Few ventures are as exciting to budding entrepreneurs as starting a new business. But in all the exhilaration of new possibilities, it's easy for many small business owners and startup founders to get in over their heads.
The key for any small business is to avoid the red by staying profitable, and one of the best ways to do is is planning the company's overhead in advance.
One way to reduce overhead is by outsourcing
Before your business first opens its doors, you might want to think about outsourcing and what it entails. Try to calculate the amount of full-time employees and types of skill-sets you'll need when your business first opens. The last thing you want to do is over-hire employees and then be forced to lay off your staff or shut down your business because of a lack of profit.
So instead of hiring two or three full-time employees off the bat, you might want to consider hiring one employee and outsourcing the rest of the work to freelancers. In many cases, you can avoid paying benefits, paid time off or sick days to freelance employees, which can save you major bucks during your initial startup phase.
Once your business is profitable, you might be less inclined to outsource, but consider some of the hectic times of the year when you might need additional help. Instead of hiring another full-time employee to help with the holiday rush, consider keeping one or two freelancers who could help temporarily during hectic business times.
The do's and don'ts of office space
If you're running a small business or startup, chances are you don't need the city's most posh office space to attract clientele. Consider cheaper or smaller office space and allowing some of your employees to work from home. There are also plenty of third-party office space companies which allow startups to save on the initial cost of office space.
RocketSpace, for example, offers desk space to lease. If you aren't sure about a particular neighborhood or don't want to pull the trigger on an office space you think is too expensive, a third-party office company such as RocketSpace could fill your need.
Consider state-of-the-art technology
Small companies with less than 20 employees should consider Hiveage, a new way to reduce billing and invoicing overhead. Hiveage is a cloud-based billing platform that allows small business owners to save an average of two days per month by reducing the time it takes to perform administrative tasks linked to billing, overhead and invoicing.
"As entrepreneurs and business owners ourselves, we know firsthand how time consuming and frustrating the billing process can be," CEO and founder of Vesess, Inc., Lankitha Wimalarathna, said in a statement. "While many options on the market say they're ideal for small businesses, they're usually overly complex for most small businesses with fewer than 20 employees."
Hiveage, formerly known as Curdbee, allows customers to track an unlimited number of invoices. The invoices will support multiple currencies and can be branded with a small businesses' logo and colors. They will also track time, expenses and payments.
"The more time I have to serve my clients the more profitable I am, which is why I've come to rely on CurdBee over the past several years," said Chad Cox, creative director and founder of Buzz Rocket Media. "After working with the new Hiveage product, which includes even more features specifically designed for small business owners like myself, I'm able to spend more time on the tasks that will actually grow my business without getting bogged down by non-billable administrative activities."