You don’t win in business by wasting money. Even the most successful entrepreneurs pinched pennies in the early days–and many still do. Here, several multimillionaires share their best cost-cutting tips when you’re trying to get your startup off the ground.
1. Cash in credit card rewards. Before the success of the George Forman grill super-charged sales at his direct-response television marketing firm, Rick Cesari became resourceful in using his credit card points to buy event tickets or thank high-performing employees by sending them on weekend getaways. Today, the founder of Seattle, Wash.-based Cesari Direct, charges between $125,000 to $200,000 on an Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card, and still uses the rewards to save several thousand dollars each year on employee perks at his $5 million company.
2. Skip the fancy furniture. “I didn’t buy new furniture for the first six years I was in business,” says Brett D. Reizen, CEO of Entertainment Benefits Group, LLC, Aventura, Florida, a $100 million provider of travel and entertainment services. Of course, you can start by checking out local used furniture shops or search on Craigslist. There are also furniture rental services like CORT, which can reduce the upfront cash you need to outfit your office. It also sells that rental furniture at deep discounts when clients are done with it. Find more online at CubeClerk, an office furniture marketplace.
3. Recycle and reuse shipping supplies. Even though his online garden supply retail business, Growers House, skyrocketed to $2 million in revenue in its first nine months, founder Nate Lipton only spent $300 on shipping supplies. Whenever the Tucson, Ariz.-based business receives its shipments it turns around and reuses all the boxes. If you’re shipping via Priority Mail, the U.S. Postal Service also offers free boxes and envelopes. Of course, there are discount cardboard box sellers, such as UsedCardboardBoxes.com, you can turn to as well.
4. Be creative about space. Instead of springing for a posh office to sell RetroFitness health club franchises, founder Eric Casaburi used an extra room in one of his health clubs. It wasn’t pretty, he says, but it saved him more than $10,000 in office rent and also fit with the company’s bare-bones brand image. Co-working spaces are another option…
Read more: Gwen Moran, Entrepreneur