There's an old saying I learnt from a wise old man, in business profit is what you don't spend.
The problem is that often we need to invest in equipment, be that hardware or software. Here's a few ways to save money, or at least spend less.
- Sell what you don't use. I'm amazed how much hardware and software I bought on whim, used once but then forgotten. Put it on Ebay or another sales site. I've managed to raise enough cash to buy something I really need.
- Use a demo before you buy the product. Make sure you really want it. A lot of companies offer time limited or restricted demos of their software, which should normally give you enough of an opportunity to find out if you need it.
- Buy the right thing in the first place. I recently wrote that you should buy computers for growth, don't buy what you need now, but what you'll need for the next phase of growth. It's costs more now, but a lot less than buying, selling and buying again.
- Never buy computers to spec from manufacture. For example Apple memory costs far more than good memory from companies like Crucial etc. It's the same for many other peripheral products, this is where they make their money. Again find a deal online either new or via Ebay.
- Turn off gear and lights when you're not using them. All the flashing lights and LEDs may look sexy, but leaving them on all the time is vanity not sanity. Save the planet and your pennies.
- Buy second-hand. Like cars, buying equipment from new can often mean paying more than you have to. I'm not suggesting you buy used tape and hard drives, but hardware such as rack gear, mixers and keyboards can often be got for a lot less than new.
- Rent stuff for projects. If you need something for just a project, be that a keyboard or a piece of rack gear then rent it. Don't lose work because you haven't got a piece of gear, but don't lose profit by buying a piece that you can rent.
- Borrow stuff for projects. If you have friends or local studios you have a relationship with, then borrow stuff for projects. Make sure you insure it and treat it as if it were you own. If you get it back to the owner in the same condition it came to you in, then you have more chance of being able to borrow stuff again.
Here are my 8 tips, I'm sure you have your own. So what's you top tip for running a great studio without spending money?