6 Ways to Cut Costs in Your Small Business

Friday, February 14, 2020, 6:00 PM | Leave Comment

For small businesses, every line item counts, and some can be make-or-break factors.

You may be aware of how to get more bang for your buck in marketing costs or tech tools, but there are many ways, big and small, to cut costs at your business that will add up once you start implementing them.

  1. Conserve more energy

    Be aware of the weather—how to take advantage of it and what you can do to protect your office against it. In the winter, armor up your doors with draft stoppers to keep cold air from coming in and making your heater work harder.

    In the summer, save energy by keeping your office space cool by using blackout curtains to keep the heat out of unused space and turn off the lights in areas that aren’t being used. While these changes may seem small, energy costs can add up quickly, so keeping them down whenever possible can make a difference in the long run.

  2. Use the cloud

    Using the cloud instead of in-house servers for data saves you money on the upfront capital investment in infrastructure as well as the ongoing cost of supporting an IT employee. What’s more, for small businesses that have limited data storage needs, cloud solutions allow you to pay for only what you need and to scale quickly as you grow.

    While this isn’t the right solution for everyone—if your business handles sensitive data and you need extra layers of protection, for instance—cloud computing can offer efficiency that will save you money beyond the investment costs.

  3. Allow remote work

    For many small business owners, office space is the biggest overhead item. If you’re running a non-B2C business, there’s a good chance you don’t need much office space—you might even be able to operate out of your home with virtual employees or at least move to a smaller space than you’re currently in.

    Maintaining less square footage to house employees during work hours will save you a good chunk of change. And your employees will likely appreciate the arrangement too. Global Workplace Analytics found that 50% of the US workforce holds a job that is compatible with remote work, and 80% to 90% of the US workforce says they would like to telework at least part-time.

  4. Cut down on paper

    Office supplies are another expense that, like the utility bill, adds up over time. Reducing your paper usage and printing is the biggest way to make a dent in this line item. If you don’t have to invest in purchasing a large printer/copy machine, you also won’t have to spend on maintenance and replacement over time.

    If you do need one of these, set it up to automatically duplex print and create a system for electronic backups, so employees don’t feel they need to create paper backups of important documents. Other ways to reduce paper usage include using online signature services to replace paperwork, using an online filing system, and switching from snail mail to email for customer communication.

  5. Barter with other business owners<

    If your business is able to produce more than it sells, which is often the case, consider bartering with other businesses as a way to take advantage of your capacity and reduce monetary spending. Look around your neighborhood or town first for other local businesses that offer goods or services you might need and find out if they’re interested in a trade.

    For services bartering, be sure to establish clear expectations as to the scope and timeline of the trade. This is a great way to get through slower periods as well as building strong relationships with other businesses, who might then contribute to word of mouth marketing for you.

  6. Negotiate with suppliers

    While you may have done your research to set up supplier relationships, you shouldn’t stop there. Continually checking the market for competitor supplier options will help you save costs whether you switch to a new supplier or not. If you find a better deal on wholesale supplies, you can trade up, or you can go back to your regular supplier and ask if they’ll match the deal.

    Companies like to retain their regular customers, so you may be pleasantly surprised. Another way to reduce your wholesale costs is to be a great purchaser by paying your bills on time or even early. Some companies offer a discount for early payment, and others will be happy to negotiate costs with you if you’ve proven yourself to be a reliable customer.

These are just a few ways to cut your small business costs. Different companies will have different essential needs, of course, but almost every small business can shave off some spending that will lead to ongoing savings.

By Morgen Henderson

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