And with a New Year comes the inevitable resolutions. Things that you’ve been putting off over the last 12 months, but really should start abiding by.
For most of us, New Year resolutions involve lifestyle changes that serve to make us healthier. Losing weight, quitting smoking and going to the gym more are all classic examples. But Christmas will have undoubtedly involved some major spending and as a result, it’s our finances that could do with some TLC this January.
With that in mind, I’ve taken it upon myself to compile this virtual assistant’s survival guide to saving money. Hopefully, you’ll pick up some useful tips and get your New Year off to the right start financially.
Leverage Social Media for Exposure
Ever stopped and wondered why every huge brand you know encourages you to like their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter? It’s because they want to leverage the superb advertising opportunities that social media affords.
Clicking ‘like’ or ‘follow’ means you are signing up to receive all their future updates and while many of those may be useful or entertaining, there will inevitably be sales pitches thrown into the mix too.
Traditional advertising mediums, like TV, radio and print, are expensive and very much one-way in their nature. Social media allows for proper audience engagement and is as cheap as advertising gets in today’s world.
Outsource Wherever Possible
There’s no denying that the lifeblood of every business is its employees. But people costs can consume a large proportion of a business budget and if you’re a start-up that can significantly affect your chances of growth.
It’s no surprise then that more and more businesses are looking to outsource their tasks to skilled freelancers and virtual assistants like me. You’ll only pay for the services you use and ultimately save money on recruitment costs, physical equipment and training, to name but a few.
By keeping just a core team of staff and outsourcing everything else, companies can free up their employees’ time to focus on the jobs that really matter and drive real business value in the long-run.
Take Advantage of Tools and Applications
Nowadays, there are tools and apps to help us with almost anything. And while some may involve a small investment, the productivity gains you’ll realise as a result far outweigh the cost.
I even wrote a post outlining some of my top productivity tools, all of which make my life a whole lot easier on a daily basis.
The beauty of tools and apps is that they are often very intuitive and you can start reaping the rewards right away.
One example, off the top of my head, is Skype. Traditionally, meetings involved travel costs, hotel costs and a lot of time. With Skype, you can hold a constructive meeting virtually and incur very little in the way of costs.
Going green can not only save your business money but it’s also great for PR.
Now while many of us aren’t in a position to construct a state-of-the-art new building which incorporates the latest energy-saving innovations, we can make a few small changes that will all go some way to saving money and the environment.
Simple things like switching off computer monitors when they’re not in use, dimming lights or turning them off completely overnight and printing double-sided will all save you money in the long-term.
Reducing your energy consumption will in-turn reduce your energy bills, waste and pollution. It’s a win-win situation all round. Make 2015 the year in which you implement a greener mindset.
If you like what you’ve read then you should also check out my virtual assistant’s guide to saving time while you’re here.