Starting a business is fun, exciting, potentially profitable – and expensive. Much of the anxiety endured by entrepreneurs has to do with money. It is a lack of capital, after all, that is the cause of so many startup failures. Here is a look at how business owners can spend less in the beginning.
Get a Call-Forwarding System
Modern VoIP call-forwarding systems come with virtual phone numbers. Virtual phone numbers are numbers that aren’t associated with a physical phone line but instead are linked to a routing service. Business owners can choose local or toll-free numbers, without having to establish call centers or even phone lines. A customer calls a number they see in an ad, and the call is routed to any line, including an office, home phone or mobile number for one flat fee.
Start a Virtual Office
As discussed in “Thought Leader Series: 3 Ways New Businesses Can Save Money on Startup Costs,” businesses can scrap the fees associated with running retail location. It won’t be free, but entrepreneurs can save real money by establishing a virtual office. With proper web hosting, a strong shipping service and, of course, a dominant call-forwarding system, businesses can give their customers a digital shopping experience that has all the benefits of retail without any of the hassles of shopping in a store.
Farm out tasks to independent contractors whenever you can. If you’re a sole proprietor, that means everything you can’t do yourself. For traditional small-business owners, that means establishing a nucleus of critical employees and then hiring freelancers for everything else. Recurring tasks, such as accounting and bookkeeping, are suitable candidates for saving money by reducing personnel.
From marketing to customer service, text messaging is a powerful, intimate, personal and cost-effective medium. As marketers have long known, SMS can be used to update clients and inform them about deals, sales, and offers – but it has much more potential than just a marketing tool. Save money on supply-chain management and logistics by getting shipping updates to customers and partners via text. Use SMS to give customers a direct – and inexpensive – way to contact you with any questions, comments and concerns.
Virtually all of your customers text – save money by letting them use SMS for customer service.
The first days are the most difficult for businesses that are on a budget. A lack of capital sinks many otherwise healthy startups. Save money without sacrificing service by contracting jobs out to freelancers, using SMS messaging wherever you can, by replacing retail outlets with virtual offices and getting the most out of your phone system with VoIP call forwarding.