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.

Bartering

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.

Avoid Getting into Trouble with the Law with These Online Sales Tips

Every 30 seconds, more than $1.2 million of transactions are made online in the United States. It’s fair to say that online shopping has become well and truly mainstream and this presents an excellent opportunity to you entrepreneurs out there.

If you have a good idea, a great product(s) to sell and you take the time to bone up on the best internet marketing techniques, you could set up an amazingly successful startup. However, if you want to stay on the right side of the law, there are a few things you will need to be aware of.

Transactions Should be Simple

If you don’t want to get on the wrong side of the law with your new venture, you need to ensure that your transactions are as simple as possible. When a customer makes an order on your website, you will need to supply their goods within the timeframe stipulated. Of course, there can always be issues with carriers, but for the main part, you should deliver, and you should not be tempted to shave a few days off your delivery times if you want to keep customers happy.

Image Credit: PayAnywhere

Terms and Conditions Should be Included

You should always, preferably with the help of a good business lawyer from a law firm that specializes in this stuff, create comprehensive terms and conditions for your ecommerce site, Your terms and conditions should make it clear to your customers that when they make a purchase, they are agreeing to enter into a contract with you.

You should also lay out details of your shipping, payment and refunds policy, as well as any pertinent liability information for your company. You will need to ensure that these terms comply with the law in your business’ jurisdiction if you want to avoid any issues.

Be Honest

You should never, even for one second, think about ‘bigging up’ your products and services, telling what you consider to be little white lies to make more sales. Some customers might be fooled, but many won’t, and you could find yourself at the center of a fraud suit!

Offer a Cooling Off Period

If your business is based in the UK or Europe, then distance selling regulations stipulate that you must give your customers a 30-day cooling off period in which they can return any goods no questions asked. Obviously, if you aren’t doing business in these markets, this won’t apply, and many other markets are a lot more lenient in this respect, but you still need to find out what, if anything is required of you.

Even if you aren’t legally compelled to offer a cooling off period, it is a good gesture to make, which shows your customers that you are a kind, caring and legitimate company, so it’s worth considering.

Don’t Spam

If you want to stay on the right side of the law, it’s always best not to spam random people with your marketing emails. You should endeavor to only ever contact people who have agreed to be contacted just to be on the safe side. Behaving ethically will also help to boost your brand image.

When it comes to staying on the right side of the law in the ecommerce industry, this post has only scratched the surface, and highly recommend that you do lots of research and seek expert advice before proceeding. Good luck!