Getting value for money online

Published · 2 min read

When you start a new business, controlling costs is a top priority – along with getting those first sales in the bag, of course. Find out how to save money on online services.

Controlling costs doesn’t mean spending as little as possible. It means getting value for money while meeting the needs of your new business. One of the main pitfalls is the internet. There is a bewildering range of online services out there, and as soon as you start up your company, its details find their way to people who bombard you with offers for cheap websites, social media, videos, paid directory listings, and search engine optimisation.

We all get them – and being in the business, it’s quite amusing to be offered services that we sell by people who obviously haven’t done any research. But if you don’t know the score, it’s very easy to be sucked in to strategies that are not going to work for you.

Don’t rush in

Take some time to understand where your business sits, where your customers are, and how best to use the online space to speak to them. Every business is different; one size does not fit all. If this means paying an expert to set out a simple strategy, it is money well spent. Once you know where you are going, you can say “yes” to the best and “no” with confidence.

Saying no

As a rule in all aspects of business, if an offer seems too good to be true, then it probably is. There are plenty of attractive deals being thrust at you all the time, but take them with a pinch of salt. In particular, not even Google can get you on the first page of Google!

Be wary too of any approaches trying to bundle different services together without even asking about your business. Not everything out there is going to be right for you – and if the person selling to you doesn’t know what you do, then they don’t have your best interests at heart.

Value your time

It’s easy to be trapped by things you can do yourself. After all, social media is free! You can spend all day on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and forums without it costing a penny! Well, think again. For a start, there are very few businesses who need to be spread that thinly across the online space – pick wisely. And of course, while you aren’t spending money, you may be missing an opportunity to earn.

Another classic trap is spending time building a free website on a template, or accepting the offer of a free site as part of a bundle. It looks like a good solution, but you are unlikely to own the domain name you choose, and when you decide to upgrade and move on this causes more problems and incurs costs you don’t need.

Stay in control and save money

Taking a little time at the start to understand the online space and where you fit can help you control those costs. Understanding brings confidence, and confidence keeps you in control.

Subscribe to the Sage Advice enewsletter

Get a roundup of our best business advice in your inbox every month.

Leave a response