Five simple ways for startups to save money online

Businesses are constantly being told how to make more money online. Whether it’s social media marketing, search engine optimisation or launching the latest ecommerce behemoth, the internet is often seen as some sort of giant piggy bank waiting to be unlocked by the savvy entrepreneur.

However, the web offers more than just the chance to make money – it can also save your business money too. Whether it’s through improved efficiency, access to cheaper products and services or finding better ways to collaborate, the web offers a wealth of opportunities to trim costs and become a leaner business.

Here are our five of our favourite web-based cost saving ideas:

Use Free Software

There is a huge amount of free software available covering everything from simple office tasks to online training platforms and everything in between. In other words, instead of buying expensive off-the-shelf software packages, businesses can save by using free equivalents which are often as good (or in some cases even better) than their paid for cousins.

OpenOffice, for example, is a free suite of office tools including spreadsheets, word processors and presentation software. You might also take a look at Google Docs, Google’s free office suite which is hosted online so you can access it from any computer.

Make Free Phone Calls

VOIP has been around for a quite a while now and is far better than it was in the early days. It simply refers to software that allows you to make phone calls over the internet rather than over the telephone lines. Skype is the most well-known example but many ‘traditional’ phone companies now provide VOIP options too. Check them out.


Crowdsourcing refers to the act of taking a job that would normally require hiring an employee or freelancer, and outsourcing it to a group or community. The idea is that many brains are better than one.

There are plenty of examples of crowdsourcing in action but one of the most interesting is a site called 99 Designs. You upload a brief for a design job (say a new logo, stationery or website design), set a budget and then designers from around the world submit ideas to compete for your money. You get to choose which ones you like best and go from there.

Web Presence

Getting online used to be expensive. Now you can create a web presence for your business for free with social media sites like Facebook – and even creating your own website can be surprisingly inexpensive.

If you want a more polished, individual look or have special requirements, working with a designer is still the way to go. But – and it’s a big but – if you simply want to create a clean and simple website, you can try something like (which has plenty of attractive themes to choose from) or any number of other free platforms.

If you want to sell online, you can get beautifully designed ecommerce sites and if you don’t have many products, a simple paypal button will get the job done really quickly !


Being able to collaborate online not only saves time but can also help cut costs associated with travel or phone bills (although if you’re using Skype, you can ignore that last bit). There are dozens of great online collaboration tools available

The web removes a lot of the costs of moving around or storing information, which means lower costs to consumers and businesses. If you’re looking for more free tools and ideas for saving money online, just visit your favourite search engine and search for ‘free whatever’.

You’ll be amazed at what’s on offer.

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