In this blog I am going to show you the different ways you can start saving for the equipment you need now rather than waiting and losing the opportunity to grow your business until much later.
When running a business there are often things you desire for your business. Often they will either enable you to be able to offer different products/services or they will offer you the opportunity to scale your business by increasing productivity. In the Balloons industry I often hear people saying they would love a pump that sizes automatically but it’s out of their budget. Or I wish I could afford someone to tell me exactly what I need to know right now.
I invested early in the tools and coaching I knew would grow my business so I could fast track its growth. Often the equipment we desire comes with a hefty price tag and the right coaching can seem like an expense you can’t afford. The thought of spending hundreds or thousands on equipment and training when you are only making a small amount of profit right now can just seem impossible but here are my tips for saving to invest early in your business so you can reap the rewards sooner.
1. Break down how much you need to save into smaller short term amounts
This is a biggie to getting your mindset right. Huge numbers can seem impossible like a huge mountain to climb. How much do you need and when do you want to be able to purchase it by. Now break that down by how much you need to save per week. Breaking it down into weekly or monthly amounts not only makes it seem so much more feasible, it means you are much more likely to stick to it!
2. Put your prices up (or at least check you are charging the correct amount)
So many small businesses especially those who run their business from home don’t charge the right prices for the hours they take to make their products. It really is the biggest obstacle to growing your business and makes it so much more difficult to be able to save for the equipment and training you need to scale your business.Set aside time to review your current prices. When was the last time you put them up, so many businesses hardly ever put their prices up even though supplier costs may have gone up several times in the last year.
3. Add an equipment tax to prices
Now you are not going to advertise this as a tax to your customers – it’s more a mindset tool to get you thinking how you can achieve the savings you need. If you know you need £50 extra per week for example and on average you do 10 orders a week is it feasible to save £5 from each order? It might not be, but putting your prices up slightly may mean you can save some money from each order towards your target. Work out what the amount is going to be and set it aside into your saving fund.
4. Sanity check your bills
Look at your monthly outgoings for your business and your personal life. Do you have the best deals? Are there ways you could make savings either by asking for a better deal or switching supplier. What savings could you make that could be put into your equipment and training saving fund?
5. Stop buying things you don’t need at the wholesaler
Hands up I was so guilty of this at the beginning and it’s something I still find hard to control now. You know what its like… you are walking around the wholesalers or on their website you spot new things or just things you hadn’t seen before and your creative mind starts whirring. You instantly come up with all these ideas you could do with it and in your basket it goes. Then you come across another item and another and before you know it your total for your shopping basket has gone up £50. It’s so easily done! I have a workshop full of items I bought with the intention of doing something with them and a lot of them I can’t even remember what the idea was now! Be strict with yourself. It’s one of the reasons I have stopped going to wholesalers and doing more of my ordering online. Sure I have to pay delivery charges but I spend so much more than that if I physically go! Decide that you will only buy an item IF you have an order in the diary for it or you will create a product out of it that you will sell in the next week. If not, you will buy it later down the line when you do have the time to create the product. I guarantee so many of you will save money in your business this way!
Investing early in your business allows you to reap the rewards sooner.
6. Cut down on your personal entertainment stuff
Sometimes if we want something we have to make a couple of sacrifices for it. Especially if it means we can grow our business quicker and then we will have much more disposable cash so it’s absolutely worth it right?! What are your little expensive luxuries in life? Is it your high street cup of coffee at nearly £4 a cup? Or maybe it’s those shoes you buy every month even though the bottom of your wardrobe is full of them? Or maybe it’s an unhealthy habit like smoking, drinking too much alcohol or having takeaways. What things can cut down or you give up now and feel good about it because you know it’s being invested into your business which ultimately is going to give you and your family a better life?
7. Ask your wholesaler if they do a pay monthly option
If the thought of saving for a long time before you get the equipment puts you off, why not see if your wholesaler do an instalment plan for larger pieces of equipment. So you can spread the cost. Once you have an automatic sizer or you have learnt how to do the latest technique you are going to need to order more stock as you are able to take on more work. Explain this to them and see if the thought of extra orders means they are willing to work with you on getting you started on that path now rather than waiting until further down the line. The same applies to training. Many online training courses offer instalment plans meaning you can get started now and the results in terms of your growing your business often far outweigh the investment so look at if this makes it a feasible option so you can start growing your business straight away.
8. Book one extra job per month
Work out what your saving targets means in terms of your average order size. So if you need to save £150 per month and your average jobs are about this amount it means you need 1 extra job a month. Focus some of your marketing time every month to finding that extra job. It’s amazing how you seem to find those extra jobs when it’s a primary focus. I have done this many times and grown my business.
9. Save loose change
Growing up I remember my dad having a huge brandy bottle full of loose change. He used to save all year round and then give it to us children as spending money when we went on holiday. In those days it was mostly coppers and silver but it still added up over the year. Imagine if you regularly add £1 pound and £2 pound coins or even the odd cheeky £5 note how quickly that fund could build.
10. Use the 24 hour rule when making larger purchases
For creative business owners impulse buying is a REAL thing. Bright shiny objects fly into our view daily without even leaving the comfort of our sofa. I can’t tell you how many cleaning gadgets I have brought recently because they seem like a great way to cut down something I hate doing. How often do I use them…. Well you know the answer to that story I am guessing… certainly not enough to justify the amount I have! When it comes to larger purchases make sure you leave it 24 hours before purchasing as this gives you time to consider if its an essential purchase or not. Another way to look at purchases is to work out how many hours work it would take to earn the same amount of money. If its going to take x amount of hours and it seems worth it then great but if not if will give you more clarity with larger purcharses..
Make sure that all the savings you make are put into an account towards your goal.
11. Hit the Unsubscribe button!
How many things have you subscribed to that you have forgotten about? Monthly subscriptions add up over time. Are they still essential and are you still getting great value? If not its time to stop them and divert the money into your savings plan.
12. Whatever you save make sure you put into a savings account.
Whichever saving methods you decide to use it is essential that the money saved goes into the fund. Whether you open up a savings account or have another way of collecting the money make sure every penny you save goes into the fund so you can watch it grow and get the equipment and training you need to really escalate the growth of your business.
PRICING CORRECTLY IS ESSENTIAL TO RUNNING A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS
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Hi I am Sonia!
Having spent the last 7 years growing my balloons and venue décor business I am on a mission to help other small business owners grow their local business. I have seen too many local businesses close before they have even got started and it’s such a crying shame. Learning to run your own business is often so much harder than creating the products you sell. With 10 years in sales and marketing coaching I share my experience of the key things that really fast track business growth so that your business can give you and your family the life you dream of!