Seven Ways to Save Money at Startup

Another Bullet List of Savings

I’m not counting lease negotiation in this article. A commercial lease is a huge effort with plenty of strategies for reducing costs. It’s too easy a target. Consider these bonus tips.
1. Inventory deals. Distributors often give additional discounts for your initial order because it’s so large compared to your regular weekly orders. If a distributor normally offers a 46% discount and offers an extra 2% on your first order of $15,000, you save $300.
2. Most states allow online registration of an incorporation. You don’t need to use an attorney. The difference can exceed $1,000.
3. Bank your capital reserve. If you received your capital reserve financing as part of a term loan, you might be leery about paying interest on what could be $80,000 or more. Don’t let it sit in a checking account. Put it in an interest-bearing account until you have to draw on it. Sure, you’ll earn less interest than you’re paying, but might save yourself $500 in interest that first year.
4. Shop for a checking account. If you received a bank loan, they expect you to make them your primary banking institution. If not, you’re free to shop around for the best rates. Ask about monthly fees, per-item costs, and other charges. The difference between your best choice and second-best choice might be $10/month, for a savings of $360/year.
5. Buy office supplies and equipment incrementally. Places like Office Depot and Staples frequently send their customers incentives in the form of gift cards or discount cards. Spend $50 and get $10 off, for example. Once you make a purchase, you’ll start to receive these offers. A 15% off discount could save $75 on your 3-in-1, but if you bought your supplies at once, you wouldn’t have gotten that discount.
6. Free displays. At various times, game manufacturers offer displays for their products, usually tied to certain minimum orders. In some cases, the displays are cheap cardboard pieces good for no more than a couple of weeks. In others they are beautiful racks that will serve you far longer than the products they’re designed to hold. Ask your distributor about current offers when you place your initial order. Potential savings: $600 or more.
7. Free signs. When you price your exterior sign, you could be spending a bucket of money. It’s entirely feasible for you to ask for an incentive. Let your potential sign-makers know that you’re also looking for a package deal that includes interior signage, real estate signs, a-frame signs, or whatever it is you plan to use for your store. You should easily be able to get free stuff worth 10% of your exterior sign order, for up to $400 in value.

There’s another $2,300. Enjoy it.