The first days, weeks, months and even years of setting up your business can really drain your resources. So what can help you save those dollars on a day-to-day basis? Here are nine ways to get you started.
By Morgan Giddings (Managing Director, DailyDollar)
As with most entrepreneurs, it was just a matter of when, not if, I would start my own business. When the stars aligned and an opportunity came my way to begin my first startup, DailyDollar, I seized on it and got to work. Having reached a crossroads in my professional life, I made a choice to give up my steady and cushiony paycheck and move back to my home state to save money. Over the past 10 months I have created my company with no salary, no income and no revenue. Yes, it has been challenging and frustrating and but it’s also enlightening to learn what can really happen just with pleases and thank yous.
It’s only by seriously rethinking my finances that I’ve got DailyDollar to where it is today. These months have shown me just how well a person can get along by doing without and, as a “pay it forward” to my fellow entrepreneurs who are going through the same stage, or for those who may be considering starting a business in the near future, here are some truly scrappy tips that will hopefully enable you to bootstrap for just a bit longer.
Here are some strategies I used to save money along the startup journey:
1. Samples from Nordstrom’s and Sephora
I have been an avid customer of both for years and always like to explore the latest and greatest new products. When I finally get a paycheck I know exactly which products I loved and which I didn’t. I request samples of foundation, face lotion, mascara, perfumes. They are also perfect size for my purse, travel bag and gym bag.
2. Best Parking App
I frequently commute to downtown where parking can rob you. I love this app as it tells you the best parking rates for you location based on the duration you’ll be parked.
A true lifesaver. They have provided a consistent break away from home during my hectic meeting days. I can always get a cold glass of free water, a place to sit and a clean bathroom. Plus, it makes for a great meeting location.
4. Prescription Transfers
I have saved hundreds of dollars by switching around my prescriptions. Each time I refill at a participating store and I get $25 to spend in store on groceries, toiletries or vitamins
A free music player with appropriate selections for any task!
6. Billr App
Great for helping to split checks. I am not a fan of blanket splitting as I usually only order water and the cheapest thing on the menu to save money. Eating out can add up so this has been a lifesaver- plus people like to try it out so it avoids the awkward conversation around deciding how to pay.
7. Limit Dry Cleaning and Shoe Repair
Instead, why not search how to clean the item on Pinterest? I have saved many clothes and shoes by doing this and spending a little TLC to get them in ship shape.
8. Turn Off Your “Deal of the Day” Emails
That’s right – turn them off! When I had a paycheck these were great as they saved me tons of money. Now, I don’t want to see what I am missing out on or be tempted to purchase something I think I may need. If I really am looking for something I usually Google Search the item with “deal” and can purchase it for a discounted price still.
9. Always Ask for a Cheaper Price
If you never ask, you’ll never know. Even at big box stores, when I am at the checkout I inquire if there was an advertisement that may apply or a coupon I could use. They often have extra behind their registers and they will scan it for you! This tends to work best at stores you know have newspaper ads or circulars.
So there you have it! They may not save you thousands but every little helps and just think how good it’s going to feel when you allow yourself a well-earned luxury when your business starts turning some profit.
Women 2.0 readers: Do you have any other tips for saving money while you set up your business?
About the guest blogger: Morgan Giddings is the founder of DailyDollar.com, the digital receipting solution. She is best known for her drive, passion and energy about any endeavor she takes on.She was formerly a client liaison a speakers bureau where she developed customer relations. Morgan began her career with Microsoft, on the Worldwide Partner Event Marketing team and on the Public Sector Digital Communications team. Follow her @_dailydollar.
Photo credit: Ken Teegardin via Flickr