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Whether you’re running a side gig or a full-time business online, you most likely work out of your home office. Which means your business and home expenses are often one in the same.
We all know the importance of comparing prices and researching the best deal before purchasing something for ourselves personally, but what about when it comes to buying stuff related to our business?
1. Sticking with one service provider
I know this is something I’m guilty of, as I don’t always take time to research other options when it comes to service providers for my business.
Even something as simple as researching the best price on your electricity and gas services, is part of running your business more efficiently, because it saves you both time and money.
Take a second to look at your bills and see where you can cut expenses. Right now, I’m comparing prices for car insurance and electricity companies because I need to lower my overhead expenses and stop wasting money.
If you’re forced to use a certain supplier or service — like I am in my apartment complex — think more creatively about the situation.
I don’t have a choice as to who I use for my internet service provider, because they have an exclusivity deal with AT&T.
BUT that doesn’t mean I can’t purchase my own pay-as-you-go wireless service or hotspot.
It might be cheaper to go with AT&T or it might not, but it’s important to think outside the box and do some research before settling with a service provider.
2. Buying the best office equipment
A couple months ago I decided to invest in a home office makeover, and needed to buy everything from desks and file cabinets to shelves and a new printer.
I was tempted to go overboard because it was all stuff I legitimately needed for efficiently running my business — or so I thought.
As business owners we often get stuck in this trap, and end up wasting a lot of money on high-end equipment we don’t really need.
Instead, be scrappy and utilize sites like Craigslist to buy nice furniture from companies who previously wasted money on nice fixtures for themselves.
Or seek out local companies that have downsized and are now liquidating their stock.
As your business grows and you bring in more revenue, then you can buy more equipment and furniture — if you feel you absolutely need it. You don’t need the biggest and best office stuff when you’re just starting out, especially if it means crippling your business financially.
3. Not having a business budget
Again, most of us probably have a good idea of our personal income and finances, expenses and stick to a monthly budget, but do you extend that same strategy to your business?
Creating and sticking to a business budget is just as important — if not more important — than having a personal budget, especially if you’re running a freelance business that shares the burden of the household income.
Having a business budget will help reveal the areas that aren’t bringing in as much revenue — and the areas that are — so you can stop wasting money and energy, and start focusing on the best avenue for growing your business.
Can you think of another way your online business might be wasting money?