It’s an old saying but very very true in the world of startups and small business – it is far easier to spend money than to make it. You need to be ultra focussed on keeping your fixed cost base low whilst you are getting your business off the ground and building your sales pipeline.

Every amount paid out from your small business should be analysed to see if it meets one of these criteria:

  • Do I have to spend it right now in order to deliver on something I have promised to a customer or client?
  • Can the expenditure be pushed back a bit longer?
  • If I don’t spend it will the quality of my goods or service be affected?
  • Is the expenditure an investment that will either lead to increased new business / profit or significantly increase productivity in the next 12 months?

Using software like FreeAgent will enable you to keep on top of your business costs and see if they are increasing or not.

You should keep your fixed cost base as low as possible without impacting the business – like working from a home office for example. If you need to have a physical office presence for some clients then perhaps you can simply rent a meeting room or office by the hour or get a low cost co-working space. There are many alternatives to the traditional office.

Marketing is another area where you could save money by learning modern marketing skills yourself – you need the time and the tenacity to be able to work through the learning curve, but there is a wealth of material out there to help you learn Search Engine Optimisation, Social Media marketing techniques and how to run AdWords, for example.

Or instead of paying for business services or goods consider if can you barter and provide some of your time or services in exchange?

Here are a couple of great books on how to start businesses with no or little money which should provide you with some further inspiration:

How to start a business without any money

The $100 startup