20 Ways To Save Money As A Broke Entrepreneur
1. Take a day job for a couple of months until your startup makes enough to pay the bills. By keep going at a traditional job until your startup really takes off you’ll avoid additional stress and maybe even save money that you can invest in your business. Very few entrepreneurs rely on their business as a main source of income during the first one or two years. Some find it necessary to hold full-time or part-time jobs until their business reaches a safe financial threshold.
2. Find a cheap or free place to work if you need an office. In many cities, there are co-working spaces where you can either pay a monthly fee for a desk and your daily intake of coffee, or you can get a free spot in exchange for small services. Coffee shops are great places to go to when you need to get some work done, especially if they have a high-speed WiFi connection. Depending on where you live, your city might even have a free municipal wireless network available to residents and visitors.
3. Get a cheap place to stay. Most entrepreneurs prefer to live in cities known as powerful startup hubs but ironically, these cities are very costly in terms of rent. While some entrepreneurs who are not afraid to go too far might even choose to live in their car to save money, there are other less extreme alternatives. A great option, for example, is moving into a hostel, where you can still have a good night’s sleep at a very low cost, with some small sacrifices in comfort.
4. Get roommates. Saving on housing costs allows you to put more money into your venture. If you are single or if your partner is supportive of your idea, you can rent your spare rooms.
5. Make the most of the tax deductions. You can deduct a portion of your rent or mortgage interest and even utilities as a business expense. It is also possible to deduct a portion of the maintenance expenses and costs of services such as house cleaning.
6. If you value your comfort and your business requires your presence in the city, you can consider moving to an area where living costs are lower. In some cities, just moving to the next neighborhood can cut your monthly expenses significantly.
7. Choose to live and work remotely. The digital nomad movement has become a true trend among savvy entrepreneurs. Since Internet access is no longer an issue in many parts of the world, many entrepreneurs decide to relocate to cheaper places. It is easier than ever to work remotely.
8. When traveling for conferences or business events, you can save on your travel expenses by arriving a day earlier or extending your trip by a day. Since many people come to the city for the conference, this affects the flight and hotel costs. By avoiding the peak travel times, you will be able to find a cheaper flight and maybe even negotiate a better rate at a hotel.
9. Never pay cash for business expenses. When you buy things related to your business you should charge it to your business card, and include it with your tax documents when sending them to your accountant. By writing off expenses, you can save money on taxes, and instead, use that money to develop your business.
10. Sign up for free rewards programs when possible. Many credit card companies, banks, airline companies, and shops have rewards programs that you can sign up for free of charge. Some programs are great not just for your business expenses, but also for your personal needs. Over time, all the rewards and discounts add up, saving you a good chunk of money in a year or more of frequent use.
11. Barter products or services. A great business tool for centuries, barter has been regularized and taken under the control of the International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA), which matches up companies willing to exchange goods or trade services. Bartering is a great way to keep your business going and save some money when the cash flow is weak.
12. Find employees willing to work for equity or deferred payments rather than a salary. This is a great way to keep costs low in the early stages of your business.
13. Partner with customers during your business launch. You can offer your key customers attractive deals they cannot ignore such as discounted pricing, special delivery, or other creative incentives. In exchange, ask them to pay before you deliver the product or service. If pre-payments are not possible, you can ask them for a long-term commitment to your product or service.
14. Outsourcing your work will save you a big chunk of money. Instead of paying fix costs you can pay a variable cost since you only use the service when you need it. Plus, you can negotiate, which can lead to great rates.
15. Work online from your home if there is no urgent need to establish an office. Depending on your business, both you and your employees can work online from any place where there is a high-speed Internet connection. This can also work as a long-term solution.
16. Whenever possible, borrow instead of renting or rent instead of buying. Whatever resources you need, it is possible to find great value for money if you accept used instead of new. You can score great deals by going to auctions or bankruptcy sales.
17. Use free or inexpensive software available online. You need programs to design your projects, track your expenses, and keep a database of your customers and fortunately, many business software programs offer free trial periods.
18. Promote your business online by researching your market on search engines and find potential clients on the Internet by checking specific groups, forums, or websites. The Internet is also a great way to communicate with your clients and to build a strong brand.
19. Visit a public library to educate yourselves on aspects of your business by gaining free access to massive amount of educational resources. Instead of paying for business books or courses, you can learn by yourself with just a bit of motivation.
20. Find a reliable partner. Having a co-founder contribute with his own skills and money is a great way to make your business take off when you struggle financially. By choosing a partner with a different set of skills than yours, you maximize their contribution and save money in the long run because you won’t have to pay for someone to do the things that yourself and your partner can do.