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Five tips for Startups to save time and money
by Startacus Admin
Rachel Smith works for Nixon Williams a UK specialist accountancy firm for contractors, freelancers, consultants and interim professionals. Here she writes for Startacus on 5 ways you can save time and money when running your Startup. Over to Rachel to explain all...
It’s often said that time is money and if this is true, it seems logical to save as much time as possible. Why spend extra time performing a task when you can achieve the same result in a much shorter time-frame?
Being effective and profitable, takes organisation, a little knowledge and an open-minded approach to new ideas. However, for a start-up it is sometimes easier said than done, but there are ways to be more productive, organised and profitable as a result.
Here are five ways to a more time-savvy and money saving tactic, for future proofing your start up.
1. Get yourself a reliable accountant
Managing money is a skill which requires specialist knowledge. Even the simplest of businesses will require hours spent invoicing, accumulating and organising receipts, and let’s not forget about submitting the end of year tax return on time.
A good accountancy firm can drastically reduce the time spent trawling through your business finances. As for the cost of using accountancy professionals, do the maths; If your hourly cost is expected to be £100, and this equals the price of a fixed fee accountants, would you be confident that you could complete all relevant accounting requirements in just one hour? If not, then an accountant would make financial sense for you.
Additionally, for example, if you were an IT Developer just starting out in contracting, you would seek advice from a specialist accountant, who would advise you on a variety of financial matters, which would relate to you and your business. Be sure to do your homework before appointing your accountant, as paying that bit more a month for an experienced expert could be financially rewarding.
2. Better utilise online planning tools
Being organised isn’t merely a handy skill to have, it’s vital to running a successful business. Thankfully, there is organisational software which start ups can utilise such as, calendars, reminders, scheduling tools and easy note making utilities. Better still, most are free and easy to use, and can be rolled out across all your tech; desktop computer, tablet and smartphone.
The free app DayViewer, will schedule your appointments, manage your contacts, track expenses and even e-mail you with reminders. Similarly, TeamUp is a free group scheduling and planning tool. Although there is a more mainstream solution, Google Now, which can organise your life 24/7. Whichever platform you choose, embrace the technology – it’s like have a PA everywhere you go.
3. Make a financial plan… and stick to it
It’s all too easy to get carried away buying all those ‘must have’ extras when your invoices are paid. Before you know where you are, your bank balance has shrunk and online banking is carried out with a wince rather than a beaming smile.
Financial prudence isn’t an old-fashioned concept, it’s what underpins the biggest businesses, so make a realistic and achievable financial plan and stick to it. It’s also worth building a contingency, say 10% of your gross income, into your planning for unforeseen circumstances.
4. Spend wisely and save in the long-term
We live in a throw away society, but in business buying cheap doesn’t always equate to cost conscious decision making; buy a cheap printer and refill cartridges will generally cost you twice as much as those used by a more expensive but better quality printer. Over time, the financial balance usually tips in the favour of the initially pricier purchase option, i.e. quality over price.
5. Centralise your processes
You would think that start-ups rarely have the financial clout to take advantage of economies of scale, but today that’s wrong. We have access to some of the most powerful resources on the planet – we just take them for granted.
Cloud computing, social media for business, and open source software are low cost methods to meet the major players on equal terms. Take advantage of online storage and go paperless - use Scanbot to make electronic versions of your records, invoices and other paperwork and store them in the cloud.
Make full use of social media to get your business’s message out there, and take advantage of the bewildering range of free software to build your website with open source software such as Wordpress.
Building time efficiency and financial prudence into your business plan might seem overwhelming, but following a few simple rules and adopting intelligent technology will give your business the best chance to flourish.
Rachel Smith is a technical writer for Nixon Williams who has a passion for PR, marketing and writing.
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