by Arleen Atienza
Building a full-fledged business is no easy feat. Smart start-up business owners know that it takes more than just a ground-breaking idea to make their business work. Just as important as a great business idea are organized planning, attention to detail, and dedication. It won’t be smooth sailing the whole time, but these five start-up strategies can help you save time and money not just stay afloat but even thrive in a highly competitive market.
1. Stay on top of your finances
This is a non-negotiable for any start-up. A start-up owner must be hands-on when it comes to handling business finances, from creating your financial plan to monitoring day-to-day cash flow. Use your financial plan as your north star in handling your business’s budget. Make sure to keep detailed records for more in-depth monthly, quarterly, and year-end business reviews. Knowing your financial position can help you identify ways to pull back on spending or reallocate resources when needed.
2. Create a data-driven culture
Making data-driven decisions is important to ensure that you are spending your resources in the right channels. Find the right strategic planning model for your business to help you improve business operations and meet your goals more efficiently. You can try building your own data pipeline or modern data stack to help you collect data from various sources, store it, and transform it into data visualizations or business reports. This way, you can take your pick of the right third-party tool that fits your business needs and budget. The tools are cloud-based, meaning you do not have to spend on infrastructure to store the data. Plus, your data collection and report creation are automated, so you don’t have to spend too much time doing these tasks manually.
3. Aim for continuous improvement and evaluation
Any business owner should expect to experience bumps in the road throughout the course of running their business, especially at the beginning. Not everything will go exactly the way you want it to, and the target always seems to be moving in this ever-changing market. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t aim for improvement any chance you get. Continuous improvement means fewer costly operational issues, optimized marketing campaigns, and better customer service.
As they say, hindsight is always 2020, so it’s important to always do post-campaign evaluations to measure the performance of your marketing or operational efforts. With thorough evaluation, you’ll see which efforts gave you the most returns for the least amount of investment (the ones you can sustain and improve on) and which ones required high spending but low returns (or in other words, those you can probably do away with). It’s essential to explore creative ways to meet business objectives, but you always need to measure results to improve future executions and get even better results moving forward.
4. Consider alternative cost-efficient staffing solutions
While full-time in-office staff may be the traditional choice, you should consider other staffing options. To help you take care of routine tasks that can be done remotely, you can hire a virtual assistant or an independent contractor. They will help you take important but tedious tasks off your plate, giving you more space to focus on business operations and other core tasks. Remote workers also save you money on expenses like laptops or computers, additional workspace, office supplies, employee benefits and more. Additionally, hiring remote workers gives you access to a bigger talent pool of specialists from across the globe.
You can also try partnering with colleges in your community that have internship programs. Internship programs are not only a cost-effective staffing solution but also a good way to give back to the community and provide real-life work experience to graduating students.
5. Adopt sustainable practices
Going green is not only a way for your company to create a positive environmental impact in its own way, but can also help you save money. Invest in energy-efficient appliances like inverter-type air conditioners. Office equipment such as printers with automatic shut-off, sleep mode, and multiple print quality options can help you save money in the long run. For office supplies and other consumables, try buying in bulk from local vendors, especially if they offer discounts for bulk purchases. You can save money on shipping costs and get potential savings as well.
If you’re planning on furnishing your office, don’t be afraid to scour the flea markets or secondhand stores for furniture like office chairs and work desks. You’ll be surprised at the quality of goods that are available in these types of stores if you’re willing to make the effort to find the best deals.
There’s no one secret formula or magic potion for business success. However, making it as a start-up will certainly take effort and flexibility, not just from the owner, but from the team members as well. Building your business can be overwhelming, but when done well, the results can be truly rewarding.
Very rarely will you find success over night so take these five start-up strategies into consideration to help you save time and money. By doing so you will have a better chance of being successful and reaching your ultimate goals. If you ever need assistance in video marketing, don’t hesitate to schedule a complimentary strategy session.