Spending money on your business is not always a bad thing. In some cases, it may be an investment that helps you bring in more income.
However, there is a fine line between investing in your design business and making a frivolous purchase. The latter could be disastrous. Due to factors such as tight economy, geopolitical upheaval, or pandemic make the practice more risky. So, if a Porsche is your ideal company car, you might want to consider scaling back.
The good news is that our industry is one where you can work for free. Sure, there are high-end apps and hardware. But they are not requirements. And in many cases, they are overkill.
You don’t have to be a big spender to have a successful design business. Today, we’ll share some ideas for cutting corners while still maintaining quality. Your savings account will thank you!
Reassess Your Needs
First, let’s consider a tricky question: what do you actually do? need run your business?
On the surface, it’s easy to say that we need a particular product or service to do our job. But sometimes those items are more of a wanting. Yes, it would be nice to have that 40-inch monitor. It may even make you more productive. But it is not a requirement.
When you can distinguish between a real need and something that would be beneficial, you are on the path to running your business on the cheap. Electricity is what you need. Probably not that luxurious office chair.
That’s not to say you should never give in to the “wishes” on your list. If a particular item is reasonably priced and will save you money in the long run, it may be worth the splurge. The same goes for items that promote better health.
But if you have the critical thinking skills to make good decisions, you’ll be sure to have what you need – and maybe a little more.
Get the most out of your hardware
Buying hardware is a big expense. And the COVID-19 pandemic made things even worse, as supply shortages led to skyrocketing prices for components like video cards.
If your desktop or laptop device isn’t too old, it might be worth squeezing another year out of it. This is especially so if your everyday apps run at an acceptable speed.
Plus, there’s always the chance to make a key upgrade or two. For example, adding more memory or high-performance storage could extend the useful life of your computer even further. Both can be done for quite a reasonable price compared to buying a whole new setup.
While it’s nice to have the latest hardware, it’s also totally possible to get rid of what you already have.
Use Free Apps whenever possible
Some niche apps are aimed at designers and developers. And their costs can add up quickly.
The shift towards subscription-based software doesn’t help matters. When you buy in you are on the back foot with significant annual licensing fees. Additionally, if you choose not to renew, you will often lose access to the app.
Amazingly, the open source movement has created some excellent free options. They often resemble commercial behemoths in terms of basic functionality. Sure, you might be missing some fancy options. But if they are not necessary for your job, there is no reason to part with your hard earned money.
For example, you don’t need to drop a week’s wages on that commercial office suite when Libre Office does essentially the same thing. And if you need a photo editor, GIMP may have plenty of features to help you get the job done.
There is also a tie in using the hardware you already have. Opting for Linux over Windows or macOS not only saves money, but it may also run faster on your legacy processor.
Even better is that any savings you get from using free software can be applied towards the cost of the commercial apps you need.
Go Market Hunting
Whether it’s hardware, software or services, prices can fluctuate slightly throughout the year. The $200 cost in May could set you back $150 in December.
The clear times for sales usually come around the holidays. Black Friday is very much a global phenomenon these days. But your locale may have other periods when good deals are available.
In addition, the previous generation may be heavily discounted when new products are launched. When that new iPhone launches, the price of the older models will undoubtedly drop. If you’re looking to upgrade, the less recent version is worth considering.
This can also work both ways, as a newly released product or service may have a limited time sale price. For example, SaaS (software as a service) startup providers are often eager to get early adopters to sign up. Therefore, they will be offered at a much cheaper price for those who join the campaign.
All that said, it’s worth keeping that in mind When Your purchase can make a significant difference. Jumping in at the right time is key to keeping costs low.
The Benefits of Being Cheap
Frugality is not always considered a good trait. We complain when clients do. But under the right circumstances, being free can be an asset.
In addition, saving money in one area can provide an opportunity to “go big” in another. It could be the difference between buying a low-end computer and one with the latest features.
That said, cheap doesn’t have to be an all-encompassing lifestyle. It’s just a strategy to keep your business healthy and strong.