How To Cut Costs When Starting Out as a Contractor

The cost to start any business is usually pretty high, making it essential to find ways to cut costs early on so that you can start working with a decent budget to make further investments.

There are many ways to boost yourself in the right direction when you’re starting out as a contractor, but if you don’t make smart choices, most of your investments will be nothing more than sunk costs.

Some investments are definitely worth it with the right timing, but looking for ways to cut costs is sometimes far more relevant.

Let’s talk about how you can use free resources, cloud storage, and used equipment to save money, thus giving you more budget to invest in your business!

Take advantage of free tools

There are hundreds of excellent apps and resources out there for free. In fact, I’ve mentioned quite a few of them before in articles such as:

The idea is that in most cases, you can find resources that are free and will greatly improve your workflow. Paid versions and other options are also available, but those aren’t necessary unless your company needs a very specific feature, which is rare.

And better yet, most of the free resources recommended above can be used entirely free despite having paid versions. Some apps will greatly limit your options with a free trial to force you into buying, but that’s not the case here.

Embrace cloud storage

Cloud storage is extremely useful and you can get a lot of space for free. Simply having a Google account gives you 15GB for free, which for storing simple documents such as contracts and estimates is more than most people will need in a lifetime.

Obviously, cloud storage can be expanded for businesses with paid versions, but once again, you probably won’t need that unless you’re storing large files at once (like pictures or 3D construction models).

The advantage of cloud storage is that you can access your files from anywhere with an internet connection, making a remote office that much easier to manage.

Make deliberate marketing investments

Online marketing has become more accessible than ever in recent years, but it can too destroy your budget should you throw caution to the wind.

The worst thing you can do when it comes to marketing is trial and error. True, there’s merit in attempting new things, but you should always strive to be deliberate with your investments.

My best recommendation is to study as much about marketing as you can, especially online marketing, given how that’s the most accessible way to spread the word about your business and get clients. 

Learn how to ensure your marketing efforts work!

Rethink your office space

Most contractors start with nothing more than a simple office, and many more start with not even that. But in recent years, it’s become clear that a lot can be done with a remote office as long as you’re prepared for it.

Besides, renting an office space is a huge cost when you’re starting out. It’s definitely something to strive towards, but you can start without it just fine.

Instead, invest in a good laptop and smartphone that you can take with you on the go, as well as a good and reliable internet plan. Many cities will also have co-working spaces that you can rent for much cheaper than an office.

But as an even cheaper alternative, you can simply sit down in a coffee shop with wi-fi and get yourself a snack – thus supporting a local business and getting work done at the same time. Once again, much cheaper than renting an office.

Buy used equipment

Equipment can be expensive, but there’s a rather obvious way to make it cheaper: focus on acquiring used equipment.

Yes, you have to be more careful with who you purchase from, but this can dramatically cut down your costs. And the range of equipment is vast: for example, you can get a used smartphone, computer, and printer, as your main “office” supplies, which should leave you enough to acquire new job-specific gear.

This will vary depending on which area you focus on, but it can be anything from measuring devices, protective equipment, or even a work car to use instead of your personal one.

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