When planning a business or during the start-up period, it can be very tempting to spend limited resources on ‘nice-to-haves’. You know… that liveried van; an office desk and leather swivel armchair; compliment slips on handmade paper…
During the start-up phase it can be difficult to predict what investments will generate a return. It pays to constantly ask yourself: ‘Will this really pay for itself?’
You need to be just as tough about your minor spending. It’s easy to lose track of spending in dribs and drabs.
Here are 5 top tips for home-based workers looking to control spending. so that the investment revenue will be there when you really need it.
Unless your business is completely online, you’ll probably need a printer. Don’t grab the cheapest printer on the shelf. First, investigate the price and longevity of the printer cartridges and do the maths. Many printer manufacturers sell their printers very cheaply and generate their profits by selling expensive ink to their ‘captive’ customers. If you can afford the upfront cost of a laser printer, it can deliver dramatic savings on ink costs – particularly if you do a lot of printing. And why not earn a little extra? With The Recycling Factory recycle your used ink cartridges free of charge and even pay you for items they successfully recycle with your empty cartridges.
Bulk-buying and do-it-yourself
Nipping out to your local friendly deli for one of their excellent value £4.95 sandwiches at lunchtime each day will reduce your profits by more than £1,200 per year. It may be worth considering doing your own sandwich-making. Hopefully, the day will arrive when you can’t afford to make your own sandwiches any more. Then there’s tea, coffee and biscuits… Bulk-buying is a good way to reduce spend. Just as importantly, it makes you more aware of the amount you are spending. It is easy to spend £3 here and £4.50 there without really counting the cost.
Office supplies from the internet
It’s important to place a value on the time you spend searching out and purchasing supplies as well as the cost of the goods purchased. Managed purchasing from online suppliers such as Viking Direct allows you make price comparisons and to check on discounts as well as eliminating search and delivery time. The online supply web sites can offer a very broad range and without the costs of shops and stock they are in a position to be very competitive .
Not all broadband packages are the same. Shopping around doesn’t take much effort and the savings can be substantial. So compare what’s out there using comparison sites – all you need to do is enter your postcode and the site will highlight all the deals within your area, saving you the most money.
Broadband providers like to sell you a three-in-one package of broadband, telephone and television. They know that you are far less likely to move if you receive all three – and, therefore, you are far less likely to be ‘price-sensitive’ as they slip the price up. Sometimes, simply phoning your broadband provider and threatening to move can result in some delightfully low offers.
If you struggle to stay on task during your work time, it’s costing you money. It’s important that you create an environment that enables you to work productively. Getting the right desk and chair is an important part of that. But be careful of your ego! Big desks are only a good investment if you need lots of desk space. Stay practical. Focus on your needs. There are plenty of good quality flat-pack desks on the market.
Author Bio: Writing on behalf of office suppliers, Viking IE, Sarah Jayne Adams is currently studying Magazine Journalism and hopes to pursue her career in freelance journalism from her own home based office in the future.