You have to spend money to make money, right? This is a fact of being a small business owner. Still, you want to keep your spending in check so that you can maximize your profits and grow your maker business successfully. Here are several ways that you can spread your budget to lower overhead costs.
Spread Your Budget and Lower Overhead Costs:
Buy Supplies In Bulk
You can save time and money and ultimately lower overhead costs when you buy your supplies in bulk. Instead of running to the craft store when you need something, plan ahead and stock up. Darice is your single solution for wholesale arts and crafts supplies! Bulk orders and low order minimums mean that you can get the price you want for just the right amount of supplies you need. Catalogs are available online or you can request a paper copy.
Working from home is not an ideal solution for everyone, and renting a workspace can be very expensive. Coworking spaces are a great solution. For a fee, you can use space and office equipment that you share with others. Some larger cities offer maker spaces, where your membership allows access to 3-D printers and other high quality equipment and tools. Instead of investing immediately in expensive tools, join a maker space to use the equipment available to you. The interaction with other creatives is an added bonus.
Hire a VA (Virtual Assistant)
It might seem counter intuitive to hire someone when we’re talking about cutting costs, but hear me out. If you have outsourced your social media tasks to paid apps and programs like Hootsuite and Tailwind, you might save money and get better results with a virtual assistant (VA). Also, if the amount of time you are spending on social media, responding to e-mails, and other tasks is cutting into your making/crafting time, you might benefit from a VA. If delegating tasks to someone else will free up your time to create more product, then the increase in product creation and sales will offset the expense. A VA isn’t for everyone, so crunch the numbers and see if it will help in your specific situation.
Use Your Customer Base for Word of Mouth Promotion
Save money on advertising and marketing by turning your happy customers into brand ambassadors. One way to do this is to offer incentives to them. A referral rewards program will motivate clients to spread the word about your business. Another way to turn clients into brand ambassadors is to ask them for a testimonial or positive review. Satisfied customers are usually more than happy to leave positive reviews on Facebook, Etsy, and other sites. Great reviews from real customers can do more for your business than paid ads when it comes to handmade items.
Use Credit Cards that Work For You
Most credit card companies offer some sort of rewards or cash back program. Choose the one that offers you the most benefits. If you travel frequently as part of your business, a card that rewards your spending with miles or hotel room stays will help cut down on your travel expenses. Cards that offer cash back are another option.
Most sellers and small business owners have already moved to paperless transactions. If you have not done that yet, what are you waiting for? You can save a lot of money over time by eliminating paper as much as possible. Less money spent on paper and ink for your printer can be invested in other parts of your business. Most card readers give you the option to e-mail receipts to customers. Keep track of all your paper transactions to see which ones you can eliminate or reduce.
Assess Your Selling Platform
Etsy, Woo Commerce, and other selling platforms come with a variety of fees. These fees change from time to time, and you should pay attention to these changes. While it is a hassle to move your online store from one platform to another, if fees on the platform are cutting into your profits significantly, it will save you in the long run if you shop for a new selling platform. If funds are very tight, check out Facebook’s Marketplace. You can sell online without paying any fees. While it is not a traditional online store platform, it can be a good option when you really need to reduce your overhead costs.
Use Low Cost/No Cost Services When Possible
There are many services available to make small business ownership easier, and most of them come with a fee. From payment transaction services like Paypal to business accounting programs like Quick Books, you will pay to use the platform. Make sure you know how much you are paying for each service and decide whether you need it or not. Shop and compare to see if there are other options with lower fees. Check out our list of the best apps for your maker business to see some of our favorite free and low-cost options for makers.
What are some things that have worked for you to lower overhead costs for your small business?