The recent growth in startups cannot be ignored. Between 2016 and 2019, the number of businesses in Ontario, Canada alone grew by 2.59%.1,2 Entrepreneurship is on the rise around the world as individuals and groups of people identity opportunities to shake up an industry, provide a better service, or drastically lower prices.
The set up cost for any business can vary depending on the type of services or products it offers. Since over 40% of businesses founded in the USA start with less than $5,000 in funding3, a lack of startup capital in the initial stages can be the reason for the failure of many startups. Startups should concentrate on obtaining the services they need using low cost or free options whenever possible, and upgrading as needed. If common needs can be tackled with appropriate solutions, then startups can deploy these extra funds towards other needs.
Here are five ways any small business can get ahead by using free or ultra low cost solutions:
Entrepreneurs who don’t have a stable internet connection at home, or are looking for a quiet office space and cannot afford to sign a lease on an office space, can instead rent a desk at a coworking space from companies like WeWork, Regus, or a local business which offers a similar kind of services. This ultimately can help you establish contacts and save tonnes of money.
Potential Savings: $1,000+ per month
Tablets are great, but they cannot easily handle some tasks that are very common on desktop or laptop computers. If you need to buy a new computer as part of your startup, a Chromebook can be a great option as they are fast, give you access to all online tools a business needs, plus access to the full Google Play Store. Alternatively, computers based on Windows Lite are a worthwhile option. Businesses can save hundreds of dollars by buying a Chromebook or Windows Lite-based laptop instead of investing in a MacBook or high-end Windows laptop. Be realistic about the types of tasks you will perform on the device.
Potential Savings: $500 to $1,000+ each device
A phone line is a must-have for startups. Businesses can save over $40 per month on a smartphone plan with the help of Shuffle. Shuffle offers a phone number in any US or Canadian area code for only USD $1.99 per month, and all usage is pay as you go. With Shuffle you can make and receive calls, send text and picture messages, and receive voicemail just like your regular mobile phone number. It will help you to save money and look professional while separating your business and personal lives.
Potential Savings: $40+ per month
You will wonder, is it necessary to have a fax machine these days? The answer is, unfortunately, yes. Some companies, especially financial institutions and government organizations, still rely on faxing for sending documents back and forth. Thankfully, HelloFax can help you to save money as it provides up to 10 free pages per month. You can also use a companion app called HelloSign to sign documents digitally.
Potential Savings: $50+ per month
Bookkeeping can be tedious and time consuming. It is important for an entrepreneur to keep track of all invoices, receipts, and sales taxes owing before tax returns are due. Having a good accountant is no joke. With the help of Wave, a mobile and web application, one can easily create invoices, scan receipts, automatically parse receipts, and easily track the business’ cash flow. The free version can also collect credit card payments, and the premium version provides access to Wave’s accountants and bookkeepers.
Potential Savings: $1000+ per year
So, now you are armed with a bunch of new ways to hang on to more of your capital, allowing you to make better decisions on how to use that money to help grow your business. Good luck!