Let’s face the facts: most businesses fail.  Does that mean that yours has to? Absolutely not.

Conventional wisdom tells us that eight out of ten businesses fail within 18 months. The question remains: why?

The common pitfalls of new start-ups often include a lack of leadership and inability to prove their business’ model for revenue. In addition, the trend of “sexier” tech start-ups often leads to overblown budgets that spend on excess luxuries rather than the absolute essentials.

The thread between such failures is glaring: an unfocused, bloated budget will inevitably sink even the “smartest” of business ideas. Therefore, the top priority of just about any start-up, regardless of business or industry, is to find each any every opportunity to shrink its budget.

However, is it possible to bring down costs while still operating efficiently? Thanks to the power of the modern web, the answer is an overwhelming “yes.”

If you’re looking to shrink your startup’s budget without sacrificing its potential success, keep the following tips in your back pocket.

Smarter Spending

There’s no such thing as free money, right?  Think again.

Rather than looking immediately for places immediately slash your budget, consider how you can actually save through you money that you do spend.

Businesses have a plethora of options when it comes to cash-back credit cards, for example, which reward SMBs for spending smart versus throwing money away. In addition, you can also get cash back through mobile apps to help you save on-the-go.

The Power of Free

There’s no shortage of free software out there for SMBs to take advantage of, granted you know what you need and where to look. The following three solutions are absolute musts for modern businesses, each completely free of charge:

Trello – Representing a robust, “forever free” business management software, Trello allows you to monitor work-flow, increase your team’s productivity and ensure that everyone in your company is quite literally on the same page.

Gnucash – Bookkeeping can be a pain; however, Gnucash offers a free alternative to pricier solutions such as Quickbooks. Such software allows you monitor spending and keep an eye on your budget all in one place.

Google – Google represents perhaps one of the most helpful resources to any small business. Solutions such as Google Docs and Google Talk can help ensure that everyone on your team is communicating clearly, which is especially important since a lack of communication often sinks even the most promising of businesses.

Rather than splurge on your next piece of software, remember that there’s probably a free alternative out there that’s worth exploring. Likewise, you can also harness free tools when it comes to marketing your business: between social media and content marketing alone, you can spend little more than your time and see a ROI for your efforts.

Go Remote

Remote companies are on the rise as a means of both boosting productivity and keeping costs down.

Keep in mind that many of today’s tech and web-based companies don’t need a physical location to thrive. Whether working from home or out of a co-working space, many of the aforementioned tools can help you manage your team by eliminating the need for an office. Going remote isn’t as extreme as it sounds, especially if you can hang on to your trustworthy team.

Shrinking your budget doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your success. By spending smart, investing in free solutions and constantly searching for opportunities to save, you can create a leaner start-up that’s destined for greatness.