We know that owning your own business can be costly. Between the more obvious expenses of renting an office space, hiring employees, and purchasing materials, there are also many costs that get forgotten along the way, such as insurance, advertising, and any permits or licenses you may need. But it’s important to reduce costs in the right areas. So how do you reduce these expenses without penny-pinching? In this post, we’ll show you how to cut costs for your small business without cutting corners.
8 Ways Small Business Owners Can Save Money (and Time)
1. Set a Budget
While it may be tempting to overspend certain times of the year, such as the holidays, setting a budget ahead of time will help you save money when these temptations arise. Make sure to review your budget on a regular basis, either quarterly or annually, to make sure you’re getting a positive return on your investment. If you’re not, it may be time to reevaluate the allocation of your budget.
2. Compare Prices
When looking to hire a consultant, purchase a piece of equipment, or even just order office supplies, always make sure to compare prices between competitors. You may think the price you are paying for your service or product is reasonable, but regularly double-checking all your quotes and invoices can help you save if one company offers a discount or limited-time offer down the road. Calling around and some quick Google searching can often help you get the most bang for your buck.
If you find a better price online for the same service you are receiving, but don’t want to go through the hassle of switching, then use the power of negotiation in your favor. Many internet, cable, and cell service providers specifically will be open to negotiating a better rate if you let them know you are unhappy with your current plan billing rate. Many insurance providers also provide a guarantee for the lowest rate or will match local competitors without much hassle.
Make sure when calling to make attainable requests—asking for a loyal customer discount, a small monthly reduction, or additional services for your current cost are all reasonable asks. If you feel embarrassed doing the negotiating yourself, or don’t have the time as a busy business owner, you can always use a service like Bill Cutterz to negotiate your rate for you.
4. Buy Used
Apart from some particular items your small business may require, you always have the option to purchase secondhand office equipment, such as industrial size printers, chairs, and file cabinets. These items don’t go out of style the way electronic devices and desk phones might, so it’s safe to explore other, more economical options when purchasing. Make sure all the products you purchase secondhand are compliant with any regulations your industry may have. Buying used also helps the environment and reduces waste, assisting your business in going green.
5. Hire Freelancers
If you need a short-term or temporary project completed, but don’t have the budget or bandwidth to hire a full-time employee, a freelancer is a great option to consider. Freelancers can be hired for any marketing, writing, or a graphic design needs your small business may have. Freelancers often don’t require the standard employee benefits you would have to offer full-time personnel and can be utilized on an as-needed basis. Don’t rely on contractors too heavily, as they can often get busy with the needs of other companies, and may not be able to dedicate as much time as you need.
6. Barter With Your Network/Community
As a small business owner, bartering is a great skill to develop. Other local small business owners are in a similar position, actively striving to cut costs whenever possible, and open to means of negotiation. Bartering is a great way to set up a mutually symbiotic and professional relationship between two businesses that can extend to everything from physical repairs to digital advertising help. For example, if you are a salon owner, and you require auto repairs in your car, you could offer haircuts or salon services in exchange for them. Make an effort to build a community and relationships in your area.
7. Maximize Your Deductions
When tax season comes around, it can create a lot of stress for a small business owner. Combined with a busy schedule, trying to record all of your deductions may feel unnecessary, but making sure to capitalize on all of your write-offs will help you to save money long-term. You can start with our list of 12 Tax Deductions for Your Small Business, but you should also seek out advice from a tax professional. The reductions they will be able to get you will surely outweigh their upfront costs.
8. Use Social Media
Advertising can be a large expense for a small business owner, so be sure to utilize all the unpaid social media marketing your bandwidth can handle. Social media presents a great opportunity to market your business for free or cheap using Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Be sure to add lots of hashtags to your posts to get the most visibility, display attractive photos of your products or services, and include your contact information so your potential customers know how to reach out. Social media is a powerful tool to help cut costs for your small business.
Taking steps to reduce expenses for your business can free up room in your budget for other, more necessary expenses. Following these easily actionable tips will help save you time and money.