Almost all side gig entrepreneurs face this common problem: limited capital. Hence, frugality over how you manage your funds is one of the keys that will help you succeed in your business, particularly during a tough economy.
Some ways save more money than others, although it’s important to understand that they should not be at the expense of the quality of your product or service. After all, the foundation of any business success lies on its ability to deliver an outstanding customer experience.
Here we talk about creative but still no-nonsense money-saving tips for cash-strapped small business owners and side gig entrepreneurs. The ideas mentioned here can help lower your overhead and cut costs without compromising your ability to reach your target market while maintaining your product’s quality.
Before hiring an expensive ad agency, consider utilizing a tool that helps you spy on your competitor’s ads, ad spend, and targeted keywords. SpyFu helps you do all of that, and it’s cheap. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Simply, review the targets that your competitors are bidding on, see if the bids are in your range. If they’re not in your range, don’t bid on them. There’s competition there pushing up the bid price. Consider focusing on long tailed keywords or alternative keywords with a lower cost per click. Last but not least, check out their ad copy. You don’t have to start from scratch, see which offer you like best and write your own version that’s more compelling than theirs.
And if you have enviable expertise, build a connection with publications and media outlets which rely on credible sources for their stories. Often, these media outlets allow for guest posts. This is not only a cheap form of advertising, but this is an effective method of building backlinks.
Creating partnerships with other businesses is not just a great way to cut cost but also to expand your market reach. For example, a flower shop owner fairs better if he or she creates related alliances with wedding and event planners or party suppliers rather than spending a large chunk of her budget on print or radio advertising.
Outsourcing gives you immediate access to talent and expands your number of available hours that you can inject into your business. Instead of hiring a dedicated employee, you can get an outsourced worker with specific hours dedicated to supporting your business. Check out some of the outsourced providers we’ve worked with.
Other options include hiring a college student, someone who can support your business part-time. However, employees’ salaries typically cut out the biggest chunk of a small business’s budget.
But to reap the full benefits of outsourcing, make sure that you choose independent contractors or outsourcing agency the same way as you would hire your full-time employees or vet a business partner.
Telecommuting allows you to eliminate the cost of office space and its ongoing operating cost. While this arrangement is not possible for all businesses and employees, at least find a way to convert some of your staff to telecommuting to cut down on your overhead and operating cost.
A lot of businesses today can be run remotely without any problem provided that you have an excellent staff (or independent contractor) and with the right apps and software. As an absolute must, standardize your real-time communication tools: Skype, google hangouts, slack, etc. Additionally, make sure you have shared files for easy collaboration and communication. Check out Google Docs, it’s usually free and/or super cheap for the business packages.
Nowadays, software has become an essential part of almost every business. Not only it does automate certain tasks, but the right one can give you a competitive advantage. And thanks to the proliferation of open-source software that perform a myriad of functions, from bookkeeping, invoicing, online marketing, to photo-editing, you don’t even have to spend huge sums of money for these things. A few worth mentioning include Libre Office (alternative to Microsoft Office), Pixlr (alternative to Photoshop), OpenShot (alternative to Premiere Pro).
Certain platforms such as Squarespace and Shopify are ideal for side gig entrepreneurs who have a limited budget and possibly limited technical skills. Take note that a huge number of website builders were developed for people with no or very little technical skills thanks to their drop-and-drag tools and designs.
With the use of an intuitive drop-and-drag website builder, you don’t have to hire a developer just to beef up your online exposure.
What are some of the best money-saving tips you’ve come across?