In today’s financial setting, small businesses owners are becoming experts at cutting expenses and saving funds. This is no accident: they have to in order to not only to endure but to thrive. Successful entrepreneurs know that every dollar saved in one area is a dollar that can be used for another purpose, or converted into revenue. It may sound difficult, but there are many ways to save money that are quite easy to do. Here’s ten suggestions:
1. The Paperless Office
With Wi-Fi access now existing nearly everywhere and more than a few cloud storage companies offering low-cost or free options, a small business can greatly cut down on the cost of materials, printing and document storage by going paperless whenever possible. Cloud storage allows documents to be communal among co-workers and, depending on the service, they even be edited while still in the cloud.
2. The Phone-less Office
An additional benefit to the office that can be gained by embracing broadband internet is the ability to ditch costly phone systems. Offices can get by without costly VoIP systems, and can perform most of the same tasks, including conference calls using free or nearly free VoIP programs and software, many of which include video conferencing features. Skype™ has the advantage of running on nearly every kind of device, and works internationally. Many people do not realize that they can perform webinars and share documents via the system as well. In addition, using skype on mobile phones to speak to coworkers in other countries cuts down on long distance phone charges.
3. The Virtual Office
Renting office space is pricey and in the current world perhaps completely pointless. Don’t rent office space just because that’s how your financial ancestors did things; leverage modern technology and have all of your employees telecommute. Unless you have a large number of employees, subsidizing virtual employees’ broadband access is a more economical solution than renting office space. Let’s face it: for many types of jobs, an office full of employees means that important business isn’t being done. You want your people to be out in the field working with customers and meeting with prospects anyway, not sitting at a desk. Your employees will appreciate their freedom and understand the value of working with an entrepreneurial company.
The more quickly you can transact business, the fewer employees you will need and the fewer opportunities you will give to your competitors. Today you can send estimates, invoices and receipts completely electronically. In most cases, paper invoices can completely eliminated.
5. Don’t Fear the Discount
A lot of suppliers offer discounts for different reasons, from rewards for being a favored consumer to buying in bulk. Many businesses appear to be a little frightened to inquire if a discount is offered, and numerous suppliers won’t volunteer that information, but don’t be afraid to ask. You may be surprised to find that discounts are available.
6. Eliminate Payroll Headaches
Consider offering instead a payroll debit card. Just load it up each payday. Your employees will appreciate the convenience, and you will have eliminated that much more paperwork.
7. Switch Banks
Odds are you can locate a bank that will care for you better than the one you have. It doesn’t hurt to look around . Every ATM surcharge, bounced check and debit card fee you can cut out will save you substantially over the course of time, so pay attention.
8. 0% is Your Friend
Quite a few cards offer a 0% interest rate. Change your balance from your high-rate card to a lower rate card and save hundreds per year!
Be cautious with this technique though, most banks offer the 0% rate as an opening rate, then raise the rate. Make sure you discuss the fine print with the bank to find out how long you have to pay off the balance at 0%.
Think about leasing new equipment rather than purchasing it outright. This can put off a lot of up front costs and will often allow you to upgrade equipment more often and for less money. Many leases also have repair warranties which can also save you some cash.
10. Manage Employee Spending
Set up alerts and charge limits for credit cards issued to employees on all levels. Abuse of company credit cards is a frequent waste of vital funds. Just knowing that you are paying attention will cause employees to think about their spending habits as well.