Cutting costs for small businesses
Every business is concerned with saving money right now, especially small businesses that have a smaller amount of working capital at their disposal. You can try to increase revenue, but this can often be extremely challenging when you are dealing with a struggling economy and customers that just don't want to buy. For small businesses, the phrase "stretching the dollar" really applies to their business. This article will explore some of the different ways you can work on cutting costs.
Monitor employee spending
It can be really easy to get in over your head. Comparing your business to your competitors can easily be your downfall as you might invest in equipment and even employees that you really cannot afford. Watch where your employees are spending your money and try to limit their spending. Many times they will waste money at office supply stores because they wait until you are out of a product that you can purchase online for a lower amount. Look at where else your employees are wasting money and try to reduce their spending as soon as possible.
Another way to cut costs is to watch your vendors. While you may be loyal to a certain vendor, they may be charging you more money than you can get with other companies. Get a membership to Sam's Club or Costco and start buying a few supplies as you don't need to pay the shipping costs on them. You can get cheaper deals on water and some other supplies by shopping at warehouse stores than you can by ordering them through your vendors. Get multiple bids and see if your vendor will match those prices. As they see that you are constantly looking for the best deal, they will work harder to meet your needs and they will do their best to keep you satisfied.
Reduce mailing costs
Sending out a large marketing campaign via traditional mail can become expensive quickly. It's always a good idea to try and cut costs here and there by turning to email instead of traditional mail. Try doing a email campaign first and measure the effectiveness of this campaign before you send out mailing pieces. If you do want to do a traditional mailer, make sure you keep your address list up to date and clean. You can waste a ton of money paying for mail to be returned to you because the customer moved. Faxing documents instead of mailing them is another way to save money.
Reduce energy costs
You can waste a lot of money on energy costs. If you have not already done so, turn your office green. Start shutting off all of your equipment at night. Alter your business hours to be 4 days a week versus 5 days a week. Change all of your light bulbs to energy-efficient bulbs, and teach your employees how to conserve power and water. Install automatic lights and set your temperature to go back when no one is in the office. Encourage employees to turn off their computers at night and their monitors as they continue to suck power during the night when they are not in use.
Buy used equipment
It is important to try and provide your employees with upgraded equipment and one of the best ways to do this is to buy used or refurbished equipment. You can often find great deals that will keep your employees up to date with technology for half the cost. Ebay.com is a great place to find used equipment; you can also find some through your IT repair center. Furniture is another thing you can save money on as well as you can buy from a used furniture store.