Smart business owners know that to make the most profit possible, they need to keep their operating costs low. However, don’t be fooled into thinking you should try to run your business completely cost-free. It’s nearly impossible – even with all the free tools available – and using all free tools may harm your credibility with your clients.
Put yourself in your client’s position. What are your thoughts about someone whose website has a “xxxxx.wordpress.com” or “xxxxx.blogger.com” URL instead of the simple-name-of-their-business.com? These are signs that the website owner doesn’t host their own website, which could indicate their newness to the online world.
Think about your branding images and headshots. Are you using a blurry headshot from vacation or did you spend money on a professional photo shoot? All these things make a big difference when it comes to winning clients but it doesn’t have to break your bank account.
Here are 5 ways to control your online business costs while winning clients at the same time:
- Take inventory of all your software and subscription programs. What are you paying for? How much do you pay annually? Do you USE all these programs? First, delete and unsubscribe from any programs you simply don’t use. Even if it costs a nominal monthly fee, if you’re not using it, that’s wasted money. Next, look at your monthly fees versus your annual fees. Can you save money by renewing annually instead of monthly? If you use that program, switch to the annual plan to save money.
- Research newer program bundles. If you use Microsoft Word frequently, check out the Office 365 bundle. Yes, it’s an annual fee but it keeps all your Microsoft programs updated monthly so you’ll never have to worry if your version of PowerPoint is outdated. As another example, maybe a project management program can keep you organized. One that incorporates client email, a calendar of events, and to-do lists can take the place of Gmail, Google Calendar, and handwritten lists. Bundles offer a great way to streamline your business which also saves you time, which in turn still saves you money.
- Outsource tasks to a virtual assistant. Does this sound counterintuitive, hiring someone in order to save money? Think of it this way: if you’re doing a task that is unfamiliar, you’ll spend more time figuring it out than an experienced VA. So, instead of wasting 5 hours of your valuable time, hire a VA for 2 hours and use your 2 hours to perform money-making activities.
- Don’t fall for all the bells and whistles. Think critically about any training or software you think you need. Do you need to jump right in with Infusionsoft or can you use lower-priced items until you reach a certain income level? Of course, you can grow into such programs but if you’re worried about overhead costs right now, opting for lesser priced items may be the way to go.
- Roll your overhead business expenses into your coaching prices. Every physical product available for sale includes the production costs, delivery costs, and the labor costs for making that product into their pricing. Think of your coaching calls and digital products the same way. Place a value on your expertise and your time, plus calculate your monthly overhead expenses to help determine the costs for your products.