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Self-Employed? 8 Ways to Lower Your Expenses

By: Lynn Ruthe

 

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You own your own home-based business and, like many, had a tough financial year. 2020 is a year that most people want to leave behind. Thankfully, there are several ways to reduce your home-based business expenses so you can run leaner and more profitably in 2021. 

Credit Card Debt

Many freelancers have excessive credit card debt because of the inconsistencies in earnings from one month to another. For some, this past year was more challenging, resulting in maxed out cards. Sticking to a budget offers a way to regulate your income and keep finances on track. However, if your credit card debt is excessive and you feel that you cannot recover on your own, companies like Strategic Consulting outlines several options for debt relief. 

Lower Home or Rental Costs

Freelancers have an advantage over people who work for a physical company. They can live where they want. If the cost of living in one state rises out of your reach, you have the option of moving to another state. Whether you own a home or rent, you can lower overhead costs by changing your address

Online Meetings

If your home-based business involves monthly meetings with people from other states or countries, choose to meet online versus in person. COVID-19 is forcing many small businesses to find creative ways to achieve goals and cut costs. Fortunately, platforms such as Zoom and Skype provide opportunities to meet in groups face-to-face in real-time. This allows you to communicate effectively, without spending money on airfare, meals, and hotels. 

Reach More Customers

Your website is something you invest time, energy, and money into building. However, unless people know it’s there, you won’t improve sales. The good news is there are a few ways to attract attention to your site for little money. Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook have millions of viewers on at any given time. For a nominal fee, you can select targeted times for your company ad to appear and reach your targeted audience. While email is nothing new, sending out mass emails is inexpensive and again allows you to reach many potential customers.  

Quarterly Taxes

To save money, you may opt to file your own quarterly taxes. However, in the end, this may cost more money. Unless you understand the tax codes, you may miss deductions and pay more than you need to pay. Having an accountant handle your taxes will ensure that you get every legitimate deduction possible. 

The Cost of Supplies

Office supplies can consume much of your small business budget. Thankfully, there are ways to pay less. Using well-known discount chains like Wal-Mart, Amazon, and BJ’s is a good start. Some vendors reward customers for loyalty. Check out these stores and do comparison shopping. The frequent supplies such as copy paper, pens, and files, should be purchased in bulk to further your savings. 

Take Advantage of Free Online Services

Software is something that every business, small or large, needs. However, unlike a large corporation that needs a host of software features, freelancers often survive with minimal requirements. Apps such as Evernote, WordPress, OpenOffice, and Google are free when you only require the basics. 

Time Management

As a freelancer, time is always of the essence. Managing time effectively can help you earn more and spend less. Online operations differ from the office environment. A late assignment or poor quality can cost you to lose out on future work. Creating a schedule that works for you is in your best interest. Unfortunately, as more people turn to freelance work as a viable option for employment, competition increases. 

You enjoy self-employment. You get to work from home and be your own boss. Luckily, there are ways to reduce costs and make it even more profitable. 

Published: March 31, 2021
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