This week I’ve tackled a variety of topics for women in business and starting a business on a budget to motivating yourself to take the plunge. We all have the power to make the move and start something amazing from nothing, but what about we women who are already in business? Well it can be a struggle sometimes to make ends meet. Personally one of my greatest reasons for deciding to run two businesses from home was the ability to save on overheads such as rent, gas, electric and council rates (see Cost saving tips for small businesses for some good hints and tips). By running a business from home you can easily save anything from £1000 per month upwards so it’s a good idea to consider where possible if this is an option for you. However for some of us working from home isn’t always an option and this can happen to those who either start small but expand to the point where they require more storage room or in the case of start-ups it can occur where there is a need for a large number of employees which simply isn’t conducive to maintaining a good home life. This is where we need to change tactics and see where there is room to reduce our costs.
To give your business the edge it’s important to think beyond the traditional boundaries and consistently look for better, cheaper and more efficient ways to run your business – it’s about bringing simplicity to the world of business and this is something which can not only motivate you to be the best but it’s a philosophy which can make you a leader in your field. We are all the experts of our own experiences so use this knowledge to empower your business to run smoothly and efficiently for less. One great example is where business owners are investing more and more in mobile phone solutions for both themselves and their employees as they aren’t tied down to landline contracts and having a mobile phone means that we can work and communicate with both customers and each other on the go. I remember the first time I set up shop and felt weary about using a mobile phone as the primary method of having customers contact me – Now I don’t regret a thing as the contract gives great bonuses in terms of unlimited minutes, meaning I’m communicating with customers knowing it won’t cost more than my monthly bill states.
In terms of other utilities such as gas and electric it never helps to compare what’s available on the market – aim to use dedicated business sites such as Businessenergy.com and Confused.com as these often give a bigger picture of what’s on offer in relation to the size and in some cases even the management structure of your business. Try to look for services which are unique to businesses as consumer based offers may look attractive, more often than not they won’t meet our needs in terms of perks such as free usage allowances or percentage discounts based on the size of the business, as always what’s on offer varies from company to company but a simple google search can reveal a lot in terms of comparing the best offers around for your business.
Ultimately surviving tough times in this global economy means looking beyond marketing efforts and gaining customers but to how you run your business. Are we throwing money at expensive services which could be got cheaper elsewhere? More often than not there’s something which we are paying too much for and by freeing money from these utilities and other expenditures it’s more than possible to have money for improvement elsewhere.
Laura O'Hanlon is the creator of the blogs Living Minimalist and Sweeter Business, she is the author of The Amazing Nine to Five and blogs daily on topics ranging from health and wellbeing to simple living, finance management and women in business.