While highly rewarding, small business ownership can be a very costly undertaking.
This is particularly true during a new business’s first year of operations. Any business that’s still in the process of establishing itself and building a steady client base would do well to conserve its resources wherever possible. Although spending money is often necessary for making money, this doesn’t mean that new business owners should engage in reckless spending. Small business proprietors looking for tips on weathering a financially-straining first year should take the following pointers to heart.
Rent Office and Retail Spaces That Are Within Your Budget
Many first-time business owners adopt a “go big or go home” approach to finding the right base of operations. Whether it’s an office or retail space, first-timers often opt for maximum roominess. Furthermore, even if doing so entails placing a tremendous strain on their capital, they tend to seek out spots in pricey areas.
While there’s no question that a large workspace in an expensive area is an indicator of success, giving off the appearance of success isn’t nearly as important as going above and beyond for your customers. Of course, this isn’t to say that one workspace is as good as any other, but when shopping around for the place that will house your small business, it’s important to avoid going overboard. Furthermore, you don’t have to be married to your first workspace, and if you have a particularly profitable first year, moving to a more accommodating location may be perfectly feasible. Fortunately for SoCal-based business owners, finding attractive, affordable office and retail space in the best places to invest in real estate in southern California is anything but difficult.
Identify the Best Marketing Channels for Your Business
Opening a business without a workable marketing plan in place is a decision you’re likely to regret. No matter how much your business has to offer, you’re unlikely to get many customers if most people are unaware of its existence. So, prior to opening your doors, make a point of clearly identifying your business’s target customer base and which marketing channels are most likely to reach them.
For example, if your business is aiming for a younger demographic, putting marketing resources into social media and other digital endeavors may very well produce the desired results. Alternatively, if you’re hoping to reach an older demo, consider purchasing ad spots on local TV and radio outlets, as well as locally-focused print publications.
If you have little – or no – marketing experience, working with a seasoned marketing agency may prove to be a good investment. Knowledgeable marketers will assist you in pinpointing your target audience and identifying the best outlets for your promotional endeavors. In addition, they’ll help you create, implement and tweak marketing strategies that are uniquely suited to your business.
Allow Team Members to Work Remotely
Although many business owners disparaged remote work prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a growing number of employers and members of the workforce have come to recognize its many benefits. So, if allowing team members to work from home is at all feasible, you’d do well to at least consider it.
To start with, embracing remote work can be a great way to promote loyalty to your business. Since it provides employees with a tremendous degree of control over their respective schedules, many team members are likely to stick with your business, even if they’re approached with offers from competitors. Secondly, remote work can effectively reduce your operating costs. The fewer employees present in the office on a daily basis, the fewer resources will be consumed. For example, if you provide team members with food and beverages, you’ll no longer have to worry about such expenses. Few people also means lower utility bills. Lastly, if your team is mostly operating remotely, you’ll be able to rent a modestly-sized office instead of an enormous one, thus reducing monthly rent.
Although making the best possible use of capital is important for all small businesses, it’s particularly crucial for businesses that are just getting their start. While it’s absolutely essential for new businesses to establish themselves in a timely manner, carving out a name for your establishment shouldn’t entail unwise use of financial resources. First-time small business owners looking to conserve capital at every opportunity will be well-served by the advice outlined above.