Even for a seasoned entrepreneur, the path of the self-employed business owner is often perilous. While our salaried friends enjoy paid vacations, job security and even the opportunity to rest on their laurels every once in a while, entrepreneurs know that if they allow themselves to succumb to inertia, they and their businesses will face severe repercussions. The ground is always shaky beneath the feet of most entrepreneurs, and they must live in a constant state of self-reflection and introspection as they navigate the perilous and capricious path of commerce in a world where multinational corporate giants hold sway. While the life of an entrepreneur is never smooth sailing, many agree that the all-important first year of trading is all important.
From Apple to Starbucks, even the multinational giants started out with small and humble roots and nascent entrepreneurs must master the fine balancing act between investing enough in their business to maintain a healthy cash flow to facilitate growth when opportunities come along, while also ensuring that their all-important profit margins aren’t mired by extensive overheads. When you’re new to the world of small business it can be difficult to ascertain where to cut and where to invest, but the following areas are often typically filled with “dead wood” and ripe for judicious cuts without impinging on your business’ operations or reputation…
Choosing the right premises plays a huge part in determining the kind of profit margins you can expect in your early years. Many new entrepreneurs max out their overheads in their early years by committing to a large and prestigious premises which may not benefit their business. While it’s arguable that location is especially important in retail, one mustn’t overlook the extent to which good marketing can draw people to your store. Avoid getting tied into a lengthy lease, as this may prove a rod for your back later down the line. Opt for a modest, short term office space. If all goes as planned, you’ll have ample opportunities to upgrade in the coming years.
Don’t saddle yourself with the costs of expensive servers that need semi regular and costly upgrades. Opt instead for cloud based solutions. These are upgraded automatically at no extra cost to yourself as most cloud based solutions are essentially subscription services. Moreover, you can scale your solutions up or down depending on the changing needs of your business. You can even save a small fortune on business software by using web based apps, open source software and “Freemium” products.
The world of telecommunications is in a constant state of flux and many businesses find that paying for a conventional phone line is an unnecessary cost. In a changing landscape, many businesses opt instead for digital telecommunications solutions like VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phones, or even services like Skype and Google voice to dramatically reduce their telecommunications costs.
Not only are communications solutions like this cheaper, they can also save you a small fortune in travel costs by using teleconferencing or video conferencing, and enabling your team to telecommute from home.