Keep More Profits in Your Home Business

5 Tips to Run Your Home Business on a Budget

Keep more of your profits
Keep more of your profits!. Credit: | Getty Images

Running a home business involves some financial investment; however, with savvy business management strategies, you can keep your expenses down and your profits up. Here are tips to running your home business on a budget.

1. Know What Brings The Most Bang for Your Buck.

Many home-based entrepreneurs don’t track what’s going on in their business. As a result, they waste time and money on tasks that don’t lead to results.

Saving on expenses in your home business requires that you know what expenditures are pulling their weight and which aren’t. Are you running Facebook ads? Do you know if they’re leading to sales? If you’re not generating profit from your Facebook ads, it’s time to stop running them.

Go through all your business expenses and determine which are giving you results and which aren’t. For those that aren’t producing, determine if you can tweak what you’re doing to make them work better or eliminate them.

2. Use What You’ve Got

You’re better off to “shop” at home for things you need before heading out to the office store. For example, do you really need a new bookcase or can you use one from another room in your home? This is especially true organizational items. Go through your home, attic, and garage to find boxes, shelves and other items you can use instead of buying them. You’ll not only save money, but you’ll keep from cluttering your home more.

3. Focus on Publicity Over Advertising

It doesn’t hurt to use both publicity and advertising, but since publicity offers a bigger bang for your buck (it’s free) and people are more likely to respond to a PR piece than an ad, you should put greater emphasis on publicity. Publicity involves reaching out to media sources as an expert.

My favorite PR method is to search the HARO report and respond to opportunities that fit my business.  However, sending press releases to local and/or targeted media sources is another way to get noticed and get your business in the news. Don’t just focus on news outlets. Podcasts, blogs and trade resources (i.e. association newsletters and trade magazines) need expert tips and story ideas as well.

4. Use Free Resources

Today, there are many great tools and resources you can use in your home business that are free and low cost. However, you need to weigh the “price” of free against your professional image. For example, free websites have more difficult domain names and often run third-party ads that can detract from your business. For that reason, spending the money on a domain and web hosting is recommended. However, you can use a service like MailChimp, which is free for the first 2000 subscribers, to start your newsletter. A service such as HootSuite offers free social media management and scheduling.  In fact, there are many ways to market your business for free.

But marketing isn’t the only area you can save. If Microsoft products aren’t required in your work, use free tools such as Open Office or Google Docs.

Create graphics using GIMP or the free resources through Canva or PicMonkey. There are ways to get tons of free stuff including furniture, financial software and more.

5. Borrow or Barter

If you don’t need an item forever, or if you can’t afford a service, look into borrowing or bartering. You may have friends or family willing to lend you an extra phone or desk until your business is up and running. Or barter for help. For example, if you’re a bookkeeper, you can offer a graphic designer bookkeeping help in exchange for logo creation.