Starting a business is an incredibly exciting, rewarding and remarkable thing to do. But anyone who’s ever set up a business or been involved in a start-up’s early life will know that it’s an endeavour which also comes with its own challenges. In fact, even if you’ve only seen somebody close to you taking part in a start up business, you’ll probably have witnessed some high levels of stress.
One of the most significant and commonly-encountered difficulties for start-ups is running at a low cost while you go through the initial stages of growth. While you are still trying to spread knowledge of your brand and increase your revenues, you still have to meet the costs that are associated with running any business. But luckily, there are a few ways that you can keep your overheads down and reduce your company’s spending while it comes into its own.
Getting your business off the ground should almost definitely involve some degree of teamwork – it’s a lot of pressure and responsibility to handle alone, and so many different things are involved that you’ll want to be able to tap into various areas of expertise.
In any venture powered by teamwork, maintaining open channels of communication is key. Particularly in something which can be as fast-paced and fragile as a start-up, being able to get in touch quickly and efficiently at a moment’s notice can be crucial.
But paying for expensive conference calls can be expensive. Subscription-based plans are sometimes prohibitively priced, and specifically designed to coerce customers into opting for a costlier option by not including common necessities in more basic packages. For some people, paying for virtual meetings on a per-call basis can be even worse, though. It’s more difficult to track how much you’re spending, and include costs in your projected budget. Sometimes, an unexpected, large phone bill at the end of the month can be the difference between turning a profit or operating at a loss.
Thankfully, if you do your research you should be able to find an option that fits in with your business’s needs and its budget. Call.Group’s plans have been carefully thought-through with real businesses in mind, matching the price to the features usually required by businesses with that particular budget.
And if you have no extra budget to dedicate to telecommunications, we still have you covered. We know just how important keeping a team connected is, so we don’t want any company to miss out on the innumerable benefits of conference calling.
That’s why Call.Group offers a totally free package that still includes a whole host of great perks. With it, you’ll still be able to have up to 50 participants attend your conference call, or 5 online participants. You’ll also get to make use of really valuable collaboration tools like live chat, screen and file sharing and document presentation, and scheduling.
Depending on your needs, you can also head over to WHYPAY? to find genuinely free telephone conference calls and totally free web conferencing. It’s incredibly straightforward: from the home page, you just click on the button to create either a telephone or web conference call room, and you’ll immediately be provided with the meeting room number, access PIN, and the number you’ll need to dial to join. You don’t need to sign up for anything, or even provide so much as an email address or a name.
And although WHYPAY? is totally free, it still provides an amazing array of features for you and your participants (which can be as many as 100!). Among these included features are the ability to create and name up to 50 separate teleconferencing rooms, scheduling and invitations, and the immensely powerful tool that is call recording. You can even hold international conference calls if you’re working with people overseas!
Of course, not every little thing will require a conference call, and you’ll want to be able to stay constantly in touch while you’re all still getting on with your work.
That’s where free communication tools like Slack come in handy. With it, you can create lots of different chat rooms to dedicate to different tasks or teams in order to keep conversations clear and focused. You can then organise these different chats in order of security, deciding whether you want everybody to be able to join and leave as they wish and access all the attachments and chat history. If you want to tighten access, you can create private conversations which require an invitation to be joined.
Slack also lets you share documents easily by simply dragging and dropping them into conversations, keeping all the team fully informed.
There’s more to teamwork than just being able to get in touch. To help with project management, you can make use of free tools like Asana. It allows you to create different projects and split each of these up into individual tasks that need to be completed. These tasks can then be assigned to the corresponding colleague, so that everybody knows exactly what they need to do and when, and can keep track of how everyone else is getting on.
An integrated calendar makes it really easy to see what due dates are coming up, as well as any other important events that need to be remembered. You can also attach documents that the team might need, and add comments and feedback at nearly every level, be it individual sub-tasks or entire projects.
And because it’s cloud-based, you can all be working on a project at the same time, and from anywhere in the world. Even if you don’t yet have an office, you can take a tour of different coffee shops and find your own favourite cake spots like we did, and still access all the information you need to get on with the tasks at hand.
There are also great services like Evernote, a wonderful working tool which can revolutionise the way you work on your own, but also really adds to team-based projects by making it easy to share and collate different notes and information you all generate.
In the same vein, you can use services like Dropbox to store all of your files in the Cloud without making a dent in your budget.
Again, this will make it easy to quickly access all of your work from anywhere in the world, even if you’re travelling to meetings or trying to spend a little bit more time at home.
Keeping your team informed and on-track around the clock and around the world is one of the most important things you can do to make sure that your start-up finds its feet. And if you’ve ever had the traumatic experience of breaking or losing a laptop, or even a phone, you probably know how devastating it can be to lose all the files you didn’t back up. By storing them in the Cloud, no damaged hardware can wipe out all of your hard work!
Keeping your money in order
In the project of keeping down costs while trying to increase your revenue, carefully controlling and analysing your finances is one of the most important things you can do. However, it would seem bitterly ironic to have to spend extra money on this. And hiring accountants and finance experts can certainly come with a hefty price tag.
But here again there are handy free business tools which can step in and make your life easier. Look to something like Brightbook for free bookkeeping help. It lets users easily create and manage invoices and client files, and offers templates designed to your business’s unique needs. Customisable fields include things like currency, taxes, and discounts.
You’ll always know what’s going on with your money if you keep an eye on the integrated diary stored in the Brightbook app. You can make sure all the numbers are fully up to date, because the service also allows you to import transactions which do not happen on the app, so that you can see the bigger picture of your financial situation.
Even clearer and more time saving might be the reports which Brightbook can generate for you. For example, you can see a Profit and Loss report which will give you insight into details regarding the start-up’s financial health, and tailor your approach to keep in line with the way it develops.