Back in 2017, when I left my full time corporate job and started my own business, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I wish someone would have talked to me about the importance of having free tools & paid tools to run my business.
Smart business owners understand to make a profit they need to keep operating cost low.
However, don’t be fooled, like I was, into thinking you should try to run your business completely cost-free.
It’s nearly impossible to operate a business “cost-free”, even with all the free tools available.
Not only that, but using only free tools may also make you appear less creditable to your clients.
Think about this, when you see someone who has a website with a .wordpress.com or blogger.com URL instead of the simple-name-of-their-business.com, which seems more professional and creditable?
True, they both can be, but if you want to be a professional you must first look and act professional.
In addition, think about your branding images and headshots.
Are you using a blurry headshot from vacation or did you spend money on a professional photo shoot?
All these things make a big difference when it comes to winning clients but it doesn’t have to break your bank account.
Here are 5 ways to control your home business cost while winning clients at the same time.
- Take inventory of all your software and subscription programs.
What are you paying for? How much do you pay annually?
Do you USE all these programs? First, delete and unsubscribe from any programs you simply don’t use.
Even if it cost a nominal monthly fee, if you’re not using it, that’s wasted money.
For example, I was paying $6.00 a month for an online social media manager software.
That certainly wasn’t breaking the bank but for the year it adds up to $72.00.
If you have two or three programs you’re paying for like this, over the year that adds up to over $200!
- Research newer program bundles. If you use Microsoft Word frequently, check out the Office 365 bundle.
Yes, it’s an annual fee but it keeps all your Microsoft programs updated monthly so you’ll never have to worry if your version of PowerPoint is outdated.
As another example, maybe a project management program can keep you organized.
One that incorporates client email, a calendar of events, and to-do lists can take the place of Gmail, Google Calendar, and handwritten lists.
Bundles offer a great way to streamline your business which also saves you time, which in turn still saves you money.
- Outsource tasks to a virtual assistant.
Does this sound counterintuitive, hiring someone in order to save money?
Think of it this way: If you’re doing a task that is unfamiliar, you’ll spend more time trying to figure it out than an experienced VA.
So, instead of wasting five or six hours of your valuable time, hire a VA for two hours and use your time working on money-making activities.
- Don’t fall for all the bells and whistles.
Ok, this one was totally me in the beginning. I compare it to dieting.
I signed up for the lates and greatest and bought all the trainings and software. I thought just because I bought them, I would magically become a six figure business owner.
Well I was wrong! Just like dieting, I still had to USE the training and software in order for it to work.
Think critically about the programs, trainings, and software you need. Do you need to jump right in with ConvertKit or can you use a lower-priced item until you reach a certain income level?
I used MailChimp for years before I went to a paid program.
Of course, you can grow into will grow into more advanced programs, but if you’re worried about overhead cost right now, opting for the lesser priced or free version may be the way to go.
- Roll your overhead business expenses into your prices.
Every physical product available for sale includes the production cost, delivery cost, and the labor cost for making that product into their pricing.
Think about your business and the service(s) you offer the same way. Place value on your expertise and your time, plus calculate your monthly overhead expenses to help determine the cost of your services.
Need help pricing your services?
For some reason, many entrepreneurs have difficulty pricing their services properly. So many struggle with putting real value on their expertise and end up under-valuing their time and experience.
If this is one of your struggles, download my free Rate Sheet Calculator.
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