Overheads can easily mount up when you’re freelance, so here are five ways to help minimise your bills:
Tip no 1: Low-cost networking
If you can’t afford the annual fees of a networking group and the (often) expensive meals associated with them, then do what I do: organise your own networking event with a friend. You both invite five people the other doesn’t know and you arrange to meet in a coffee bar. If you do this on a monthly basis, you will have met 60 new business contacts and reconnected with 60 of your own network. And your only outlay over the course of the year is 12 coffees (and maybe 12 muffins).
Tip no 2: Learn new skills for nothing
It’s important to keep learning new skills but the cost of signing up for courses can be prohibitive. There are some great free webinars and free e-books available online, so spend some time googling the subject you’re keen to know more about. In the UK, Business Link runs a whole series of seminars and workshops which are usually free.
Tip no 3: Cheap phone calls
Use Skype instead of your landline or mobile. Calls to another Skype user are free and calls to non-Skype users are a fraction of the normal cost. In the UK, if you use DialAbroad, you can call over 100 countries for under 2p a minute. Another low-cost way of calling abroad from your mobile is to buy a mobile phone card from a company such as Lebara Mobile - it will save you a packet.
Tip no 4: Attend an industry conference for free
Is there an industry conference or annual awards event you need to attend, but it costs an arm and a leg? See if you can be part of the organising committee. I’ve done this twice and both times I was given free entrance to the conference, as well as free hotel accommodation and free meals. On both occasions, this saved me several hundred pounds.
Tip no 5: Free website
If you need a new website or want to start a blog, use WordPress and choose one of their many free themes. Or, if you’re in the UK, ‘Getting British Business Online’ is offering small business owners (and that includes us) their first website for FREE. GBBO is a joint initiative by Google, Enterprise UK, BT, e-skills UK and other partners. They are offering:
- A free .co.uk address
- A free customisable website
- Free unlimited website updates
- Easy-to-set-up business email
Check out a recent post I wrote about their free website offer.
Do you have any money-saving tips you’d like to share?