Data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest that around 1 in 5 businesses cease operating within the first year. Given the rising cost of living, there’s no surprise businesses are struggling to keep their doors open. However, if smart processes are put in place, a small business can navigate its way through year one and increase its odds of success.
Explore Free Apps, Software, and Tools
Being a small business owner and wishing there were enough funds to pay for the “next best tools and services” go hand in hand. However, free services can take a business a long way in 2023, so you need to make sure you’re making the most out of them. Here are several free tools to try out:
- Canva Basic. Digital design work for free, with access to a limited library. Often has free trials for pro.
- FreshBooks and Xero. Accounting software with a free trial period – use every trial before choosing the best fit for your business.
- Burst. Search for and download high-quality media for your business’s website.
When you’re searching for new tools to use, don’t be afraid to find premium services with a free trial. After all, as long as you cancel before the end of the free period, you’re free to migrate to another free service.
Prioritize Financial Planning
As with most areas of business management, you’ll never achieve your financial goals if you don’t codify them. Although this may feel obvious, you’d be surprised by how many business owners overlook financial planning.
By writing your financial plan, you are forced to consider your current financial circumstances and your future goals. For example, you may find that your current energy provider is charging you much higher than the industry average. If this is the case, you can search for cheaper energy plans for small businesses in Dallas, TX.
Know Your Shipping Processes
Plenty of eCommerce services like Amazon offer free shipping to their customers, which can leave small businesses trailing behind in an attempt to compete. Unfortunately, until your user base grows, you have no leverage to play with. Therefore, you need to consider the following before deciding on a process:
- Are shipments going to be insured?
- Will the customer pay the full cost of shipping?
- Will you be offering global shipping?
- Will the packaging be plain or branded?
Build Your Network
Operating a small business can lead to tunnel vision, meaning you may carry out certain tasks at a more expensive price tag. However, if you spend time expanding your network, everyone you come into contact with could help your business reach its next goals. For example, you may start chatting with a financial advisor who can take a quick look at your books and suggest intuitive ways to lower costs.
Small business owners are under constant threat of failure during the first few years, which is why many entrepreneurs need help when it comes to reducing costs. Remember, no matter what tactics you use, it all starts with a written financial plan.