There is no doubt that starting and operating a business takes money, a lot of it; but there are ways you can save a few pennies here and there.
The cost of getting business is a big one for people who are selling a product or service to larger companies. There are often many meetings before decisions are made and, of course, the meetings will be out of town for you. Large companies have beautiful conference rooms with all the amenities that they want to use.
There have been many times when I have had to spend money I did not have in order to attend a meeting in California or Texas from Connecticut. Airfare, rental cars and hotels all cost money that is quite often scare for a small-business person.
Suggest a telephone conference call in lieu of a meeting whenever you can. Many of the details can be worked out over the phone. Only schedule a meeting when it is critical to your forward progress.
There are also business centers that make video conferencing available for a fee much less than the cost of air travel and hotels. With video conferencing you can actually meet “face to face” without incurring the travel costs. Look them up in the phone book and learn in advance how to use it properly.
Other expenses are the costs of administrative help and office supplies. By that I mean the cost of paper and the time spent sending numerous letters and memos. Consider using voice mail when you have something to tell a decision-maker. You will save your time in composing and writing a letter, having it typed by an assistant, having it opened by someone else’s assistant and also save the time it would take the other person to read what you have written.
I think the phone is even better than email. Many people have so much email they barely read it all and the written word can be misunderstood much more easily than the spoken word.
If the details of a phone conversation need to be confirmed, do that in writing. Send it by fax if you can. Don’t use a cover sheet either. Put all the cover sheet information on a sticky note and attach it to the front page of your document. Eliminating the cover page will save paper and fax phone time.
Email messaging is fast and cost-efficient and I would certainly recommend you use it whenever you can to save time and money to communicate with suppliers, manufacturers and contractors.
Speaking of contractors, use them whenever you can. Don’t hire an employee when you need a specific job done. Hire a contractor. If you find that you are constantly hiring contractors to get the same job done then you might think about taking on an employee but until that happens, hire contractors.
If you are selling a product or service a contractor could use in exchange for services, called bartering, that would be even better.
Article © Copyright 2002 Stanley I. Mason. Syndicated by Paradigm News, Inc.