1. What are you paying for that you don’t really need?
We’re all paying for something, somewhere, that we don’t really need; even bootstrapping start-ups. And for whatever reason we haven’t cancelled it, queried it, or plain dealt with it. Well, now’s the time. Every penny adds up and, over the period of a year, can be quite a significant sum. Go through your bank statements and highlight the charges or payments that are not needed or necessary and get rid of them. Included in that are bank charges. Look at your cashflow, identify where the problem is and move the date of the payment. Most companies will be flexible in this regard.
2. What are you paying a premium price for that you could find for less elsewhere?
By that I mean insurance, utilities, supplies, and even loan payments and bank account charges. How often do we just say yes to an automatic renewal and not query the price? How often do we stick with the same bank, even when the free period ends? We think of the (often imagined) hassle and put it to one side for another day. Which never comes, of course. Take an hour or two and go through your expenses and identify where you could make savings. You’ll be surprised at the sums involved.
3. What are you paying for monthly that you could pay for yearly, and save some interest?
If cashflow is starting to look positive, see where you can change from monthly payments to yearly. The savings aren’t always huge but they are savings nonetheless, and all add to the bottom line.
4. Do you have money ‘hanging around’ each month that could make you money elsewhere?
When we get to the fortunate point of having money ‘hanging around’ in our accounts, the hoarding instinct seems to set in. Based upon the struggles that we’ve experienced over the start-up years, we have a worry that we might not have the cash for an emergency, or when we need it, so we leave the money in our current account – making us nothing.
Look at setting up an instant access savings account, and just transferring the cash across back and forth. OK, the interest might not be great but it gets you into the habit of working within a budget and using the extra money in a more constructive way.
Or what about investing the money straight back into your business, helping you to make yet more money? Buy some extra supplies to make or sell more product. Hire some help in for a few days to get you ahead on some work (and invoice quicker). Or do some more marketing to find even more clients.
Don’t just let it sit in your account, wasting away. It is, indeed, a waste.
5. Finally, what are your payment terms?
If 28 days, could you move to 21? Those 7 days could make a lot of difference to your cashflow, helping you to achieve some of the money-saving ideas listed.
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