own as a new business owner, which is why it’s so important to make as many professional connections as you can.
Building a network of business contacts is a crucial part of any entrepreneur’s success, not only for word of mouth reputation but also for those occasions when you might be called upon for a favor, which you can then ask to be returned at a later date. You will have heard the phrase a million times, but it really is all about who you know in the world of business!
3. Make Use of the Best Free Apps and Tools
The internet is a wonderful place for helping entrepreneurs get the best out of their first year by using any number of great free apps and tools that can have a direct positive impact on a project. You’ll often find that you don’t need to hire extra people to complete certain tasks that a simple app algorithm can perform instead.
The trick is identifying which areas of your business could benefit from apps, and then implementing them. In a similar vein, make use of comparison website tools to get the very best deals and lowest prices you can for every business expense. The range of options is very wide: you can pay less for your overhead, such as insurances, as well as save money on operating expenses by using a website to compare fuel cards.
4. Invest in Product Research for Validation
If you have what you think is a good idea for a new product, you need to make sure that your ideas are indeed as good as you think they are through lots of research.
It may cost a considerable sum to perform this research, but doing it properly at the start of the process can help to save you a lot of money further down the line. If you don’t do your homework and eventually realize that your product idea wasn’t as solid as you thought, then that will be even more money down the drain.
5. Keep Your Initial Marketing Budget Low
It’s important to make a splash by promoting any new product or venture, but you need to be careful not to spend too much cash on marketing right out of the gate. Aim for strategic marketing rather than full coverage marketing, because you can be more successful with your business if you market to the correct demographic rather than targeting ‘everyone’.
6. Harness a Good Shipping Strategy
If you’re selling a product that ships worldwide, you need to be absolutely solid in your shipping strategy to avoid disappointment and a negative reputation. With such smooth shipping services available from most businesses these days, new ventures have no room to fail in this area because a customer will very quickly move on to another website to buy.
7. Make Sure You’re Aware of Your Tax Obligations
The best way to save money is to make sure that you’re paying the correct amount of money to start with! The last thing that any new business needs is to be hit hard by taxes at the end of the business year. Make sure to play things by the book and even hire an accountant to go through your records to give you peace of mind that you’re paying the correct amount of taxes.
Many startups fail in their first year but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the chance and go for your dream. Plan well, spend wisely, do strategic marketing, and give yourself the best chance to succeed in your venture.