When it comes to spending money, I take the typical Yorkshire approach. I avoid it at all costs. You really have to convince me why I need it and the difference it will make for me. I hate wasting money and will make the most of freebies, free trials and discounts. So for all those small businesses in York looking to save money and make your marketing budget stretch as far as it can, this is the blog for you!
Here are my top 5 tips
1. Make the most of FREE listings
In the current climate business directories are giving away free listings left right and center. Here are the ones I have found, remember to make a note of any listings you create so you can keep them up to date. Let me know if you find any more to add to the list!
2. Make the most of FREE business support
Ad:Venture offer free 1 to 1 mentoring, SEO support and training as well as access to grants. This organisation is funded by the EU and looking to help and grow businesses under 3 years old who trade B2B. They also have a series of Webinars that can be accessed through Eventbrite.
The LEP covers Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield, plus the City of York. They offer support on finding funding, business advice and training.
The FSB are focused on supporting small businesses with a wide range of vital business services including advice, financial expertise, webinars, support and a powerful voice heard in government. If you are quick York City Council have free memberships they are currently giving away to eligible businesses.
Make It York are currently offering free advice and mentoring to businesses in York through their Business Support team. They offer support advice and signposting, for example on business planning, access to finance, skills, networking, commercial property and supply chains.
3. To DIY or not to DIY?
Have you considered writing your own press releases or updating your own website? For my top tips on grabbing a journalists attention visit my blog: How to build brand awareness through a press release. Having created my own website I know how tough web development and design is. My top tip for websites, if you have the time to dedicate to it, is to watch as many tutorial videos as you can, you will need a lot of patience and expect to be in it for the long haul!
When you have the time, doing a quick google search or going on a cost effective or free online course can give you the tools you need to make big savings ongoing by doing it yourself.
Sometimes there will be things you just can’t do yourself and you need to bring in the professionals to help. Make sure you get several quotes and don’t always go with the cheapest – yes that’s right! Go with the person who is going to do the best job at the right value for your business. If you are going to invest do so wisely – you don’t want to regret it and have to pay twice to get the job done properly. Chose someone who really gets your business and what you are trying to achieve, not a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
4. Take advantage of free trials
Maybe you are in the early stages of setting your business up or you are looking to use invest in a new business service. Don’t pay for things that are not critical until you really need them and have tried, tested and proven their value to your business. How often are you really likely to use it and what value does it add to your business.
For images companies such as Canva and Unsplash have a huge library of stock images you can use for free and the download resolution is fine for websites. Canva also has the added benefit of tones of templates for social media posts, banners and business cards!
Don’t sign up for accountancy programs till you have a steady stream of invoices to deal with. Use programs such as Excel to work out what information you need to collect and gain a basic understanding of book keeping.
5. Keep a track of your costs
Monthly outgoings can add up and the basic cost to run your business on a monthly basis needs to be carefully monitored. Asses what you are paying for and the value it brings to your business. Try and commit to doing it once a year at the very least, you will be amazed at the savings you can make.
Make sure you are regularly sense checking your highest business costs. It maybe that moving to a different supplier can create huge savings or you may be eligible for special introductory offers. But make sure you trial them out before you move – cost savings are great but ensuing you have the same great quality and experience are just as important.