When I was out and about in Scarborough this weekend, I was really excited to see so many small businesses embracing technology to help them run their business.
From the girls at Sparrow Hair & Beauty, a beautiful new salon who were using cloud software to schedule appointments, to the guys at Greensmith and Thackwray, a fabulous independant coffee shop using iZettle to take card payments via an iPad.
Being a tech geek, I love to see this kind of great technology in action.
With the access we have to affordable technology and information in 2016, it has never been more straightforward to build a business on a shoestring budget, whilst keeping on top of your finances. You probably already have a computer and a mobile phone, so you might not need to buy much more equipment (depending on your business), however, here are my top tips for keeping costs down:
Start the business from home
Why take on the cost of an office when the spare room/attic/garden shed will do the job?
Think of the money you’ll save: no premises, no commute, no overpriced sandwiches at lunchtime...!
Embrace social media
Make the most of free or low-cost technology tools to raise your profile and make sales.
Make Some Noise! Use twitter to promote your business and encourage customers to follow you and to tweet.
Facebook and Linkedin are great tools that can both help you build your brand at no additional cost.
You can even consolidate these into one platform such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or Buffer to automate your social media postings.
Beg, borrow and barter
When starting out, access all the free and discounted resources you can, look to friends, family, businesses that you can offset work with, every little helps!
Make the most of offers
One last tip for keeping costs low at the start: don’t forget to look online for the best offers…
These tips and techniques will help your budgeting.
However, in my next column I’ll be giving tips on the best places to look when your business needs funding.