4 Ways to Save on Common Business Expenses
One of the scariest parts of starting a business is inconsistent income. You don’t know if your long-time client is going to renew your contract or decide to hire someone full-time. You don’t know if editors will accept your print pitches. Freelancing can be very unpredictable.
But aside from building up a roster of long-term clients, you can also look for creative ways to cut your budget. In an industry that’s feast or famine, saving during busy times can help you prepare for the slow days.
Here are four ways you can trim your business expenses when you’re first starting out:
Negotiate your cell phone plan.
If you see ads for cell phone plans that cost more than your existing plan, call your cell phone company and see if they can switch you to the new plan. I just did this for my plan with T-Mobile. I got unlimited data and more than $20 in savings per month. The savings may not be a whole lot, but it’ll add up over the months and years that you’re with a service provider. The new data will be helpful in whenever I’m working outside of my home or shooting pictures or video while on assignment.
Trim your internet bill.
Not only did I recently move to a different cell phone plan, but I also talked my internet company into giving faster internet for less money. Your internet or phone company will not tell you if you’re overpaying. You have to call them and ask yourself. Now, I have great internet service at home, which helps me get things done faster and keep more money in my bank account.
Use free software.
My grandmother would sometimes say to me, “You get what you pay for.” This totally true, but I hate paying for a service and feeling like I wasted my money. Services like invoicing, expense tracking, time tracking, word processing, and email tracking can all be done using free services like Wave, Toggl, and MailTrack. Why pay for Microsoft Word if your editors will be editing your stuff on Google Docs? You can always import your information and upgrade later on. But for when you’re starting out, don’t splurge on fancy software when there are plenty free alternatives. Wave, Toggl, and MailTrack. Why pay for Microsoft Word if your editors will be editing your stuff on Google Docs? (Open Office is also a great alternative). You can always import your information and upgrade later on. But for when you’re starting out, don’t splurge on fancy software when there are plenty free alternatives.
Avoid banking fees.
One thing I do regret is choosing a larger, convenient bank over a smaller, fee-free bank. Sometimes banks charge you monthly maintenance fees if your account falls below a certain balance. Use this NerdWallet guide to find great small business bank accounts in your state. Those fees seems small, but they add up over time. While you’re at it, compare savings interest rates and business credit card interest rates to make sure you’re getting the best deals there, too.
How do you save on business expenses? Leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Yes, I’ll see your email. I promise!)