Making savings and reducing costs for a small-sized business isn’t easy, especially if you’re in the initial stages, cash could be tight.
We’ve put together some money-saving ideas and ways to reduce overhead here and boost efficiency in other areas until your company is in greater financial stability.
Practically universal tips
Whatever your field or place of work You should be able to follow the majority of these suggestions even if you’ll need to modify it to fit your particular requirements.
1. Green is the new green
You’ve heard it before, and it’s true that Going green is a good thing for the environment. If you’re operating a home-based shop, office, or business–whatever the kind of space your company is in the more energy efficient your workspace can be the more low energy cost you’ll incur.
Go out and purchase the LED bulbs now. They can reduce the cost of lighting each year! For more information about greening your home, visit Energy Star, a program that is run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
2. Make use of cloud computing and open source software
Every business will require any kind of software for bookkeeping, the accounting process, as well as word processing, and even presentations.
Sourceforge provides an open source index that lists alternatives. For the majority of things, you’ll require it is possible to find an open source or cloud version. “You do not need to buy that expensive office software and servers when you can switch to a cloud vendor–Google is an example–at a fraction of the cost,” says Ali Asadi of A Profit Maker.
3. Utilize generic brands or your own brand products
It’s always tempting to purchase the most popular brand but it’s never worthwhile. If you’re thinking of purchasing items for your company, choose a generic (or like they say within the U.K.”own-brand”) The packaging may not be as attractive, but the end product is identical.
4. Organise community events
There are a variety of motives a company might need to host an occasion, but you probably will have to at some point. And it can be expensive.
Working with another company as a sponsor to aid or organize an event can result in an event of higher quality and increased publicity for all participants, simply because you’re capable of sharing the same resources.
5. Bartering with other businesses
Particularly with other companies Bartering may seem outdated however it can be useful. If you require a quality product or service, and you offer something worth it to exchange then this is an ideal option.
Take these agreements with a sense of kindness. You must be aware of the importance of what you’ve got to offer in addition to what you’re asking of the other company to avoid embarrassing or insulting anyone.
6. Reducing meetings
The ability to cut down on meetings is a key method to save money. Are you skeptical? Next time you’re in a gathering take a few rough calculations on napkins using the number of people in the room, as well as the typical hourly rate you’re offering them. Sometimes, the results are shocking.
Look over both your personal and employees’ calendars. How many hours per week do you spend in meetings? Examine the cost and the advantages to the business. It is likely that you could reduce meeting time and make more time to actually get work completed.
Another suggestion is to cut out many information-sharing gatherings. If you’re in need of getting feedback about something, then send the details ahead of time and have everyone look it over before sitting at a table to discuss it.
7. Employ capable workers with no work previous experience
Find talented, intelligent individuals who are just beginning their careers. This may initially appear counterintuitive however, people with no experience in the workforce are seeking low-paying positions and salaries that will save your business money. There could be instances when a more skilled candidate will make the best business sense, but most of the time an excellent employee with no experience simply needs to get their foot in the door and you’ll see them capable and eager to perform well. Everyone has to start somewhere.
A good training program is worth a lot. If you decide to hire employees who have less experience in the workplace prepare them to be successful by educating them properly and monitoring their progress often to find and fill in any gaps in their education and expertise.
8. Let employees work fewer hours
Similar to the last idea, this could appear odd initially. There could be employees in your organization who are willing to change their work schedules to part-time (or perhaps just for a few days per week) If given the chance.
This is a delicate topic for employees to talk about However, if you the business owner announce that you’re willing to offer shorter hours of work for those who may require or want to have them, it will save the cost of paying full-time salaries without having to let go of a team participant (and the work they produce) entirely.
9. Keep your top employees
An employee who is highly productive and especially one who’s an asset to your company’s culture is a great asset. In addition, is it a great relationship?
The cost of the selection process could be staggeringly expensive. If you’re lucky enough to have a good group member on your team, try to do all is possible to retain them. Make sure to check in on them frequently and make the time to learn what they’re seeking in terms of their career path and potential growth opportunities. This will save you money in the longer term.
10. Think about outsourcing or contracting certain jobs
If you are faced with smaller jobs that don’t need hiring a new employee, but you can’t fit into your already crowded plate, Simon Slade of Affilorama suggests outsourcing, which is known as micro-contracting. Slade suggests websites like Elance and oDesk to help with those jobs that you simply need to delegate.
11. Re-evaluate your operating expenses
If you purchase bags of bagels for the office Is there a specific bakery that offers your company a bulk or loyalty discount? Have you considered it? Your day-to-day expenses on the simplest things like coffee as well as maintenance and other items, for instance, all add to. Spending some time to review your current operating expenses to identify areas where you could be spending more than you should be can help you save many dollars in the long run.
A business consultant Jennifer Martin suggests comparing vendors and getting quotes at a minimum every year to be sure that everything you pay for is at a reasonable market price, which includes your credit card processing. Martin states that the more cash you transfer, the greater leverage you’ll have to negotiate an agreement that is more favorable.
12. Make a plan for your budget, forecast your sales, and then review frequently
To be able to really focus on opportunities to reduce expenses, make an expenses budget that is specific to your company. Create an annual sales forecast.
However, you don’t have to just stop there. You should set the time every month to review your actual sales and spending to your expectations. The most important thing to remember is that having a regular financial check-up can give you a better understanding of where your money is going and the possibilities to make more.
13. DIY PR and marketing
Learn all you can about public and marketing relations in your field and ensure that you’re making the best impression when you speak to the public about your company. Employing a PR agency is costly If you’re enthusiastic and have the know-how, you can be your own brand ambassador.
Lori Cheek of Cheek’d (who was on SharkTank) provides the following advice on the art of DIY PR “My top marketing advice is to think outside of the box. get rid of that box! Think outside the. Consider guerrilla. If it doesn’t work, it’s not a bad idea to inquire. I’ve been featured on the news a number of times simply by calling the news outlets and asking whether they’d be interested in having my company featured. Sometimes it’s that easy. I’d say that the most important thing to get media attention is a subtle but persistent method.” The reader can learn more about Lori’s strategy here.
14. Reduce the expenses associated with inventory and the supply chain
Contrary to popular opinion There are actual costs when you have both excess and inadequate stock. Examine your financials and develop a plan to decrease your costs for the inventory supply chain.
15. “When in doubt, go without”
This suggestion originates from Chris Hoyt and can be used for any type of business.
Are you really ready to purchase that item? Do you really need a replacement? Consider it before choosing to buy something bigger or more modern. Utilize what you have until are sure you require something else.
16. Join a trade group
In most cases, trade associations conduct industry studies that you can use to make the most effective financial decision.
Sometimes, they are also able to assist with making deals for discounts on bulk orders as well as lower premiums for insurance. Find out more information from the Federation of International Trade Associations.
17. Keep track of your accounts payables and financial statements.
Asadi says that when cash is short and bills are due late, it is a major issue. Be aware of your account’s payables to keep from paying any additional fees or accruing interest. “Pay your dues on the due date, and take pains to ensure that your collections are on time and that the outstanding balances are minimized,” He advises.
On the other hand, keep an eye on your receivables accounts to keep your money flow order and avoid problems such as having made a lot of revenue ….but lots of unpaid invoices. Cash flow issues arise when you’ve made a lot of sales, yet you still haven’t got cash in the bank due to your customers aren’t paying yet. Make sure you save time and money by setting some procedures to ensure you’re getting the money in time fully and on time.
18. Request a discount
Simple, but frequently very efficient. Ask any vendor you’re dealing with if they’ve got some sort of offer or price and what it may include. This won’t always work however, once it is, it’s simple and worthwhile.
“I’ve found that 90 percent of the time, asking for a discount and then preparing to walk away if it isn’t granted will actually be the trick to save you money and secure that discount,” Says Nima Noori, from Toronto Vaporizer.
19. Put money into new technology
What can you do within your own home? What can you do with an iPad that will save time and office equipment?
Dee Dee Meevasin of Dee for Dentist notes that in her practice of dentistry using new technologies for automation allows employees to streamline previously laborious tasks, and improve overall efficiency while cutting the costs of third parties.
20. Make the switch to paperless as you can.
It is essential to go paperless in today’s world. Not only will it help you save money, but, it could also be a time (and consequently more money) savings. Melvin says “using tablets eliminates the time our people spent on printing, scanning, and filing forms.”
If you have to print hard copies, you should consider having frequently utilized forms printed and kept in hand rather than copying them. This could be a cheaper option in the long term.
Printer cartridges, cans batteries, bottles mobile phones–if you are able to recycle them, you should.
Many recycling centers will give you cash for certain things (such as cans and bottles) and certain items (such as donating mobiles for shelters for victims of domestic violence) are a tax deductions.
22. Purchase used office furniture and equipment
Find used office furniture and equipment. This is fairly straightforward. Craigslist Yard sales, Craigslist, eBay, etc.–if it doesn’t necessarily need to be brand new, consider something that is functional and nice, but used.
23. You might want to consider a lease with a shorter duration
Matthew Reischer, CEO of Legal Advice, suggests that leases with short duration are an option to be flexible during periods of growth, while also saving money. If you do not require an office that’s bigger today, but believe that you will in the next year you should consider leasing with a shorter duration.
If you’re able to begin in a low-cost location, but you really want to open a shop in a more trendy area it is possible to start in a lower-cost location with the option of a shorter lease that gives you the possibility of upgrading in the event that your cash flow is supportive of the shift. The company he works for has had the ability to use short-term leases for office space to benefit because the costs have decreased in the region in time.
24. Work from a shared space or opt for the coworking option
Another way to cut the cost of leasing is to sign on a space together with another company. However, this comes with some inherent risks, however, it could be an attractive alternative if you have an established business relationship, particularly if you don’t require an enormous amount of space.
Another approach is to search for coworking spaces in your local area Particularly if your company isn’t large.
25. Make sure you take note of tax write-offs, especially if you’re running a home business
Don’t wait until March before you begin planning your tax strategy. Consult a tax professional for help if you’re new at paying taxes for business. The tax obligations you have, such as the tax rates and reporting deadlines will differ based on whether you’re a sole proprietor running an at-home business or a corporate entity.
The most important thing is to plan ahead so that you can avoid penalties for late payments, and also benefit from the most write-offs you can get.
Outside the U.S.
There’s so much advice for business that is targeted toward people who live inside the United States, and while most of you reading are actually in this part of the U.S., we know that many of our readers are from all over the globe.
Whatever country your home is, to the majority of people, business requires travel. Therefore, I’m sharing some tips to save money specific to certain nations, but the majority of the advice that is in this post is great regardless of where you are.
26. Check out the South African Savings Institute
The South African Savings Institute is an excellent source that is great resource for South Africans, with news about business savings, tips for saving money, as well as information about participating in the nationwide Savings Month.
27. Make use of Skype or another online calling service
Utilizing Skype or other conference calling services that are hosted on the internet can help you save money for your business in the event that you’ve relied on long-distance phone calls that are traditional. Some providers allow you to screen share quickly or even send recordings of calls later.
In the U.K.
28. When in London, get an Oyster Card
The Oyster Card “is a plastic smartcard that holds pay-as-go credit, travel cards, as well as Tram and Bus Tram Season tickets. It is possible to make use of an Oyster card for travel on buses, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, and the majority of National Rail services in London,” according to their website. You can loan the card to colleagues or clients as well.
29. Train travel
If you are in UK and travel by train often, you can buy tickets in bulk for discounted prices. In addition, if your train is delayed, most companies will provide at least a portion of a refund.
30. Utilize the price comparison websites
The Telegraph reports that price comparison websites like My Super Market and Cheapflights will look through prices for products to help you find the most affordable alternatives for business travel and other costs.