Whether your business is a start-up or a seasoned operation, it’s important to find ways to cut small business expenses to increase profits and grow revenue. Here are 7 ways to trim expenses that you may not have considered.
1) Reduce printing. Printing supplies, in particular ink cartridges, are costly. Instead of printing documents, invest in a scanner and store your documents digitally. In addition, take advantage of the cloud to house documents.
2) Don’t pay retail for office equipment. With technological advances occurring in leaps and bounds, you can get significant discounts on used hardware; including equipment that may be less than a year old. Newer models are continuously being offered, making “older” versions available on secondary markets. Check Ebay, Craigslist, or even your favorite electronics retailer for used or refurbished equipment available for a steep discount.
3) Travel less. The next time you think you need to make a business trip, examine whether you can use some of the web’s innovative offerings to conduct your business meeting from your local office. Services like Skype, WebEX, and GoToMeeting may enable you to get the job done while saving on airline and hotel expenses. Since travel expenses can be significant, using services like the aforementioned is one of the best ways to cut small business expenses.
4) Reduce inventory. Minimizing inventory levels helps save space, reduces the risk of expired or damaged inventory, and frees up cash for expansion or marketing.
5) Reduce marketing costs. Instead of marketing through purchased paper ads or direct mail, focus on ways to find customers that are less expensive. Web-based marketing tool such as Facebook, Twitter, and a company blog are relatively inexpensive when compared to print media.
6) Look for low-cost office space. With the economy having seen better times, office vacancies are running high. Take advantage of this by negotiating with property owners for cheaper small business office space rent.
7) Hire contractors, interns, or temporary help. If your business goes through seasonal ups and downs, consider hiring contractors or interns instead of employees, which enables you to avoid paying certain payroll expenses. One caveat: the IRS has strict guidelines regarding 1099 versus employee workers, so be sure your worker classifies as a contractor and not an employee in the IRS’s eyes.
This is just a short list of the many ways to cut small business expenses. Remember, even small changes in expenses can have a big impact on profitability. But make sure to always keep adequate amounts of business insurance for your business, otherwise you could face huge financial losses in the event of a claim, including legal costs to defend yourself.