For anyone that’s been down the path of launching a company, there’s nothing more stressful than trying to make ends meet.
As a company grows, it requires ever increasing amounts of cash in order to survive.
Wasting money on unnecessary expenses is more than frivolous, it can be dangerous.
Without enough money to advertise, your company loses potential clients and competitors with deeper pockets can suck the air out of the room.
Follow these 5 tips for saving money during your launch so that you can maximize your advertising budget.
Related Article: Online Marketing Basics for Start-Ups
1. Equity Versus Salary
As an entrepreneur, you need to step back and honestly assess your skills and talents.
For 99.9 percent of people, an honest assessment will reveal that you’re not a rockstar at everything. There are specific areas where bringing on a partner with skills and expertise will benefit your startup. So how do you bring in outside partners without exponentially increasing your costs?
Use equity to minimize salary expenses. If your COO or partner is able to live for a few months off their personal savings, or another source of income, try and convince them to accept a simple equity deal.
Even if they need a salary to survive, you can minimize that salary by strategically offering equity.
Outside consultants, like an SEO guru, or marketing pro might be willing to accept a small equity stake instead of a straight cash payment for their services.
Be extremely careful with this option though, as you will be stuck with this person or organization for the long-haul.
Firing a consultant isn’t easy when they own part of your company.
2. Purchase SEO Content Instead of PPC Ads
When advertising your company, an adwords campaign might seem simple and straightforward. What you’ll find is that in order to keep traffic coming to your site, you have to continually pour money into their campaigns.
If you want to build lasting traffic without constant investment, consider focusing on a blog for your company’s website.
Creating an engaging, informative blog will allow potential customers to read more about your products and services.
They’ll have an opportunity to learn more about the team behind the company, and your content can be targeted to increase organic traffic from search engines.
This means you can create high-quality content that shows your subject matter expertise, and earn some quality traffic by having your blog rank on Google.
You’ll need to update your blog at least two times per week if you want to get the best results, but if you can strike the right balance between straight advertising campaigns, and targeted on-site content, you’ll save a ton of money on advertising costs; increasing your advertising ROI dramatically.
Related Article: What Is the Best City to Launch a Startup?
3. Minimize Legal Representation
The most expensive consultant your company will need is a lawyer. To protect yourself and the company you’re creating, make sure your company’s formation documents are in order.
To incorporate in the United States, you’ll need the following documents and information:
- Articles of Incorporation
- Company Name
- Business Purpose
- Registered Agent
- Number of Authorized Shares
- Share Par Value
- Preferred Stock
If you can collect this information and file the required paperwork with the appropriate government agencies, you’ll save yourself at least $1,300 in legal expenses.
Just remember that there are some cases where working with an attorney makes sense. If you’re going to start a business without an attorney, you’ll need to accept responsibility for any legal liabilities that may manifest themselves further down the line.
4. Take Advantage of Cash Back Cards
In the first few months of starting a business, you’ll be spending money on product and market research, office supplies, software licenses and a whole lot more.
Open a business credit card that offers cash back or other types of points. Some cards allow you to earn miles toward free or discounted airfare.
Think about what type of reward will benefit your company the most, and look for a card that offers those rewards.
Related Article: 5 of Your Biggest Startup Problems Solved
5. Comparison Shop for Web Domains
The majority of these companies offer free Google AdWords vouchers with the purchase of a domain or hosting package.
Definitely take some extra time to comparison shop the companies and see who’s offering the best deal.
If you do choose GoDaddy, make sure to call in and speak with a sales rep. In my experience, their telephone sales team offer better pricing than their website.