Starting a small business is no small task, with many businesses not making it past the first year. Underfunding, poor planning and a lack of tools are some of the reasons behind the high level of failure. You might have enjoyed profits from the holiday rush, but if you didn’t have the system to deliver the goods to your customers, it was probably your last holiday boom. Most entrepreneurs struggle with money management and sticking to a tight budget isn’t always enough. A job can cost more than you had bargained on, and the only money left will have to come out of salaries, which can end up backfiring.
Getting a second job might not be an option; starting a business is a full-time endeavour. We all wish there were an instant cash solution, but unfortunately most quick fixes land you in greater debt than you started with. The internet is rich with easy-on-the-eye investment schemes that can take up much time but offer little return. Needless to say, the internet is a tricky place to seek money – yet online solutions are out there….
So what you need is some sensible options like keeping track of your expenditure with expense management software – here, a great example of a UK-specialised service is ExpenseIn, which provides a niche offering for business owners, business travellers and accounting staff. While you won’t instantly get rich off of these suggestions you might be able to hold on to what you have until things look brighter.
Earn some extra cash from legitimate sources
There are those who flourish from their internet dealings, and what they earn is entirely above board. I speak from first-hand experience as my father runs a small eBay operation, buying and selling vintage saxophones. You may find, for example, that your business – especially during its first year or two, collates surplus hardware, machinery and fixtures that rather than being left to collect dust could be made available online. Here, you could hold regular online garage sales for free on Gumtree, Craigslist or even a local Facebook group. Of course, if you have a genius idea for an associated blog, advertisers might offer you money for sharing their product through ads and links.
Build remote teams
More and more companies are using online collaboration tools to manage projects through a remote platform. A virtual whiteboard allows teams to track progress, see assignments and keep to deadlines. Documents can be edited with annotations while an instant messenger allows for simple, email-free communication. Not only is the work streamlined to meet more stringent deadlines, remote teams can work from home making it possible to cut out the physical office completely and save a lot of money on overheads.
Keep track of expenses and get your money back
Even if you don’t earn more money, you can get some of what you’ve spent back at the end of the year. Once you’ve started a business, find out which things are tax deductible, you might be surprised. When you have lunch with prospective clients for instance, use an expense management tool to capture the receipt. Once your taxes are filed you might have enough to boost your budget for the following year.
Managing your expenses is quick and easy with the right tools at hand. A simple app on your phone can save you thousands of pounds and keep the books balanced. You might even be able to hold off on selling your nan’s fridge on eBay.