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Launching a startup can be brutal, with bottom lines frequently takes a beating in the early days of a fledgling venture. That’s especially true for young entrepreneurs, who are often low on capital and resources.

A little research, however, can pay off when it comes to managing and even reducing a new business’ operating expenses. Having access to experts and a knowledge base won’t cost as much as you think, and there are economical alternatives to the traditional way of investing in and outfitting a new business.

Entrepreneurs and those who are considering launching a new business would be wise to consider some or all of these helpful points.

Reinventing the Workspace

Do you really need a brick and mortar office? If you don’t see clients in an office, you may not.  In today’s gig economy, many businesses are created that rely on remote workers connected by online communication tools like Google Apps and virtual work spaces.  Naturally, creating a completely online business is easier in some industries than others, but the point is, the possibility is there.

Consider also coworking spaces.  There are plenty of coworking spaces available for relatively low monthly fees. Search Coworker for information on available coworking spaces in your area or connect with a business incubator that offers work space and other business support services.

Powering Down Energy Costs

Sometimes just keeping the lights on and the equipment running can cost more than you think. Managing energy costs is crucial. The energy market is volatile, and unpredictable cost increases can happen.

It’s easy to research what different suppliers offer, if you have the time — which you probably don’t.

Alternatively, there are experts in the energy field who make it their business to find the best energy management solutions for your company.  Companies like Active Business Services, a Burlington, Ontario energy management firm, work with businesses in a broad range of industries.  By analyzing a given company’s natural gas and electricity consumption patterns, firms like Active Business Services create effective energy solutions that can positively impact how much energy a company uses and, in turn, how large (or small) their monthly energy bills are.

Get Social

When marketing a business or product, make the most of good social media campaigns instead of paying for advertising or public relations: social media can be the least expensive and most effective way of getting the word out about your new company.

If you need to raise money for a specific project or product, think about crowdfunding through sites like Kickstarter. Many people meet — or exceed — their fundraising goals and it can be an intelligent way to generate pre-orders for or interest in a product. Each crowdfunding site has different requirements and costs, so do your homework and find the one that works best for you and your business.

To Staff or Not to Staff

Do as much as you can yourself, especially if it involves a skill you’re good at, like accounting or programming. Of course, trying to do it all can lead to major burnout. A good rule of thumb: use your strengths and delegate your weaknesses.

Startups sometimes offer employes option plans in lieu of salary. It’s not only a money-saver: People feel invested in the company and are motivated to do their best work.

Seek Out The Free Stuff

There’s a lot of high quality free — or almost free — resources for businesses out there. Save time and travel by doing as much as you can on the web with applications like FaceTime and Skype.

Cloud-based software saves time and money by eliminating the expense of buying it and downtime caused by constant updates. Google Docs is a full-featured collaborative tool for people working from different locations. Also, consider taking advantage of international conferencing services like FreeConferenceCall, which lets users set up no-cost conference calls with up to 1,000 participants.



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