Clever ways for you to cut costs in your small business
While your business is still picking up steam, few things are more important than ensuring the books are balanced in your favor. Controlling your overheads and freeing up profit for reinvestment can be the key difference between growing and stagnation. For that reason, here we're going to look at 10 clever ways to cut costs in your small business.
Get on the Cloud
Most growing businesses need to rely on a stable foundation of IT, with devices that can help you share and access resources like data, documents, project plans, and so on. However, rather than having to buy expensive physical storage, using Cloud-based data servers can help you immediately access your essential data from anywhere. You can even use Cloud software as a service solutions to avoid having to buy expensive software tools. Not only can it be more cost-effective for growing businesses, but it also makes it easier to operate flexibly.
Use the gig economy
The ever-growing tide of freelancers at your disposal means that you might not have to hire that new team member any time soon. When you find yourself needing expertise that you don't have or more labor than you can provide, the previous common response was to employ someone. However, if that needs is only temporary or intermittent, then freelancers can be much more cost-effective, since you don't have to pay overheads to house them, taxes on their behalf, or for workers' comp.
Consider working remotely
One of the easiest ways to cut the costs of working in an office is to not work in an office. Whether you run the business from home, or you decide to hire those who can work remotely instead of needing their own office space, this can help you save on rent, utilities, insurance, and much more. Keeping a remote business organized does take some work, but there's plenty of software making it much easier to manage a team no matter where in the world they might be based.
Skip the paper trail
A lot of the best cost-cutting solutions highlighted here take advantage of the sheer ubiquity of digital technologies, and this one is no different. Printing costs, from buying paper and ink, to storing all those resources, can be more of a drain than you might imagine. Switching to paperless systems can help you save significantly on those costs. If you follow the prior tip of connecting your business to the Cloud, you have a safe backup for essential documents that might have been printed in the past, too.
Save on your energy consumption
There are lots of little investments you can make to save cash on your energy bills in the long run. The biggest investment, and thus the biggest savings, is in installing a smart thermostat in the workspace. However, installing double-glazed windows, blackout blinds, solar water heaters, LED light bulbs, and so on can each contribute to an office that is much greener and, thus, helps you keep more of your green.
Use a telephone answering service
You need to keep communication with your business as accessible as possible in order to retain and grow loyalty within your customers. However, the costs of implementing an extensive phone system in the office can be too high to justify the benefits. You can skip those costs with a telephone answering service, however. You don't have to hire a receptionist, pay their salary, or spend money on training. You can cut the costs of having a full-fledged phone system, as well, as all those costs are handled on the provider's end. All you need is a phone of your own that they can patch you through to.
Look to free software solutions
Instead of paying the premium prices for professional software suites, you might find that some of the open source varieties out there could be nearly as effective and efficient, if not a perfectly equal solution. For industry-specific software, you might need to pay, but when it comes to things like general office tools, your money could be better spent elsewhere. It might take a little longer to find a free application that meets your needs, but some of them such as Google Docs, OpenOffice, and FreshBooks are amongst the most popular in their markets.
Negotiate with your vendors
Those businesses that provide services and supplies to the company value your custom. Unlike B2C businesses, B2B companies rely on long-standing relationships and a greater lifetime value from their clients. As such, you might find you have more wiggle room than you expect when it comes to asking for discounts or specific deals in exchange for being a loyal customer. Ensure you're buying general office supplies from stores that are willing to sell you at under consumer prices, as well.
Rethink your marketing budget
Advertising is an effective way to get a lot of attention and engagement quick, when it's done right. However, it's also expensive, and there could be more cost-effective marketing tactics you're not trying. Content marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization are geared towards better long-term results, and each of them is free to learn on your own. You can hire agencies to help you, but there's nothing to stop you from learning how to carry out your own organic marketing campaigns.
Always check the used market
When it comes to buying assets and resources for the workplace, it's almost always worth checking the used market before you buy them brand new. This is true for hardware, for furniture, for office decorations, and much more. You will find plenty of office preowned equipment stores that can anything from desks to chairs to computers at a fraction of the price of brand new ones, and if they're refurbished, it could mean they're in almost the same standard of condition.
The above ideas are but only a few examples of ways to cut your costs. Look at your budget, see where you're spending money and ask yourself if there's any way that you can spend a little less. The answer is almost always “yes.”