5 Ways To Do Business While Saving Money
11 Apr 2011
It's no secret that I'm a hustler. It's in my blood. For as long as I can remember I've had ideas to do this or that to make money. From stupid schemes as a kid, short term (read: half ass) ideas as a late teen and into my 20's, and into my later twenties when I finally started to learn that it takes time, a lot of hard work and dedication to make any money on your own in business.
I've failed mostly but still managed to squeeze out a good living. I've sold my interest in 2 companies that I co-founded. I currently (co-)own and sell a few different products and services online and that helps keep me a float and able to put some money into new ideas and products.
Over the years I've learned a few odd ways to save money. Figured I'd share a few of them with you. When it comes to making money online (or offline,) literally every dollar counts.
1. Use Fiverr
Have you ever used Fiverr.com? If not, you're in for a treat! Basically it's a listing of services that people around the world are willing to do for just $5. Yup, only five bucks! The number of services offered for this rate is insane.
For example I just purchased a voice recording for a new sales video I'm working on. Oh, and she also threw in 2 new voice recordings for my office phone system.
There are reviews and ratings for each provider so you'll get a good idea of what you're going to get. All for only $5. It's awesome, use it!
I used to have shopping carts, affiliate tracking software, sales reporting, up sale services, etc. as separate products. Each month I'd spend more than twice the amount I would if I just consolidated into a single account that offered all of these services. Really I was just being lazy and didn't want to do the work to move everything into a new account. It is a lot of work but well worth it in the long run.
I've used various services but was never really completely happy with any of them. I finally decided to roll out my own. It worked out so well I let a few marketing buddies use it. They loved it, and so I partnered with my buddy Joe Lavery and we began to sell it. It's called CartFreak.
Click here to see the demo for yourself. (yea, shameless plug)
3. Use SEO
You'd be surprised how often this is over looked. Now I'm definitely no SEO guru but nothing will bring free traffic to your websites like good quality content and good concoction of keyword sprinkling, inbound links, properly formatted pages, etc.
One person who's blog I read often is Neil Patel. He's a well known SEO expert had has great tips now and then on how to do some basic SEO that will really help you build your organic traffic.
Read this article he wrote on SEO as an example. Some people happily pay for information like this...
4. Get Creative
I'm the first to admit that I don't have a creative bone in my body. Except when it comes to getting something I want. I'll figure out ways to get the things I want, not sure where I got this "gift" from but I got it. Some things take longer, some are quicker but still I know that if I really want something, I will acquire it at some point in my life and it's usually worth the wait.
Sometimes (actually most of the time) you have to think outside the box a little bit. Here's an example of how I helped a friend close a deal for a new product he's launching - Ready made Michelada cups. What is a Michelada you ask? I'm to lazy to explain, but basically it's a bloody mary, in beer form. Just go read more about it here.
Anyways, he sold a large order of his cups but didn't have the inventory or the funds to produce enough product to fill this order. My idea was to have the buyer put up 50% of the money up front in exchange for a 10% discount on this and all future orders for 6 months. He then paid his manufacturer 30% down to fill the order and a 5% bonus after he had paid off the entire cost of the order which was to be paid after he had delivered the order to the customer who then gave him the remaining 50% owed.
In the end he got his order filled, had a happy customer because of the 10% discount, a happy manufacturer because of the bonus and continued work, and had enough money left over to place another large order so he can immediately fill future orders without having to move money around in this way.
All of this while essentially using OPM (you know, "other peoples money")
Remember, a closed mouth doesn't get fed. Don't be afraid to think a little outside the box and act, it often works out in the end!
5. Use Free Services
Are you really still paying for MS Office licenses? There are so many alternatives that are cheaper or flat out free. I personally use Google Docs, GMail, Google Reader, etc. all free and they are actually all excellent tools. I fucking love Google Docs! (oh yea, I went there.)
There are free services for most things you can think of. Project management, book keeping, invoicing, etc. You name it, there is probably a free account somewhere that can offer it to you. As things grow and that service becomes more important, you upgrade your plan to get more features. It's called the "Freemium" model and a lot of smart startups are using it to help build their business. Take advantage of it!
For now yea. There are so many different tips that one could give. I tried to think of ones where I had examples to show how they can be effective. I'm tired of the same old boring "bootstrap" articles and blog posts I see everywhere. So hopefully this helped get your juices flowing and motivated you a bit.
Got some tips for me? Please share them!