We all want to save a buck or two, especially if we don’t have much to start with, but there are some things that are worth the splash-out and some that are not. Learn how to save money when starting your business by following our simple steps.
We’ve helped hundreds of business owners build their brands and digital presence so we’ve seen a lot when it comes to startup success and failure. We’ve fixed so many other people’s mistakes that have cost some business owners quadruple what they could have paid to do it right the first time.
So after years of shaking out heads at cheap industry flops, here’s what we recommend investing your money in and where we think you can save when starting your business…
How to save and where to spend
Some people think logo design isn’t worth spending money on, especially with sites like Fiverr promising cheap $5 options. BUT – we’ve redesigned so many logos for businesses that didn’t even get their five bucks worth from a cheap design.
Consider this – your logo is one of the most important things for your business. It’s the first visual representation of your brand and you want it to look great, be easy to read and understand in one glance. For example – when someone asks how to find us online, we tell them our business name and then say “look for the blue k”.
When seeking out a logo design – ask a potential designer to give you a quote that includes all of the following items:
- A vector version – that can be scaled to any size without losing quality. You can use it with any printer or designer in the future.
- A favicon version – for your website – shows in the tab of internet browsers
- A jpg version – for digital branding needs like social media etc.
- A Pdf version – for digital brochures or press kits
A good designer will want to impress you and they’ll usually give you a few mock-up examples of your logo like the one below.
How to save money on your logo design – Ask a designer to show you live copies of their designs, their Behance portfolio and ask for different package options like these:
1 Initial design with 3 iterations or changes of that initial design
2 Designs with 3 iterations of the chosen initial design
3 Initial designs with 3 iterations of the chosen design
Sure there are also cheap options out there to build a “good enough” version of your website, but if your business goes well – there will surely come a day when your needs outgrow what your “simple” platform can handle. Adding functionality to a website that isn’t made for it is like hacking together a house made of toothpicks and straw – it’s messy and opens you up to big problems in the future.
To be honest, we don’t really mind DIY Wix type platforms, because they eventually make us money when we have to redesign them on a trusted platform with the right functionality.
There is a reason that over 30% of the websites out there are built on WordPress, and a reason why we choose it for a majority of our customers – it’s generally the cheapest, most functional platform for small business owners. There is also a large amount of developers, and resources online that can help you out with your website either now or in the future. We don’t believe in locking in our customers, and we develop sites using best practises that are common for other developers to understand.
How to save money on website development – Make sure you not only check out a potential developers portfolio, but also ask for links to sites they’ve built. You should be able to see in the website footer who built the site, so make sure the name in the footer matches up. If not, ask them why.
Also, ask if they’re the actual developer or if they outsource. Many companies use developers from cheaper countries, which can slow down production time, create communication breakdown and potentially open your site up to security issues.
Host your website with your developer – read this article on how to host a website without getting ripped off.
We are blown away by the number of business owners that don’t put money aside for advertising. We’re not suggesting that you need to spend thousands of dollars a month on ads, but advertising is important. Don’t be fooled – when you see a brand online getting thousands of likes on their social media posts or hundreds of comments, they most likely PAID BIG MONEY to get that recognition.
Generally, in the digital world – you either have to get big media attention, get someone famous to promote your brand or spend on advertising in order to get noticed. So, if you don’t know one of the Kardashians, save your bills for some ad spend.
How to save money on advertising – Ad costs can get expensive if you don’t know what you’re doing, so either take the time to learn how to set up ads and make awesome creatives, or hire a professional to do it for you. Check out this detailed article on how to save money on Facebook ads.
Hot tip – Try putting aside at least 10 – 30% of your income for advertising. Some people even invest all earnings back into their business for the first year. It’s up to you what you can afford but start with at least 10% if you can.