If you’re a small business owner, you know that it’s vital to keep your costs as low as possible. Saving money is as important as a great product or service when it comes to keeping your doors open. Here are some ways how to save money on your small business expenses. Set yourself up for success in 2019!
Cut Office Expenses By Allowing Your Team to Work Remote
On average, one employee working remote saves a company around $10,000 per year compared to an employee who works on location full time. Allowing your employees to work remote has never been easier. Telecommuting is a great way that you can save money on your small business expenses. You have to make sure the nature of your company and your employees’ roles allows for them to work remotely.
Working remote doesn’t just cut office expenses. Employees who work remote at least some of the time are 13% more efficient than their office-dwelling counterparts. They’re also 25% less stressed.
In the long term, you’ll have a lower turnover and more efficient, happier employees. Everybody wins!
Okay, so what if the nature of your company makes it tricky to fully embrace working remote full-time? Allow your employees to work from home on an as-needed basis. That can prevent hiccups in your company’s day-to-day operations that add up in the long run. What if an employee is sick but is feeling well enough to get some work done remote? The rest of your business can continue to run smoothly. That employee doesn’t have to miss out on hourly pay or catch up on work later.
Negotiating Your Expenses
BillFixers built an entire industry on negotiating bills for businesses’ recurring monthly services. Having experts negotiate your bills helps to save money on your business expenses. You can also negotiate the pricing of your monthly recurring services yourself! You should also negotiate the pricing of, well, everything.
Start by calling your provider and request to cancel your service. From there, you’ll go to the retention department. Retention representatives work to keep your business by meeting you in the middle on pricing.
To help start, check out our Ultimate Guide to Negotiating and Lowering Your Own Bills. It may seem overwhelming, but trust us. With a little time and attention, you just might save yourself a lot of money on your bills each month.
Utilize Cloud Computing
The cloud is replacing traditional desktop applications for accounting, word processing, and spreadsheets. If you’re looking for ways to save money on your small business expenses, this is good news for you! Traditional desktop applications can costs hundreds of dollars for each license and each update. Subscriptions to comparable cloud applications can cost as little as $10 per month.
On top of that, cloud applications negate the need for you to spend time and money backing up data or paying IT professionals. Your new service provider will handle all that for you. The cloud hosts the application and its data. So, your employees can work from anywhere with an internet connection. That makes it easier for you to allow your employees to telecommute and to save money on office space.
Evaluate Your Monthly Expenses
You’re looking for ways to save money on your small business expenses right now. But it’s important to set aside regular time to review each of your business expenses. Determine how many of them are even necessary at all.
Are you paying for cable for a television in a waiting room that’s rarely utilized? Are enough of your employees simultaneously accessing the internet for that gigabit bandwidth to really be necessary? Perhaps these things were useful to your business at one point, but have become less necessary over time. Review your expenses and consider how useful they really are to your company. If they’re not helping you add value to your company, cut them.
You may also find that you can consolidate many of your expenses. Technology for businesses evolves at an incredibly fast pace. Developers clamoring for your business release new tools on a regular basis. Research your options for every service on a regular basis. You may a new product has become available that can meet all your needs for a lower monthly rate. Maybe you’re paying separate providers for phone and internet service. You can save by bundling these services with one service provider. You can replace your landlines with VoIP to save even more.
Freelancers vs. Full-Time Employees
What if you want to maintain a solid web presence with promoted social media posts? You don’t need a full time social media coordinator or content creator. Maybe you want to offer a larger variety of services, but don’t have enough demand for some of those services yet. Hiring another full time employee is a huge expense. Around 34% of America’s workforce work as freelancers. Is your small business is at a stage where you don’t need or can’t afford another full-time employee? Take advantage of the gig economy. It can be a great way to save money while expanding your business.
A full time employee will expect a salary and benefits in exchange for the skills they bring to the table. However, you can hire freelancers on an as-needed basis until the time comes that a full time employee is necessary. Thanks to the rise in talent-pairing platforms, finding the right person for the job can be a breeze.
This may be especially useful to you for web development or content creation, as well as your social media marketing efforts. Let’s say you own a repair service. You can outsource infrequently requested services to independent contractors. That way, you can maintain the advantage of offering those services to customers.
Embrace Digital Advertising
Gone are the days when radio, TV, and newspaper ads reigned supreme. Consumers are ditching cable for Netflix and Hulu. They’re dropping the radio for Spotify and Apple Music. Web-based news and entertainment sources have replaced newspapers and magazines. Your best bet for optimizing your ad dollars and saving money for your small business is marketing through the web and social media.
Traditional advertisements for small businesses include phone books, newspapers, and direct mail. However, this type of advertising is becoming less and less effective.
It can be prohibitively expensive compared to marketing with social media and the web. On top of that, Google has largely replaced phone books as consumers’ primary means to find services. 70% of Americans never even opening the chunky books dropped on their doorsteps each year. Meanwhile, print newspaper sales have been steadily dwindling for the last few decades. Those direct mail ads are more likely to get tossed straight in the trash with the rest of the junk mail than to lead to increased business.
With digital advertising, you’ll spend a fraction of what you’d spend pursuing traditional advertising methods. With search engines and social media platforms, you target at the consumers most likely to do business with you.
If your business practices are creating unnecessary waste, then they’re also costing you unnecessary money. Paper accounts for 25% of landfill waste, which goes to show how much paper is unnecessarily printed and discarded. It’s not always possible to go completely paperless. Still, thanks to cloud computing, you can save a lot of money by opting for a digital filing system. Ditch the bulky, paper-filled filing cabinets.
You should also spot check your office for energy efficiency. Invest in new technologies designed to limit your energy consumption. Compact fluorescent and LED light bulbs use a fraction of the electricity of incandescent and halogen bulbs. Plus, you don’t need to replace them as often. Consider Timed or automated thermostats and motion-activated light fixtures. They’re great way to make sure your business isn’t wasting money keeping empty rooms heated and bright.
Consider your small business’s energy efficiency and make changes to improve it. That can reduce your business’s utility expenses. Plus, you can rest assured that the changes you’ve made are as good for the environment as they are for your wallet.
Hire Inexperienced Workers
Ever tried to find a job and run up against experience minimums? Of course, candidates with years of experience command a higher salary. Experience is valuable, but don’t be too quick to write off a potential employee. Just because they’re fresh out of college or is making a career move doesn’t mean they’re worse.
Giving that candidate their first shot after school or a career switch is not only a great way how to save money on your small business’s expenses. You also have the opportunity to train an enthusiastic newcomer to be the employee you want them to be. A seasoned pro brings bad habits from other companies that aren’t right for your business. Inexperienced employees will bring a willingness to learn the way you do things.
As a small business, hiring a less experienced employee has the obvious advantage of lower starting salary. You will have to spend more time training your new hire, but the right employee will catch on fast. They might even bring something new to the table that you wouldn’t get from an industry veteran.
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Results will vary. Savings are not guaranteed, not all bills are eligible, and some consumers may not experience any savings.