In Part One of this journey, we got REAL on whether or not you should be starting your project. We went through four key questions to get super clear on your goals. Now we’re going to talk about ways to get your project done for LESS.
I’ve managed projects with zero dollar and million dollar budgets and I can tell you, regardless of the budget, savvy business owners are always interested in saving money wherever possible. Here are a few tricks I’ve picked up along the way.
1. AUDIT TIME!!!! Make a list of all of the systems that you’ll need (or may already be using). For example – email management, payment tools, CRM, lead generating tools, scheduling systems, etc. Now figure out – is there a better solution?
- Make a list of your requirements – what you “absolutely need” and a separate list for the “nice to haves” (but not required).
- Research different companies that have what you “absolutely need” and compare prices. I love using a good ol’ excel spreadsheet to do a side by side comparison. You can also jazz it up with fun colors so it’s easy on the eyes.
- Some companies offer the option of customizing products or services specifically for your needs, which helps avoid unnecessary costs.
- If you’re able to get on the phone with someone at the company, mention that you are researching the market for different options (let’s them know that you’re not sold on their service) and that you are growing your business and have a tight budget. Ask if there are any specials that they are running or if they is anything they can do on the price. You can also tell them about your project and that if they’re interested, you may be willing to partner with them to help promote their product or service. You may be surprised in what you’re able to negotiate!
2. Invest in help. Hire someone who will help you organize and stick to your budget. It could be a project manager, virtual assistant. intern, your accountability buddy, or your best friend. You’ve heard the phrase – “two minds are better than one” – well, it’s true. Set aside two hours to go through all of the numbers for your project. Then set up (in advance!!) weekly check ins where you can track your progress and redistribute funds if necessary.
3. Knowledge. Reach out to counterparts at other businesses that are using the systems and services you’re interested in using and learn from their mistakes! They may provide helpful recommendations that will save you time and money. Another popular way to connect with likeminded business owners is through social media channels like LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+. There are a TON of Facebook Groups now dedicated to small business owners. You built those networks for a reason – now use them!
4. Communication. If not executed properly, this will cost you big time! Communication with team members (aka ANYONE helping you with your project – paid or unpaid) is crucial in saving you time and money. Make a plan with tasks and deadlines and then communicate it to those that are helping you. Walk your whole team through the entire timeline even if it every piece doesn’t involve them specifically. This will allow them understand how their piece fits into the big picture. They will appreciate the time you take to explain your vision and will be more vested in your project. Check in frequently so that when roadblocks come up, you have ample time to address and redirect if needed.
Now it’s time for action. What are you going to do right now to get your project done for less? Comment below or shoot me an email.
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