Money saving tips come in handy for small business owners that want to hold on to more profit. Most successful entrepreneurs and business owners are extremely efficient and goal-driven people. They know how and when to make those smart decisions that will boost their bottom line. But even they know that the pursuit of excellence is an on-going and never-ending one. These people continually hone their work processes to better maximize their efficiency and profit margin. Here are few tips that will help you do the same.
1. Use a search tool to gauge price.
If travel is a regular part of your work life, there are measures you can take to make it all run smoother on your own without having to pay a virtual assistant to handle any travel plans. The new TripIt Navigator helps people get to their destination more easily. Discover what transportation options are at your disposal as well as the cost and travel times involved.
This way, you can figure out what your options are without having to overly research on your own. You can potentially avoid getting hit with overpriced transportation costs or at least get a heads up on pricing to plan in advance. Like many digital maps, you go to the TripIt Navigator section and type in the address of where your trip starts and finishes. Then you can select the “Find Transportation Options” to see what’s currently available. This feature works for both Android 6.0 and iOS 9.0.
2. Save money and play DIY photographer.
If you are in constant need of pictures for your social media profiles, but you haven’t quite mastered the selfie or don’t want to clog up the feed looking too self-centered, it might be time to raise the bar on your photography skills and start using a tripod. While smooshing faces into your phone screen looks fun and more intimate, there are other times when capturing yourself with cool scenery is more appropriate and looks more polished. It can’t hurt to have a mix of shots. The new MeFOTO Air might be a new travel essential for the photo happy traveler or photo enthusiast. It’s a portable, lightweight tripod that comes in vibrant colors and will make any subject want to say “Cheese!”.
3. Gear up your wardrobe for less.
If your work situation permits you to wear casual clothing, it can be a great perk. You can feel comfortable and avoid purchasing an expensive professional wardrobe that might need regular updating. If t-shirts, jeans, yoga pants or even pajamas are a part of your favorite daily work uniform, you will still want to have the ability to dress up when needed.
It might be tempting to trade in fancy work attire for a more casual wardrobe, because it makes for a fresh start and a tidy closet. But Katie Brewer, CFP ® and President at YourRichestLife.com, cautions you not to do this. After deciding to work from home, she believes you shouldn’t completely ditch your fancier duds just because you escaped the 9-5. She suggests keeping nice wardrobe staples handy.
You won’t have to run out and shop last minute if you need to attend a professional event or if you meet a client in person. You can also look polished in a pinch and avoid an unexpected hit to your budget when the time comes. This way, you get more mileage out of what you own without having to buy anything new. She also suggests selling items in good condition that no longer fit to recoup some money.
4. Just say yes to inexpensive Joe.
If you travel for work or frequent coffee shops, think about skipping the fancier places. Unless you’re brand loyal when it comes to coffee, work from places that offer inexpensive or free coffee. Some fast food restaurants have wifi, decent coffee and don’t charge as much. You can cut some of your expenses in half while getting your caffeine fix. If you have IKEA’s loyalty card, you can get free coffee and an artistically designed environment to work in. This makes it cost-effective for those who need to leave the house or change their scenery without having to go to a library.
5. Tighten up money leaks when working from home.
While working from home or for yourself in general has many benefits, there are also some drawbacks too. One big one is failing to follow a schedule. If you don’t stay focused, you can forget to send an invoice or focus your energy on less important tasks that don’t generate revenue. Be strict about your work time and keep interruptions to a minimum.
6. Handle invoices when on-the-go.
In a perfect world, we have every loose end tied up before we head out for a trip or we can just outsource to a bookkeeper. The more I travel, the more I realize I can leave certain aspects of my job during transit. For example, writing an email or to-do list can be done during travel downtime.
Though ideally I like to be in my office when handling invoices, I can still stay organized with my income by invoicing with a mobile device. Of course, you always want to make sure you are accessing wifi on a secure network. No matter if you’re using invoicing software, Paypal or sending payment from your online bank, doing so can be handled simply. Professional writer Bree Brouwer of GeekandProsper.com says payment is made easily by logging into her online bank. She often does this to pay her subcontractor and it only takes a few minutes.
The same is true when on the receiving end of payments. At times, writer Sheri Conaway of SheriConaway.com invoices away from her desk. She always stores a backup copy in Dropbox. She explains that, “I can bring up the program on my laptop and invoice from wherever I happen to be.”
6. Avoid shiny object syndrome.
Focus on long-term goals so you can catch yourself from spending on things you want, but don’t need. To reinvest and increase your income, you might want to skip the enticing free webinar to ramp up your social media. If the limited time offer tends to trigger FOMO and you know nine times out of ten, you hit the buy button right after the webinar, maybe you stay away until it’s a part of your focus. When you get tempted to sign up for the “freebie”, ask yourself, “Does this align with my current goals?” This can help you check yourself.
The Bottom Line
With a little strategic planning, you can run your business in a lean and mean fashion to put your money where your goals are. Use the tips above to do just that. Also, consider putting cash back in your pocket from past purchases using technology that helps you recoup money.