Insights

How to Save Money in Your Freelance Business

By  Karen Banes

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At least once a year, it’s a good idea to assess your freelance business and see if there are areas where you can save money. Many business expenses are automated, and it’s easy to allow them to get away from you if you don’t take a close look at your outgoings on a regular basis. Here’s what you want to be watching out for as you look over your business expenses to see if there are changes you can make.

Don’t Pay for What You Don’t Use

Cut unnecessary subscriptions. This is usually an area we look at when tidying up our personal finances, but often overlooked when assessing business expenses. And as a business owner you may be paying out a lot of monthly fees for all kinds of services that you may or may not be using.

Look at things like your website hosting, domain names, email clients, etc. Are you using all the digital property, and every single service, you pay for? Are you running any ads you don’t need? Or still paying for membership sites you never visit?

Check You’re Doing Things as Efficiently as Possible

If you run more than one website using different hosting providers, for example, it may be much cheaper to switch to a multi-site plan at one host. On the other hand, if you run more than one email list, and your individual lists are quite small, it may be cheaper (or even free) to run a smaller list at a separate email client. This will depend on what features you need, of course, and whether it causes you inconvenience to use two different systems, but sometimes it can actually simplify things to use different systems for different aspects of your business.

Make Sure You’re Not Paying for the Same Thing Twice

It’s easy to do, especially when things come as a package. I used to pay for the professional version of Dropbox for cloud storage as well as Microsoft Office which, if you’re not aware, comes with a significant amount of cloud storage via OneDrive. I didn’t need both.

I also used to have accounts with various different stock photography sites as well as a pro account with Canva. As a content writer I do need easy access to high-quality images to illustrate my written work, but only a limited number of them. I don’t need multiple accounts.

Get on Top of Your Taxes

It’s definitely possible to overpay your tax as a freelancer, and the tax authorities won’t be in any rush to point it out or pay it back when this happens. Make sure you know exactly what your deductible expenses are and how to organize your business, as well as things like your pension, health insurance and life insurance, to ensure that you’re making the most of your tax situation as a freelancer.

This is one area where spending out on some advice from a professional can often save you a lot of money in the long run, so consider using a specialist tax advisor to ensure you’re doing everything you can to optimize your situation, as well as to ensure you don’t get any nasty surprises, come tax season.

Outsource Carefully

As a freelancer, it’s likely that you pay out to outsource some of the things you can’t or don’t want to do yourself, but again, make sure you’re not paying for things you don’t really need. I advise freelancers to assess their business carefully and check that tasks can’t be eliminated, simplified, or automated before they pay to outsource them.

If you’re going to outsource, it also pays to get very clear on what you want and create solid systems and procedures first. This will allow you to hand things over easily and clearly explain what you need to the service providers you’re using, so you’re outsourcing as efficiently as possible.

Assess All Other Expenses

At this point, it’s time to look at all other business expenses and see what can be cut. How easy this is depends on how good your record keeping is. I use the QuickBooks accounting system which very easily allows me to look back over the last year and see exactly what my business expenses were each month. I take a look at these outgoings regularly as there is often something I can eliminate, or something I’ve spent money on in the past that I now know I can do differently next time around.

Each freelance business is different, so assessing your own spending patterns within your business is the most reliable way to see what you actually need to spend, and what can be cut without having a major impact on how the business runs.

 

About the Author

Karen Banes

I’m a freelance writer specializing in online business, personal finance, travel and lifestyle. I also work as a content creator for hire, helping brands and businesses tell their stories, grow their audiences, and reach their ideal customers. I’ve lived, worked and studied in six countries, across three continents. Stop by my blog TheSavvySolopreneur.net to learn how to run your own (very) small business on your own terms. You can also connect with me at my website KarenBanes.com or follow me on Medium.com

To make Wealthtender free for readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Learn more. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers.
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