Andy Yates shares 40 golden rules to becoming a business super-scrimping success.
In these troubled times, businesses and entrepreneurs can’t always rely on anybody else’s financial support.
Banks - not worth the paper their money is printed on when it comes to actually lending you any cash.
Customers - difficult to come by in this day and age of austerity, and even more difficult to get them to pay you any time soon.
Investors - nice idea, but only a tiny fraction of businesses who want investment ever get it.
But the good news is, if you play it right, you can cut your costs dramatically. Business super-scrimpers - this is your time.
The adage of "look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves" is old hat. Think "look after the thousands and the hundreds of thousands will look after themselves".
Whatever the size and stage of the business you are involved in, there are plenty of savings on offer to the canny entrepreneur. So here are forty golden rules to save your business a fortune…
1. Let's start at the beginning. Setting up a limited company in the UK is much easier than it used to be – with prices starting at less than £20 at The Formations Company and Companies Made Simple, for example.
2. Hire freelancers for particular projects and jobs. Use outsourcing websites such as Odesk.com, peopleperhour.com and elance.com.
3. Huddlebuy, which I help, offers daily money-saving deals for businesses and has just launched a Gold Card offering guaranteed savings - for a free trial go to http://www.huddlebuy.co.uk/goldcard
4. Network locally to grow your business, making use of services such as meetup.com and findnetworkingevents.com and plan your events using eventbrite.co.uk.
5. Be flexible about home-working - especially when you start out. Hot desking can bring some hot savings.
6. Try and use your own networks (and those of your friends, family and staff) to recruit the right talent, rather than costly recruitment firms.
7. Dell, Misco, ITC Sales and Euro PC are good places to get some cheap office equipment.
8. Use quiet hotels, business spaces, business clubs, customers’ offices or coffee shops to do business on the move.
9. Set up in areas where you can get decent business rate relief (remember, the less space you have, the lower the costs).
10. Don’t be tempted by a posh office postcode - if you need street cred use an mail forwarding service such as www.hold-everything.com.
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