Small business owners are under more pressure than ever to reduce costs as they strive the keep their organizations in the black. Here, Christopher Lee, Marketing Manager at WNY Holdings, describes 12 simple ways to streamline expenses that many small businesses might not have considered.
Install a programmable or automated thermostat.
Heating and cooling costs make up a considerable chunk of essential office expenses. A programmable or online control system allows business owners to reign in daily expenses and prevents costly systems from running when no one is in the office. Not to mention the fact that it helps eliminate costly surprises like frozen pipes or overheated equipment during temperature extremes.
Shut down at night.
It might seem simplistic, but take care of an office in the same manner as you take care of your home – by turning lights and computers off when not in use. Considering how much of an office is plugged in, saving electricity is a huge, untapped money saver.
Mind your printing.
Does your business lease a printer/copier? If so, you likely are charged more for color copies than for black and white documents. Making black and white the default printer setting can save a good chunk of change because it forces employees to choose to make a color copy consciously.
Save the environment.
Careful stewardship of resources not only makes a company look responsible, but it also can cut costs. Small steps like printing on both sides of the paper, opting to file documents electronically rather than printing them, and limiting disposable products are small changes that add up over a year.
Over time, all of those magazine subscriptions, office programs, and professional membership fees tend to accumulate and then be forgotten. Use an app (or an old-fashioned spreadsheet) to track subscriptions and cut them when they are no longer needed.
Pay early when practical.
Some vendors will reduce payments if you pay before the usual 30 days. Ask or look for language like 2/10 net 30 on an invoice, which means you can subtract 2% of your invoice if paid within ten days.
Take advantage of credit cards.
The credit cards and credit lines a company uses can make a huge difference in cash flow. Have several available options and use the one that makes sense for your needs – whether that’s a card that provides airline miles, a lower interest rate, or a smaller monthly payment. Don’t be afraid to juggle balances as needed to maximize benefits.
There are countless small business owners, and they each have a skill or service that they do better than anyone else. Take advantage of networks to trade professional services you’ll use anyway, and watch those expenses fall.
Unfortunately, many companies go out of business – and then there are those that outgrow what they have. Before investing in new office furniture, technology, or even vehicles, explore the used market to reap substantial savings.
Plan it out.
Many services offer annual subscriptions for everything from legal services and bookkeeping to cell phones and cloud storage. Take advantage of these savings, but review them yearly to ensure that you’re only paying for the level of services used.
Sub out services.
Rather than hiring employees for short-term or very specialized projects, consider enlisting freelancers. Companies often can find better-qualified professionals – and hire them at savings since they don’t have to absorb benefit costs – they would typically be able to attract or afford permanently.
Shop for services.
The cost of many essential services like banking, insurance, technology, and more can vary widely. Take the time to research offerings and programs that best fit your company (as well as any savings offered through professional networks) and watch the savings add up.
Over time, these seemingly small cost-savings measures can make a huge difference in the bottom line.
About Christopher Lee
Christopher Lee is the Marketing Manager at WNY Holdings LLC, a customer-focused digital marketing company that was started in 2018 to provide tailored marketing strategies for small businesses. Christopher Lee assists clients with all their digital marketing needs, from content marketing, web, and graphic design, media creation, SEO, all the way to Facebook advertising.