People are fond of saying “You have to spend money to make money” but you must be sensitive to things a small business shouldn’t waste money on.
While that’s generally true, unfortunately many owners say this right before they are about to bust the budget on an unwise expense.
When money is tight, or you’re just starting out, it’s especially important to allocate your dollars wisely.
And it is very important to avoid using credit for any items that are not absolutely necessary.
Here are ten things a small business owner shouldn’t waste money on and probably do not need:
There are a lot of fantastic template-based websites available at reasonable prices.
Most new enterprises can get away without hiring an expensive designer.
One I have heard amazing things about is Wix which is great for a “Starter” website.
But consider the extra work to invest in and convert over to a more robust website platform.
We use WordPress because there are thousands of free useful plugins that you cannot get for a Wix website.
GoDaddy offers economical hosting packages with free WordPress themes and templates that can be setup and running within a few hours.
Once your website traffic grows in size you need to consider transitioning to semi-dedicated or dedicated hosting.
Your website is an effective long term investment and will serve you for years and years.
In fact, your website should be your first major investment because
Don’t worry about the process as many premium hosting services will manage the transfer for you FREE.
Don’t forget that Hosting doesn’t have to be expensive either.
TOTS uses 37Solutions.com and we couldn’t be happier with our cost or the service we receive.
Can you wait another day or two for that box of inventory or supplies?
With some planning the answer is YES!!
Save yourself some money and avoid high shipping charges, unless you absolutely must have the items within the next day or so.
Many businesses advertise because they have been told they should . . . mostly from sales people telling stories selling advertising.
There are so many methods to promote your business through Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest that are free.
And you can learn more with our free eBook offers below.
If your sales are growing, customer marketing strategies are working and the pace of business is comfortable for you, don’t go out and buy ads just because you have been told it is “the thing to do.”
Advertising is definitely one of those things a small business shouldn’t waste money on.
Advertising without a plan
Many small businesses advertise in a very haphazard fashion because they DO NOT have a strategy or a goal.
They are told the popular thing to do is print glossy brochures, buy newspaper ads, purchase a radio spot and then wait to see what happens…if anything.
They’re often a waste of money.
Ads work best when you have a clear purpose in mind, and you can track them to see if the desired result is obtained.
You don’t need to sign up for online month to month postage services spending money on meters that you rent by the month.
A cheap digital scale can be purchased for as little as ten dollars and you can easily print postage with no added fees from Paypal as we described in this post.
These are things a small business owner shouldn’t waste money on.
Office supplies that you’ll never use
Not every business needs paper clips, staplers, hole punches and stackable trays.
We only buy one ream of paper at a time and always think twice before we print something.
Today you only need to save receipts for tax purposes.
All other records can be saved digitally in the “Cloud” so avoid filing cabinets to reduce costs.
If you subscribe to Office 365 you get 1TB of Cloud memory free on a service called OneDrive.
They have an App for your handheld device (phone and tablet) that allows you to access your files.
Google gives you 15GB of free Cloud storage on Google Drive with your Gmail account.
Make a list based on your actual needs and don’t be pressured into buying bulk or paying store membership fees if your starting budget is very slim.
Buying or renting space you don’t need
If you can work out of your bedroom or any other place in your home that offers some privacy, do it.
It’s not glamorous but oh the money you will save!
To keep your work environment fresh use other work space resources like Public Libraries and Coffee Shops.
Promotional items that don’t translate into sales
Personalized tote bags are cute, but will they really sell more of your products, and do really want two hundred of them to hand out?
Promos can work, but choose the item(s) very carefully, be mindful of your budget, and have a plan for placement and distribution.
All new stuff
When just starting out, it is tempting to get new clothes or some new furniture or maybe even a new computer.
Don’t do it!
Just be patient and save your cash for now.
Use the stuff you already own and concentrate on developing, marketing and SELLING your great new product or service.
If you do need something, check Craigslist or post a Kijiji request.
You can create amazing graphics for your website, blog or Facebook page without Paint Shop Pro.
We use Canva.com for design on a free plan and Depositphotos.com for stock photography.
Most starter Tax preparation tools are free with upsells for submitting your tax return electronically.
Sumo.com has a special once a year – 100 photos from Depositphotos.com for $50.
The same goes for accounting programs.
Simple, cheap and even free programs, saving you a lot of money, is all you need in the beginning.
I know many owners and bloggers who just use spreadsheets.
Some programs, like FreshBooks, offer a free trial so you can try before you buy.
How have you been saving money?
Are you using a budgeting system?
Are there any mistakes that you’ve learned from?
What things things a small business shouldn’t waste money on on did you find?
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