21 Dec 10 Smart Ways Small Businesses Can Cut Costs
Have you implemented any of the following saving strategies?
Tight profit margins and cash-flow ups and downs are the norm for most small and medium-sized organizations. Which is precisely why small business owners everywhere would do well to remember the old adage that “a penny saved is a penny earned.” Reducing extraneous expenses is oftentimes easier than identifying and capitalizing on a new potential source of income, after all! Below, we have compiled a quick list of ideas that can help many companies cut costs with little to no negative effects.
1. Negotiate your bills and expenses. If you haven’t negotiated special rates with your suppliers, shipping partners, employee healthcare provider, and other fixed expenses, then you are likely missing out on some easy and substantial savings.
2. Manage recordkeeping meticulously. This can save you a lot of time and money come tax season by simplifying filing and maximizing deductions.
3. Consider “cyber commute Fridays” or a similar policy. Allowing employees to work from home one day a week can help you reduce overhead costs such as heating, electricity, office supplies, snacks, and administration. Meanwhile, such programs also tend to be enormously popular with employees, allowing you to boost satisfaction rates to boot!
4. Outsource tasks outside your area of expertise. From coding, to copywriting, to HR management, to tax administration, to graphic design, and so on — the odds are good that your business occasionally requires specialized tasks that neither you nor anyone on your payroll is experienced in. In these cases, simply outsourcing the job is oftentimes a more efficient use of company resources than spending hours of your/your employees’ time trying to master a new, one-time skill.
5. Find more affordable marketing channels. Traditional forms of marketing such as television and radio are expensive, and not particularly well-suited to the needs of most small businesses. Switching to an online approach might very well save you money while simultaneously bringing in increased revenue.
6. Try open source software solutions. Oftentimes, these meet small business requirements just as well as their more expensive counterparts — so why not give such options a try before shelling out big bucks for a relatively small return.
7. Build relationships with other small businesses in your area. This will allow you to form marketing partnerships, offer special employee perks, and possibly even purchase certain supplies together in order to receive bulk discounts.
8. Invest in your property. If you own the real estate where your company operates, then investing some money and hard work into improving the building can pay off big time. Installing energy-efficient appliances and windows, for example, can oftentimes pay for itself in terms of utility-bill savings, all while making you eligible for a sizable tax deduction, as well.
9. Go paperless. Speaking of green changes that organizations should be making, going paperless will help make your records safer while also allowing you to spend less on expensive ink cartridges and printer maintenance.
10. Buy in bulk…selectively. Purchasing in volume almost always offers a lower per-item price — but it is important to keep in mind that this only actually leads to savings if you use the bulk items often enough to justify such a purchase.