Reduce The Cost of Running Your Business
5 Easy Steps to Reduce the Costs of Running Your Business –
As the owner or manager of a business you are in a unique position to save yourself money–sometimes lots of money–by reducing costs and creating new processes that cost less. Better yet, it doesn’t necessarily need to cost you time or effort to create these savings. In fact, in most cases, it’s almost always just a matter of making smarter choices when you decide where to put your funds. Below is a list of five ways you can almost immediately cut business costs and improve your bottom line.
1. Use Technology. Technology can allow us to save considerable amounts of money and build our business in new ways that weren’t possible only a few years ago. Better yet, these time and money saving technologies are available to practically everyone to benefit from. From teleconferencing services to online payment options, to open-source type software and remote desktop applications, technology has proven itself as a way to save costs and even make money.
It might seem at first like a contradiction, but it’s not: cut your software. Technology can be very tempting with all of the savings it offers, but when we become infatuated with it, it can become another noose around our necks. There are so many different brands and capabilities of software available that it doesn’t take long before applications can overlap and duplicate each other, resulting in many unnecessary costs. Instead, before you are tempted to buy another software package, ask yourself, “Do I already have software that already performs this function?” If you do, don’t buy it.
Another option is freeware, which is available on the internet and costs nothing. Freeway doesn’t often perform all of the functions that a fully functioning piece of software does, but sometimes the freeway brand will work just as well, and costs you nothing.
2. Ditch the landline. It has been said so many ways but so many businesses still have the unnecessary cost of landlines when they don’t need them. Small businesses would do just as well with cell phones, and virtual phone lines, or VoIP, instead of traditional landlines. Not only would businesses cut the expense of having landlines by cutting them out, but with cell phones, you can be assured that you will never miss an important call.
The next time you are tempted to call a meeting with staff members that are scattered across the country or around the world, why not hold a virtual meeting with everyone where they already are? Virtual meetings can be held over the telephone or with video direct connections that will be just like meeting with anyone in person. And when you consider the savings you will realize from not booking plane and hotel reservations for your meeting, you will be glad you chose to make it virtual.
3. Go paperless. The costs of paper, ink, mailing supplies, and postage seem so small when you first consider them, but when you compare the cost of email, paper is no bargain. Creating paper and moving it around can add up to a huge expense. First, encourage your employees to think before they print. This goes for the copy machine as well as printers, ink, mailing supplies and so much more. And when you consider that virtually every step of the accounting process, from generating orders to
Also under the category of saving on paper is marketing and the tremendous amount of paper that is generated with brochures, handbills, and so many other promotional materials. And while few will argue the need for promotion, the options available with online marketing can dramatically reduce the costs of paper for these uses. If you are not taking advantage of the possibilities of Internet promotion, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to engage not only websites, but blogs, social media marketing and others.
4. Reduce debt. Debt is expensive. As a result, business owners and manager should endeavor to reduce their debt as much as possible, as soon as possible. This goes for not only business to business debt, but credit card debt as well. Bank credit can be a lifesaver to any business, but only when it is used responsibly. This means keeping balances as low as possible, and paying them off on time. Otherwise, debts can be enormously expensive. In the long run, reducing your business debt is not often a quick and easy way to reduce business costs, but it will end up making your business run more efficiently and be more financially healthy in the long run.
It’s also a good idea to consider your debt load in relation to your overall budget. Having a budget that is observed scrupulously can be one important key to making smart decisions and reducing costs related to your credit card and all of the related fees. Observing a budget will also help you make better business decicions since it will give you a good idea of what is coming in as well as what is going out of your business, and where changes can be made.
5. Explore alternatives. If this sounds like a kind of catch-all category for everything else, you’re right. That’s because a good business owner/manager is constantly on the lookout for better cost-savings methods of doing business, wherever that might come from. Whether it’s exploring the possibility of moving to a new, less expensive office or retail location, buying refurbished equipment instead of new, exploring bartering, and much more, it doesn’t take long to learn that there are also many ways to save costs, many of which only require a new way of looking at things to find.
All of these options are another way to reduce your business costs, for the short run as well as the long run. Fortunately, after you adopt a more cost friendly way of doing business, then you can save money. Even better, this new attitude will eventually become a mindset that you will adopt for use every minute of every day. In the end this mindset will help you to reduce costs overall.