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Easy ways to cut costs

Every business is looking for ways to cut costs. How can you cut costs without cutting your staff? Here are some simple tips to follow:

Tip # 1 - Don't purchase supplies from Office Supply stores
All the office supply stores want you to think that you are getting the best deal, but chances are you are paying 2-3 times more money for the same supplies you can order online. Contact your vendors and considering ordering more of the tangible supplies at one time instead of smaller orders, this will save you money on shipping costs. Try to order pens, pencils, staples, paper, and other supplies in bulk. If you can, try to avoid making multiple trips to the office supply store for office items.

Tip # 2 - Switch to email
If you are still using the fax machine and traditional mail to pay your bills and communicate with your customers, it is time to get online. You can save hundreds of dollars by switching to email faxes. This way you won't need a separate phone line just for the fax line. The other nice thing about email is that you don't need to waste paper or ink to send over your message. Tell your customers you now offer email newsletters and encourage them to sign-up. This way you can send their invoice directly to their email account and hopefully they will pay it before you need to mail it. Email marketing is a great way to get your message out to your customers and you don't need to pay a cent (unless you outsource it).

Tip # 3 - Recycle
You can save yourself a lot of money by recycling. Instead of tossing the used ink cartridges, take them to an ink-refilling company. You can easily get at least 2-3 turns out of ink cartridge for a fraction of the price of a brand new cartridge. What about all the excess paper you toss into the garbage? If you don't need to shred it because of the information that was printed, turn it over and put it back in the printer. Recycled paper is perfect when you are printing draft copies of documents. Only use brand new paper for finished documents or the documents you intend to send to your customers. Another way to recycle paper is to cut it up and make note pads with it. You can use this paper internally for phone messages or for short notes.

Tip # 4 - Price shop
Small business owners know the challenge of finding a good vendor that won't raise the price on them. Once you have a good vendor, keep them on their toes by comparing their prices to their competitors. If your cheese price suddenly skyrockets, find out how much cheese costs from another vendor. You should also consider the price to purchase cheese from Costco or Sams Club; sometimes they offer deals that you cannot pass up.

Tip # 5 - Look for value
When it comes to cost-cutting, you need to take a look at everything and determine what adds value to your company. It may be hard to cut salaries and health benefits, but it is easier than cutting back on necessary equipment and rent. If you really don't want to fire anyone, let them know you need to cut-back on everyone's hours so that you don't have to fire anyone. When the sales pick up again, you can get everyone back to their normal hours and salaries. You need to be careful when you do this because you could lose a lot of valuable employees. This is also hard if you need to hire some temporary workers to fill-in while you find the new employees to fill-in.

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