Every business should be concerned about its bottom line and how to save money. However, too many business owners focus on the money coming in rather than the money going out. Part of that reason might be because it seems impossible to cut costs without impacting services and products.
While cutting corners is both risky and not always wise, there are some great ways for your business to save money without affecting quality. These proven money-saving techniques can go a long way in improving your company’s financial situation.
Start here if you want to implement a cost-cutting plan that won’t adversely affect business.
Cut Down on Electricity Costs
As anyone who pays a utility bill at home knows, saving money on electricity is both good for the wallet and the environment. It’s especially true for businesses, where commercial utility usage is likely higher and more expensive than homes.
It makes a lot of sense for businesses to implement measures that can save electricity. It doesn’t include anything as dramatic as working in the dark or lording over employees who keep the fridge open for too long. Instead, you can simply replace your energy draining incandescent light bulbs with efficient compact fluorescent lights that are 70 percent more effective.
Buying new isn’t always better — especially if you’re trying to get your business to the next level and have limited resources. Buying second hand is a great way to save money while expanding your business. Opting for second-hand vehicles, factory machinery and even espresso machines can make sense if you do your homework.
One entrepreneur profiled in a case study went the second-hand route for buying an espresso machine and used it as the basis to build his own, custom espresso machine. That would have been prohibitively expensive — and risky — to do with a new machine.
Before making a big purchase, scour listings online and check your contacts to see if any used products are available. Second hand doesn’t necessarily mean second best.
Switch Up Your Advertising
Marketing is an important aspect of most businesses, but sometimes the return on investment isn’t worth the money being spent. For many businesses, it makes sense to pare down traditional advertising and focus on building an online presence. A sharp website with strong SEO costs a pittance compared to pricey advertising. Online marketing also has the potential to reach a far greater audience if done right.
Online advertising is also useful. Chocolate company Cadbury (you know — the folks behind the chocolate Easter eggs) found that digital advertising accounts for 20 percent of sales despite being seven percent of their marketing budget.
To further go green, consider going paperless if your office relies on lots of printing. It reduces storage and printing costs, so it can be a win-win decision. The massive Zurich Financial Services, which printed upwards of 400,000 documents a day, made the switch to paperless. Even if your company isn’t worth billions of dollars like the Swiss financial company, consider going paperless in the office and with your invoices.
Allow Remote Working
People who ask to work from home aren’t doing it simply because they like the idea of sitting around in pajamas all day. Allowing employees to work from home has a demonstrable effect on both satisfaction and productivity. For business owners, productivity is especially important.
Working from home can lead to big money savings if done right. Some of the other benefits of allowing employees to work from home include lower overhead, fewer sick days being used and a greater retention rate for your employees.
Obviously, it doesn’t make sense for certain businesses to allow employees to work from home. However, the rise in telecommuting isn’t limited to hip tech companies. Traditional companies like insurance giant Aetna have a large telecommuting workforce.
Outsource What You Can
Even superstar business owners can only do so much when resources are limited. If you find yourself stretched a little thin when it comes to time or money, outsource what you can. It’s cheaper than hiring someone on your own and can help you focus on the important aspects of running your business.
Outsourcing bookkeeping services is a popular decision. Not only is the price right, but you can scale up or scale down the services based on how your business is doing.
Go Easy on the Meetings
It’s natural for a business owner to want to make sure everyone is on the same page and fully informed. That desire, however, can sometimes lead to extended meetings that drain productivity and waste time. To ensure a meeting is as efficient as possible, spend more time on the agenda than you normally would.
This might not seem like a money-saving strategy at first, but the long-term effects on productivity and employee happiness will have a positive impact on your bottom line.
Find What Works
A business is like a snowflake in the sense that every single one is different. Due to those unique differences amongst companies, you’ll want to experiment with money-saving strategies. Some tactics work for almost every single type of business, while others might not be worth the effort. It’s all about taking what’s useful and forgoing the aspects that aren’t as helpful.