How do entrepreneurs save money while focusing on growing their business? Funding a growing business while supporting yourself and your family is a tough financial spot to be in.
There are life milestones you want to reach – buying a house, starting a family, traveling to beautiful places, and one day retiring comfortably – but with your business being a constant strain on your finances, it’s hard to save money for these important events.
But entrepreneurs aren’t considered the masters of innovation for nothing. Your tenacity in tough times and willingness to find resourceful solutions has a way of working out interesting, smart ways to save money.
4 Sneaky Ways Entrepreneurs Save Money
Read on to find 4 sneaky ways entrepreneurs save money and spend less.
1. Use this phrase to get more discounts
It’s not some magical formula that results in a steep discount every time, but you can improve your odds of getting a lower price just by asking the right way. The key is to be confident and kind as you inquire, not insecure and embarrassed about asking. Merchants don’t mind refusing discounts when you seem uncomfortable asking for it in the first place.
Next time you want to see if you can get a lower price on something–anything, it doesn’t have to be business-related to give you great negotiation practice–use this phrase:
“Is this the best price you can offer me?”
Then, stay silent. It might get uncomfortable and a bit awkward for a second or so after you ask. You may feel obligated to speak again and rephrase or reverse your statement to avoid the awkwardness (“I mean, if you can’t, that’s okay. I was just checking”), but don’t do it. This is when you’re closest to getting a great discount. Your simple request followed by silence tells the person that you’re a serious shopper, will likely continue to be a great customer, and that giving you a special discount won’t hurt.
2. Go home or go broke
Offices are expensive and unnecessary for many small businesses. If you don’t absolutely have to have a brick-and-mortar location, don’t rush into one. Instead of leasing commercial space prematurely, entrepreneurs save money by working from places they’re already paying to inhabit or visit–their home, a city park, a coffee shop, or a coworking space.
Just like living at home with Mom and Dad was a smarter financial decision than moving out on your own and enjoying independence right away, keeping your business based in your home for a while is a smart way to save money. And if in a year or two you’re still really missing the vibe of working from an office, you’ll have saved lots of money by working from home in the meantime.
3. Shift your ad strategy
Whatever you’ve been doing to advertise your business, consider that there might be a cheaper method for it. Be open to shifting your strategy to take advantage of more cost effective channels to advertise. Facebook and Twitter are immensely popular avenues for small business owners to promote their business to a carefully targeted audience.
Entrepreneurs save money by choosing more digital advertising options – like purchasing social campaigns instead of expensive print or radio advertisements.
4. Fight the fees
This is a bit different from asking for a discount. As a small business owner, you’re constantly being barraged with financial charges and fees – banks, credit card processors, credit card fees, and any late payments you submit (hey, it happens). If you don’t want to be fiscally buried alive, you can fight the fees and get some of them dropped.
Call customer service and let them know you’re a satisfied customer who enjoys and recommends this company, and that you’ve never had any problems with them in the past. Mention that you noticed a particular fee on your last statement and ask if they can waive it for you.
Studies have shown that just including the word “because” when requesting something makes the other person more likely to grant it, so you might say:
“I’m a customer of 11 years and I’ve never had any problems with Genericompany. Last month, I was late on my payment for the first time and incurred a $35.00 late fee. Could you waive that fee for me?”