8 Easy Cost-Saving Ideas for Business Owners
When you run a business, it’s important to evaluate your expenses regularly. Here are some easy cost-saving ideas that can help improve your bottom line without disrupting your business.
When you’re trying to run a business, every dollar counts. While many industries are on the mend after the recession of 2008, not all are recovering as quickly as they would like to.
While it’s true that you have to spend money to make money, you also need to be wise about your expenses. If you’re looking to brighten up your balance sheet, try these cost-saving tips for business owners.
Cost-Saving Ideas for Business Owners
No company wants to lay off employees or cut their benefits. Here are some alternatives to help your cash flow.
Do Your Own Payroll
Many business owners shy away from doing their own payroll services because they’re worried about legal problems or they assume it would be an overwhelming task.
In reality, there are plenty of options available today in the software realm. Services like Time Clock Hub can help you dot all your I’s and cross all your T’s with the high fees of a professional accountant. They make the process much more manageable than you may think.
Consider Hiring Remote Workers
The cost of maintaining an office is nothing to sneeze at. Commercial real estate rates can be astounding, not to mention utilities, coffee, housekeeping, and more.
Thanks to technology, telecommuting is now an option for a wide range of jobs from graphic design to customer service. If you already have employees, talk to them about whether they would be open to working remotely. Many employees consider this a strong advantage.
As you grow your business, this is also a way to keep your new costs down when you need to add employees. Just make sure you hire people you can trust and you ensure that they’re getting their work done efficiently.
Manage Your Own Website
Software development and website management are among the most expensive services to hire on an hourly basis. While these individuals can do a great job keeping your site running smoothly, they’re expensive.
For a more cost-effective option, try managing your own website. Platforms like WordPress help you manage your website with more ease than you would expect. WordPress is designed for people with little or no programming knowledge, so it’s a great way to get started.
Rent a Co-Working Space
Another alternative to a high-cost office is to rent a co-working space instead. Co-working facilities rent out individual desks, cubicles, small offices, and conference rooms to small companies and entrepreneurs.
While this isn’t a great option if you have more than a few employees, it’s a great cost-cutting measure for small businesses. It’s also a great way to network with other professionals because you’ll be surrounded by other businesses.
Hire Contractors Instead of Traditional Employees
If you have a task to hire for but you aren’t sure how consistent the workflow will be, a contractor is more affordable than a traditional employee. You’ll only pay for the hours you actually need them to work.
As an added bonus, you don’t need to pay payroll taxes for a contractor and they won’t expect benefits.
Embrace a Minimalist Style
If you’re in an industry that makes an office or storefront necessary, use a modern, minimalist style. This involves clean walls and only essential furniture. While your office can still look high-end and modern, you’ll also save a bundle on furnishings and decor.
Buy Used Equipment
Depending on the business you’re in, the tools of the trade or office equipment may be an expensive necessity. But with a little creativity, it doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think.
There are plenty of resources online and in person where you can buy used office equipment. If you need specialized, industry-specific equipment, that may be more difficult. Still, don’t make a high-dollar without investigating your options.
Limit Credit Purchases
If you’re a new business owner, it’s tempting to load up your business credit card or spend your entire line of credit on anything you think you might need. As great as it is to be optimistic about your business’ future, planning for the best is a recipe for paying far too much interest.
Instead, look for other ways to get the money if you need to make a big purchase or jump on an investment. Try offering a special sale to encourage customers to buy, or hold a sales competition for your sales staff.
If the expense you’re eyeing will expand your business’ offerings, you could try a crowdfunding site like Kickstarter.com.
Keep Printing to a Minimum
Printing is one of those expenses that many businesses overlook. You might be recycling and reusing your paper, but it’s the ink or toner that’s expensive. If you have a laser printer and are using a $150 toner cartridge each month, that’s a whopping $1,800 every year!
Before you print anything, ask yourself if it’s really necessary. Most actions can be done digitally instead, so use these types of processes when possible.
As an added bonus, this will make you into a more eco-friendly company. That’s a great value to market to your customers as well.
Consider In-Kind Exchanges
Some companies (usually small businesses) will consider an exchange of services in lieu of cash payments. For instance, if you’re running an accounting firm, offer to do a marketing company’s year-end taxes if they’ll build your website.
Just make sure to protect yourself and put limits on these agreements. “All-you-can-use” agreements can drain your ability to make money. It’s also important to get all of these agreements in writing so you don’t get an unexpected invoice.
Make sure that you also keep track of how many of these agreements you have and that you don’t make more promises than your resources can deliver.
Keeping Your Business’ Expenses in Check
Running a successful business is all about balancing your expenses and your profits. When your revenue changes on a regular basis, that’s quite a challenge. The tips above can help you cut costs any time you need.
For more tips to help your business run smoothly, check out our business advice blog.