Home Business Costs, How Can You Lower Them?
The daily cost of running a business including a home business can add up quickly. There are the day to day operating costs and then there are always unexpected expenses that can eat away your income. As well as some items that are worth spending more on.
Fortunately there are many great resources you can use to keep operating costs down and still have the tools you need to run your business.
And the best part?
Many of them are completely FREE!
These tools may have limits in how much you can do, but they also have the ability to be expanded for an additional cost as your business grows. And when you are just starting you want to save anywhere you can, am I right?
TOTALLY FREE and very helpful
Tools to Track Your Productivity
Every business owner has a lot to do and needs a way to track their time spent on tasks as well as the current status of each task.
There are a lot of free productivity tracking tools available online to help you keep on schedule and productive.
- Google Calendar – Daily Calendar
- Todoist – Task Manager
- RescueTime – Time tracker
- Evernote – Virtual to do list
- Toggi – Time tracking app
Take a look at each one to see which one works best for you.
I like to use Google Calendar for listing and tracking projects I need to get done and Evernote to keep notes for future posts. They can both be accessed form my computer, tablet or phone so they are always available to me.
Old School Still Works
If you feel more comfortable with “Pen and Paper” go for it, calendars and day planners are easy to find at any office and stationary store or you can print one for free off the internet.
There are lots of advantages to having a written copy of your productivity, you don’t have to have an internet connection to see it, you don’t have to insure your battery is charged. Plus you already have a written record of your time spent on your business for the year, which will come in handy at tax time.
You will need to write documents, create spread sheets and make slide shows for your business. Microsoft Office is a great product, but it can be expensive and hard to justify the cost when you still are not making a lot or any sales.
Not to worry, there is another office software that works great and is absolutely FREE!
- Libre Office – Free Open Source
It works a lot like Microsoft Office, and the documents and spreadsheets you create with Libre Office can be saved in Microsoft Office format, so the will open when you send them to MS Office users. And if you move to MS Office at a later date your documents and spreadsheets won’t need to be recreated.
Email lists are one of your best marketing tools you can have for your online business. Creating an email list gives you a list of people already interested in what you have to offer. There are many sites set up to help you start creating your email list right away and it won’t cost you anything.
For entrepreneurs just getting started MailChimp has a great free plan allowing you to send up to 2,000 emails per month, with an easy to follow tutorial to make any beginner comfortable creating email campaigns in just a few hours. And as your business grows, you can easily move up to the next level of their service for a small fee.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is a great way to get your website in front thousands of potential customers and you can do it 100% free.
Keep your personal and business social media separate!
You may already have accounts on one or all of these sites but you need to create a new page just for your business and post to them every day.
Where do I get that form?
As your business grows you’re going to need forms you didn’t know about until you need them.
And finding them can be difficult and time consuming.
These sites may be able to help when the time comes.
What is too important to skimp on
Some things are just so important to your business that it’s better to buy it right up front, but that doesn’t mean it has to cost a fortune to get what you need. The trick is to identify what falls in this category and what you can afford to spend upfront on it.
There are many low cost applications that can get you started with just what you need in the beginning at a low price, and increase your services as your needs increase. Here are a few services you should consider buying right away.
This is the heart and soul of your business and therefore, it should be considered worth owning instead of starting with one of the free site. Many of those free websites limit the number of pages you can have and many won’t allow you to monetize your site. Also, they can be slow in response, you know how frustrated you get when you have to wait for a webpage to open. You can lose potential customers just because your site is slow.
Here are some Web Hosts that are low cost, good speeds and able to help you setup your website with easy to follow tutorials.
Your Websites Theme
Your theme is the layout of your website, how your site looks to your viewers, and is something t0 consider carefully, don’t settle for a free theme if it does not fit your vision for your site.
You want your site to be visually pleasing to visitors and easy to navigate, if it looks to cluttered or if visitors can’t easily find what they are looking for they will leave and not return.
There are a lot of free themes available but they may not be the right design for your website. Take some time and look at the themes for sale, you will have a better selection and your site will be more what you wanted it to be and you may find the cost was worth it in the end.
All businesses need to keep track of their finances, even home based businesses. And the sooner you start the easier it will be.
I started with a simple spread sheet I created. But as I went along I found it getting VERY time consuming. And because I was new in business I had many partial and confused entries and had to change the layout and what entries I needed constantly. My tax preparer had to ask me a lot of questions to make sure he understood what I had entered and insure he was entering the deductions I had coming.
This is another area where the small cost of purchasing an online tool will be a great asset that will benefit you. The tools listed below offer planning, bookkeeping, accounting and budgeting tools to help you keep track of your business finances.
There I have listed just some of the free and low cost tools you can get online to help you keep your cost of doing business down but there are many more out there. Set a time each week in your time tracker to look online for a free version of a tool you need for your business.
It could save you some money.