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Staying Lean: 6 Ways Start-ups Are Saving Money


Staying Lean: 6 Ways Start-ups Are Saving Money

Operating as a start-up comes with some challenges. Aside from adopting workflows designed for maximum impact, you also have to think about running as efficiently as possible. For some start-ups, this means limiting the number of team members helping the company and multitasking as much as possible. For others, it means being meticulous with overhead costs and saving money here and there.

Staying efficient and financial-wise is a good thing for any start-up. By limiting your overhead costs, a start-up can be more flexible, endure more hardship, and be more competitive overall. This is what we recognise as bootstrapping. So, how can your start-up save money? There are several ways you can save money and limit operational costs, and we are going to review them in this article.

Remote Working

A big office is not a necessity for a start-up. In fact, in many cases, a big office is more for image and branding than for actual operations. In a competitive market, being able to offer facilities to workers and to appear established as a company are great instruments for attracting the best talent.

For a new start-up, however, a big office isn’t always necessary. The extra costs associated with renting (or owning) a big office and operating in one can be redirected to other needs that actually bring benefits to the company.

One of the best investments in this department is a remote working system. By providing employees with a platform for easy and efficient remote working, your start-up will not only save money, but boost productivity at the same time.

Use Vouchers

We often use coupon codes and vouchers when making personal purchases, so we know how beneficial they can be for saving money. When planning a vacation, for instance, you can learn more about the different vouchers and deals available by visiting Voucher Empire.

So, why don’t we do the same when making corporate purchases? That’s the interesting thing; a lot of start-ups actively use deals and special offers to save money, and you should too. Aside from deals meant for personal users, there are also deals and vouchers designed for corporations or business users.

Vouchers are handy when buying everything from office supplies and restocking the vending machines, to picking up new furniture and renewing software licenses. There are plenty of opportunities to save just by using the right coupon codes, and they are opportunities you don’t want to miss.

Find Alternatives

Speaking of using coupon codes to save on software and digital services, it is also a great idea to search for alternatives and compare solutions before deciding to buy new software. Don’t need the full force of Adobe Dreamweaver? Perhaps the equally capable Coda 2 is an option worth a look. Don’t like the hefty price of an ERP solution? Search for open source alternatives that offer similar functionalities.

There are always alternatives to existing solutions, with a few minor exceptions. Unless you need a very specific software made exclusively by a single company, you can always find alternatives on the market.

The same is true with web services and solutions. There are more cloud providers than ever before, so you don’t have to use AWS if the environment is beyond your budget. You can switch to HubSpot or Pipedrive as an alternative to Salesforce. All it takes to save is some time allocated for comparing solutions and software.

Outsource More

As mentioned before, one of the ways start-ups can stay lean is by hiring new team members only when it is absolutely necessary. This limits your overhead costs substantially since you don’t have to spend as much on salary and other benefits.

To expand operational capacity without hiring new team members, outsourcing becomes a great strategy to consider. You start by focusing on finding team members that can lead and manage projects. Once a solid team is in place, you can hire freelancers to handle mundane tasks such as writing code and managing servers.

Freelancers are easier to find thanks to the internet. There are platforms designed to connect freelancers with potential employers. You can even mark your favourite freelancers and work with them on a longer term rather than on a project basis.

Unify Communications

If you are running a relatively new start-up, you will quickly realise that one of your biggest cost elements is communications. The cost of connecting team members, getting in touch with customers, and communicating with a wider audience can be substantial indeed.

One way to manage the communications cost is by using a unified communication system. Rather than relying on conventional phone calls and text messages, switch to IP-based systems and virtual PABX. Rather than going to meetings and spending more time in transit, use video conference technology.

Cloud communications solutions are becoming more advanced. You can have your entire PBX system in the cloud, run multiple networks for your offices, and even have your own SMS server for notifications, all for a smaller fee compared to traditional alternatives.


One last strategy you can incorporate if you want to save on your start-up expenses is collaborating with more parties. You don’t have to pay for everything; in fact, you shouldn’t. Collaborating with the right parties will not only bring your operational costs down, but also expand your reach at the same time.

For example, you can collaborate with influencers the next time you start beta testing. In return, the influencers you work with will spread news about your upcoming product while providing you with valuable insights as they test it. This saves you a lot of money on digital and influencer marketing campaigns.

Collaboration can be the key to saving money in other departments too. Offering your products or services in exchange for other products or services that you need works really well when you are trying to stay lean and control your costs.

Now that you have these six strategies to implement, staying lean as a start-up is certainly easier. Begin finding more ways to save and stay flexible in a competitive market. You will appreciate the competitive advantage you get from being efficient.

I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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