It’s no secret that starting a business can be expensive. It’s all too easy to get excited by, “Wow, I’m actually doing this! I’m about to become an entrepreneur!” In turn, that excitement can be blinding and we get distracted by all of the new shiny things, like office desks, technology and software, planners, binders, pens, etc.
You can feel as if in order to become a “successful” entrepreneur, you need to invest in all of the fancy things so you can keep up with the top dogs. However, that’s simply not true. We know it’s easier said than done, especially when you don’t have a retroactive view of this moment in your life. So, we’re going to give you 3 ways you can start saving money in your business now, so that you don’t have to look back down the line and think, “What the heck was I thinking?”
Buy Refurbished Equipment
We know you’d absolutely love to have a home office, but before you spend thousands on a brand new desk, why not look at your local buy-and-sell groups, consignment shops, or Facebook Marketplace first? If you don’t have a computer at home or the one you do have is ancient and just won’t make the cut, you can buy a refurbished one for much cheaper that will likely work just as good until you can afford to invest in what you really want.
Look for Free or Low-Cost Software
Maybe instead of investing in Quickbooks right away, you keep it old school by using a spreadsheet for right now? Perhaps instead of purchasing a monthly subscription for a CRM or project management tool, you start off by using a free option like Trello or ClickUp. Instead of investing in a Microsoft subscription, use Google’s applications. There’s likely a lower-cost alternative for every software you’d need.
Market for Free
Facebook Ads can get expensive, and a subscription for WeddingWire is likely not in your budget right now. Start off your marketing strategy for free on social media and Google. Pick one or two social media platforms to start off with– typically Instagram and Facebook, and then grab a free Google My Business profile. What this allows is if someone searches for your kind of business and they’re in your area, you’ll pop up in the side box.
You can also start an email list and create a free opt-in. There are very low-cost email marketing providers. For example, MailChimp will allow you to have up to 2,000 subscribers on their free plan, and with Flodesk, you can have an unlimited number of subscribers with all of the same features for only $19 per month. An email list is a great option because you’re able to communicate directly with an audience you know is interested in hearing from you. We have more ways you can market your wedding business on a budget in this blog post.
Above all, have a plan or strategy on how you’re going to best invest your limited money (and time).
Otherwise, we make emotional decisions in the moment and spend money we really shouldn’t. Besides saving us money, it also saves us time– which in many ways is just as important– because we aren’t looking at buying things we know aren’t ‘on our list’.
The beginning stages of starting a business can be so riveting; however, try not to let the excitement make it harder on yourself to see a positive ROI. Start with the above free or inexpensive alternatives first, and then reward yourself with all of the fancy things once you’re able. If anything, it will incentivize you to work even harder to hit your goals so you can finally purchase that dual monitor desktop you’ve been dreaming about.