Staying on budget each month can be tough, especially when revenue is low. Even if a business is thriving, cutting back on expenses is always a great idea. The less money a company spends, the more it brings in each day and the faster it can grow.
But there are many day-to-day costs associated with building and maintaining a successful business. Finding areas to make cutbacks can be tough, especially since marketing and customer service are so important. Here are nine small cuts your growing business can make to improve your finances.
Look around your office. If you’re surrounded by paper, you may be wasting money and time. Scribbling notes on Post-Its and legal pads can make it easy for items to fall through the cracks. You may feel that you’re more effective on paper than through an electronic device, but consider how much money you’re spending on paper each month. This is especially true of printed items. If you’re printing out documents for any reason, consider switching that process to a mobile device or using collaboration tools to share information with colleagues.
At one time, if a business owner wanted to meet with potential clients, he had to get in the car or hop a plane. Today’s tech tools offer an alternative to travel, including videoconferencing, webinars, and group chats. If a portion of your monthly expenditures is directed toward getting in front of your colleagues and clients, look at ways you might be able to stay in your office and accomplish the same goals.
If you’re a one-man operation, you may think you’re saving money. Instead, you’re wasting valuable time on mundane tasks you can easily outsource. If you already have a team, you can save money by outsourcing duties instead of replacing a departing employee with a full-time worker. Consider which tasks are ideal for outsourcing and choose a remote worker to do the job instead of hiring it out to a full-timer.
If you can work out of your home, do so as long as possible. You can locate a coworking space nearby that will provide a conference room for client meetings. If you decide to leave the house and move to an office, choose an option that allows you to share a lobby, receptionist, conference room, and break areas, rather than building one that only your staff uses.
Take a look at the many fees your business pays each month for various services and find ways to reduce those. This may mean switching payment processing providers or moving to a different bank. Even small fee cuts can make a big difference over time. If you have a business credit card that charges annual fees or has a high interest rate, shop around for a better deal once you’ve built your business credit.
Reduce Energy Use
While you want your office spaces to be comfortable for yourself, your employees, and your clients, you can still maintain comfort levels by adjusting the thermostat a degree or two. If you have on-site staff, look around at your offices. If your employees are running fans or space heaters throughout the year, you may be able to adjust the temperature so that those employees are comfortable and save on the high cost of running smaller devices all day. At the end of the day, set your thermostat to a less comfortable temperature and make sure all of your lights are off overnight.
Once you’ve begun adding employees to your organization, you may feel tempted to disallow working from home. However, for every employee you allow to work from home, that’s one less desk you’ll need to provide. You can even set up shared workstations and have employees come in on opposite days. This cuts down on the amount of space you’ll be required to lease, as well as the energy consumption in your office each day.
Keep Tax Records
Many business owners have a tax preparer handle end-of-year filing. However, doing this can become expensive, especially if you haven’t brought the information necessary to help the preparer do his job. To speed things up at the end of the year, track your expenses and keep up with your income on a monthly basis. If you feel comfortable with it, you can save even more money by doing your taxes yourself.
If you’re building a business, chances are you occasionally have to negotiate with prospective clients so that they’ll get the best deal they can. You can negotiate, as well. Look through your monthly budget and determine areas where you might be able to negotiate a better deal, whether it’s through discussing a reduction in your rent with your landlord or asking for a better rate from each of your vendors. Through the act of negotiating with multiple parties, you may be able to save hundreds of dollars each month.
Businesses always have a need to save money. Small cutbacks in their monthly expenditures can make a big difference in the amount of their daily revenue that they get to keep for themselves.