The fourth quarter is a great time for entrepreneurs to create a budget for the coming year. There are two sides to the budget equation. First is the money that you expect to come in. The other side is your costs. Let’s take a look at free alternatives to what you pay for in business.
Every business benefits from advertising and promotion. Ignore this activity and no one will knows about you. Do it well and you can create an endless stream of sales flowing through your funnel. Social media makes it much more affordable to advertise and promote your products and services online. The most common platforms are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Youtube but be careful because although they are free, you pay the price in the amount of time you spend there.
If your business pays high consulting fees consider free advice from SCORE. Although it does not replace the relationships that you build with your core team, the guidance that you receive in management and marketing, for example, can be a good alternative to racking up hourly charges for quick questions that you need answered. Using free resources like those offered by SCORE also lets you figure out how best to take the next step before hiring a marketing pro. You might also consider doing research on your own if you are not strapped for time. There are volumes of articles written by professionals that you can access online.
Another drain on profits are your phone costs. In years past it was common for companies to pay for LAN, fax, and cellular lines. Today free and low-cost replacements are VOIP services such as Skype and Google Chat. You can also eliminate the costly expense of fax lines, ink and paper by send and receive faxes directly on your computer.
What resources can you use to spend less money in business?
It’s your time to share in the comments below. Now that you have a few ideas, think about where your business can benefit from low-cost or free alternatives.