You've finally made the decision to live your dream and open your own business. Now that you've secured a location and are formulating a business plan, you'll decide what you'll buy for the new office. If you're dreaming about expensive, shiny things for your start-up, that could be a huge mistake. When you're just getting established, you might be tempted to go all-out, but staying small in the beginning is smart. Here are several creative ways to save money until your venture takes off.
Buy Second-Hand Office Furniture
There's nothing wrong with fantasizing about sleek and modern corporate furnishings, but try to wait on those things until you can really afford them. Saving money now by picking up used office furniture will save you thousands of dollars. This is the time to get really resourceful with decor choices. Pick up used equipment at bargain warehouses and even garage sales. Check local listings for desks, chairs and shelving units. You may be completely surprised at the beautiful items you could find. You may even have extra pieces at home you can use until you're able to splurge.
Utilize Smaller Heating Units
Your utility bill can be a huge concern, especially during the winter months. To supplement your furnace, try using an attractive propane heater to warm hard-to-reach areas that might not get a lot of heat. Not running your furnace full blast will help you to keep your bill lower. It's also a good idea to have spare heating units on hand in case of a power loss since you don't need electricity to use them. That can save you from worrying about frozen pipes or other disasters.
Find Discount Paper Goods
Never feel like you have to pay exorbitant prices for simple paper goods. Use discount stores to buy products like copy paper, toilet tissue and paper towels, and only buy what you need. If you have a break room, consider using dish towels and rags for clean-ups. Stock your kitchen with a few inexpensive glass plates and silverware instead of buying paper, plastic and styrofoam. It's better for the environment and you won't have to continue purchasing them.
Suds-Up for Less
You can save a lot of money by purchasing off-brand hand soap, dish washing detergent and cleaning products. Never buy these items from an office supply store where they're likely to be double the price or more. Look to dollar stores or warehouses for glass cleaner, anti-bacterial gel, toilet cleaner and dusting polish. Buying in bulk can save you even more.
Take Advantage of Freebies
When every penny counts, be sure to take advantage of as many freebies as you can. Look for free antivirus programs for your computer, and introductory rates to such things as magazines or phone service. Many computer programs offer trial subscriptions, giving you the first few months for free. This can really give you a chance to get cash flow coming through the door before paying full price.
Use a Standard Coffee Maker
When considering a coffee maker for your staff, stick with a basic set-up to start out with. Coffeemakers that take pods or capsules can really get expensive, and they create a lot of waste. Try using a double set-up where you can have regular and decaf coffee so everyone gets a choice.
Employ Social Media for Advertising
When you're ready to advertise your services, rely heavily on social media outlets. You can reach more people than you can imagine by posting on Facebook and Instagram. Plus, a picture speaks a thousand words. Show them who you are. There will probably never be a time when you won't use social media and, best of all, it doesn't have to cost you a dime.
Roll Up Your Sleeves
When you're forming your business plan, are you budgeting for tasks you could handle for yourself? If you're setting aside money for lawn maintenance, snow removal or office cleaning, those may be jobs you can do yourself in your first year or more. Many times, new business owners start out by taking on a few extra jobs to save money and find they actually prefer doing the work themselves instead of paying for it.
Healthy Spending Habits
When starting your brand new business, it's important to save everywhere you can. From furniture and office products right down to taking on extra chores, there are many ways you can cut costs. This will also help you develop healthy spending habits and can ultimately be a saving grace until your bottom line increases.