There’s no denying that running a business costs money, and whether you are running a hardware store an e-commerce company, every start-up will run into its own set of costs.
While it is impossible to completely eliminate costs, you can significantly reduce them by making a few simple changes.
We’ve talked about reducing business costs here at DumbFunded before, but we thought it would be worth taking another look at this topic, what with the currently political and financial climate!
For short-term and small jobs, try hiring in some freelancers or contractors instead of taking someone on in the office. This will mean that you won’t have to pay a full-time salary to anyone who is not needed once the project is completed.
If a particular freelancer or temp worker stands out, and you think they might be an asset to you and your company, you might be able to hire them for a position further down the line.
By keeping these contacts and treating them well when you do use them, you could find that you will be able to cut recruitment and training costs in the future too.
You will likely find that you will go back to the same freelancers or contractors again and again, and if you treat them well and pay them on time, they will do a good job for you.
Hiring freelancers is usually a situation where everybody wins – you only pay for the work that has been done, and the freelancer gets paid more per hour than if they were in an office job.
Remember that it is still worth keeping a talent pool in the office too that work full-time, to ensure that you always have loyal workers.
Use email where possible
This could be a little outdated, but there are still companies out there who prefer to use old fashioned snail-mail over email. By using email for as much as possible, you will cut down on postage and paper costs.
While we are on the subject of paper, do you know how much your company spends on printing and faxing?
You could be saving a lot of money without even knowing how, so it is worth evaluating your cost effectively with a print audit from Xeretec, you will be able to tell you exactly what you are spending and how to cut back.
By hiring interns you are entering into a win-win situation; the interns get the valuable experience they need in order to enter the professional world, and you don’t have to spend loads of money on staff.
However, before entering into this situation, remember that interns will likely require a lot of training, and if you can’t afford the time or money to invest in this, then the cons may just outweigh the benefits. You can read about how to hire interns here.
Negotiate credit card APRs
Most small businesses have to take out credit cards to cover small purchases, travel expenses and for working capital.
If you are one of these business owners and are paying a high percentage rate, try calling up your provider and negotiating a lower one. This has the power to save you some significant money in the long run.
Pay invoices early
Many suppliers offer discounts for paying invoices off within a couple of weeks of receiving them.
If you have the money spare, and feel that this is something you can afford, paying early is not only a great way to save a bit of money, but to also build good relationships with people who you will likely want to carry on working with in the future.
We live in a world where travelling halfway around the globe for a meeting just isn’t necessary anymore. You can save a lot of time and money by avoiding trips which are unnecessary and by buying into services such as Skype, Google Hangouts or Webex.
These services allow you to have video calls with your clients and suppliers without even needing to leave your office.
Allow your employees to work from home
If your business permits remote work, letting your employees work from home once a week will see your energy bills decrease dramatically.
If this works out, you may even be able to relocate to a smaller office eventually, and therefore reduce costs there too.
Buy used equipment
Technology is moving at a rapid pace these days, and as a result, by buying equipment that was new last year and not this, you’ll make a huge saving.
It’s probably pretty unnecessary to invest in ten brand new MacBooks, especially as you’ll be able to pick up last years model for a fraction of the cost. Used equipment is just as useful and valuable to you as new equipment, except that they won’t cost you quite as much!
Negotiate lower prices with your suppliers
Most suppliers are willing to cut down their costs for repeat buyers and regular customers, so it is always worth picking up the phone and creating a relationship over the phone with them.
You will often find that the better the relationship you have with them, the better the deal that you will get – so remember to be friendly!
Get social media savvy
Traditional advertising has gotten expensive, but luckily for business owners, social media advertising is a whole lot cheaper.
Not only is this where most of your potential customers are most likely to see an ad, but it’s a great platform where you can get creative and try some things out without going bust in the process.
If you’re good at creating content, you may even find that you won’t have to pay for social media advertising at all, and will be able to rely on shares and likes to spread the word.
Remember that almost everything is negotiable
Unless it is clearly written in a contract, most things can be negotiated down in price if you can take the time to do so. Sometimes all it takes is asking someone if they offer a discount – they can only say no, right?