Save Money in the First Year of Business Without Breaking the Piggy Bank

So, you’ve found your dream business and you’re ready to get started. You have all the skills you need to get going and your prospects for the future look bright. There’s only one thing standing in your way — money. The first year of business is renowned for being financially tough and many first-time business owners won’t take home much of a wage until the business is established. However, there are few ways you can save money during your first year if you’re on a tight budget. Here’s how you can do it.


As a new business, there will be plenty of things you need. You’ll need to make connections with suppliers, whether they’re supplying your products at cost price or just filling up your cabinets with stationery.

There will be a few businesses that are willing to barter if you have something you can offer in return. That way, you won’t be spending your profits on supplies, so you’ll have a much bigger budget for advertising and marketing. Here are another 4 simple business methods to make your life easier.

Hiring Staff

In the first year of business, the last thing you need is to be paying out wages that are unnecessary. So, if you can do the job yourself instead of hiring someone else to do it, you’ll save yourself a lot of money. If you find you can’t do without the staff, consider advertising volunteer or apprentice positions.

That way, you keep your costs down and your staff gain valuable experience in the industry and what it takes to build a business from scratch. If you need to hire staff with specific skills, like graphic designers or content writers for your website, consider outsourcing the work instead of hiring a permanent member of staff.

That way, you’re only paying for services when you really need them.

Buy in Bulk

When you initially start a business, there will be lots of things you’ll need to use constantly, like paper and printer ink. The last thing you want to find is that you’ve run out of these vital items while you’re trying to work. You can often save money by buying these items in bulk from warehouses and storing them away until they’re needed. In the long run, in makes more financial sense than buying items as and when you run out.

Work Online

You don’t need a fancy office to start a business these days. In fact, most of the time all you need is a laptop and an internet connection. You can save a lot of money by opening an online business and there are often few start-up costs.

For example, becoming a freelance writer doesn’t require much financial input; just a lot of time and patience. By setting up a business online, you can work anywhere you want — from home, the local coffee shop, in a hotel room. Many WiFi connections are free, and you can often claim tax back on your home internet connection.

However you choose to save during your first year, you can be sure it will help your business to flourish.

How Do You Price Design Jobs for Non-profit Companies?

ImageI regularly share my design experience and advice with fellow freelancers and readers. Sometimes a specific question ends up being the inspiration for a future blog. This time around, the question was centered on pricing work for non-profits.

As a graphic designer, I’ve done my share of work for several non-profits and each time it’s a different experience.

There have been moments when I’ve worked for free, because I like the cause they were supporting. However, in the instance that I’ve charged for my work (and this might be relevant to you), it’s always important that you state the terms that you think are fair.

Now by that I mean it can involve just a monetary return or both a monetary return and bartering of something else such as media or press coverage. You also have to examine each non-profit as these days some have adopted the model of being a non-profit for profit in order to sustain itself instead of constantly asking for donations. In this instant they are often in a position to compensate you via a budget for let’s say marketing and promotion.

You have to decide what each project opportunity will do for your portfolio and for your reputation; and ask yourself “just how many additional projects could I get from this one opportunity?”. Avoid giving “discounts”, but state that there are charges you’re willing to do away with. You still need to keep the true value of the work you do and ideas are priceless.

At the end of the day, sometimes you have to give to get.

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