How to cut expenses to start your small business

Tips on how to save and launch your startup on a shoestring budget


This is Part 4 of a 4-part series about saving for a small business. Just joining in? Start with Part 1. Or catch up with Part 2 or Part 3.

If you’ve been reading the series on saving for small business, you’ve learned how to self-fund your startup without taking out a small business loan, how to save up with freelancing and how to save big by starting with e-commerce. But you can save even more when you cut costs for your small business. By figuring out what your business truly needs, you can make sure you’re working efficiently to build your savings and boost your bottom line.

Ways to save on your expenses

Every business is different, so it might help to establish some basics first. That’s where the Small Business Administration might be able to help. The federal agency has a wide-ranging business guide. It can be helpful at every step of the start-up journey, from getting a business off the ground to helping it grow.1 

If you’ve come this far, it might make sense to start with the section about managing business finances.2 It has details on a variety of places you might encounter potential expenses as you run your business. That includes:

As you explore places to save, it may help to think in the same way you would with personal expenses—by dividing expenses into essential and nonessential expenses. For example, in your personal life buying a daily latte would be considered a nonessential purchase, but getting groceries every week would be considered an essential purchase.

Even the most frugal businesses can find ways to cut costs. By making an honest list of essential and nonessential expenses, you’ll quickly figure out where you can save. Cutting out a little bit here and there could go a long way.

Be sure to take a look at the rest of our saving for small business series for more tips and tricks on launching a startup without a small business loan. Catch up now with Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.


This site is for educational purposes. The material provided on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice or to indicate the availability or suitability of any Capital One product or service to your unique circumstances. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.

  1. Business Guide (undated). Retrieved February 28, 2022, from https://www.sba.gov/business-guide.
  2. Manage your finances (undated). Retrieved February 28, 2022, from https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/manage-your-business/manage-your-finances.

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