Small businesses in today’s economic environment have become experts at cutting costs and saving money; they have to in order to not only survive but flourish. Every dollar saved in one area is a dollar that can be used elsewhere or can translate into profit. Many ways to save money are quite easy to do and ten suggestions are below.
1. The Paperless Office
With wi-fi access being nearly ubiquitous and several cloud storage companies offering inexpensive or free options, a small business can cut down on the cost of supplies, printing and paper storage immensely by going paperless as much as possible. Documents can be shared to co-workers and, depending on the service, even be edited while still in the cloud.
2. The Phone-less Office
Another advantage given to today’s office by the wide adoption of broadband internet is the ability to ditch expensive phone systems. Today’s office can get by with far less expensive VoIP systems, including conference calls using free VoIP program and software, many of which include video conferencing features.
3. The Virtual Office
Renting office space is expensive and in the modern world possibly entirely unnecessary. 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.
Paper invoices, to speak nothing of the postage to send them out, can be cut out by electronically invoicing your clients whenever possible.
5. Don’t Fear the Discount
Many suppliers offer discounts for various reasons, from being a preferred client to buying in bulk. Many businesses seem to be a little scared to ask if a discount is available, and many suppliers won’t volunteer that information.
6. Eliminate Payroll Headaches
According to the AFCE, 60% of all payroll fraud is perpetrated by the employees of a corporation and printing up checks month after month is an expense that can add up. Consider offering instead a payroll debit card. Just load it up each payday and boom!
7. Switch Banks
Is your current financial institution nickel and diming you with various fees? Chances are you can find a bank that will treat you better. It doesn’t hurt to look around and every ATM surcharge, bounced check and debit card fee you can cut out will save your organization money.
8. 0% is Your Friend
Quite a few cards offer a 0% interest rate. Switch your balance from your high-rate card to a lower rate card and save hundreds per year! For example, if you carry a $10,000 balance on your company’s card at 17% APR and switched to a 0% card, you could save over $1700 just in interest within 15 months.
Be wary with this method though, most banks offer the 0% rate as an introductory 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%.
Consider leasing new equipment rather than purchasing it outright. This can defer a lot of cost up front and will often allow you to upgrade equipment more often and for much cheaper. 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 common issue; it’s easy to spend money when it’s not your own!