Small Things that Can Save your Small Business Money
A big part of running a small business, especially in its infancy, is finding enough money to get the whole thing rolling and growing. Often times, SMB owners need to find new ways to survive before they can get into the black and stay there.
Now, we all know that in order to save money, you have to do a few big picture things such as having a sound business plan and a well-though out budget; not wasting money on ineffective marketing techniques and hiring the right people.
However, what about the little things? How about those seemingly insignificant savings that build up and provide you with much needed surplus by the end of the quarter?
Today’s article is all about those little things.
1. Embrace Telecommuting
Sure, telecommuting is famed for being a great employee engagement booster, but can it really save your small business money? It sounds a bit far-fetched, right? How much water or electricity can one employee use when they are in the office?
In reality, it is much more than that. For one, you can afford to cut down on your office space expenses as you can set up workstations instead of entire desks so that your telecommuting employees can visit, saving up on space. Your telecommuting employees will also not be wasting precious hours commuting to work and some of them might just use this free time to get some more work done.
Really, think about it.
2. Stop with the Meetings
If you were to ask any business experts how smaller companies waste the most time, they would probably tell you the same – meetings. Sometimes meetings are essential and they cannot be avoided. Other times, they are overdoing it. Often times, a half-an-hour meeting can be replaced by a single email that would take 5 minutes to read and send the message across.
Time wasted on meetings does not seem like much, but when you add up all the employees who lost all that time in unnecessary meetings, we are potentially talking about hours being wasted every week. Per employee.
3. Rethink Employee Perks
When the times are hard, it is time to start rethinking certain practices that might have become an everyday part of your business operation. For example, are you providing your employees with a free lunch? Is everyone getting a really decent birthday present from the company? Do you really need to get that expensive coffee for the coffee machine?
Your employees might complain at first, but if you explain where you are coming from, they will understand. It is much better to settle for cheaper coffee than having to see a fellow employee being let go.
4. Buy Everything Online
Buying stuff online should be a rule for small businesses. Forget about customer service of a brick and mortar supplier or the allure of premium shopping. You are in the business of saving money and one of the best ways to do this is to purchase online.
If you are looking for office supplies, go online and save a few bucks here and there. If you are looking for auto parts for your small fleet, go online and avoid dealership prices. If you are buying new equipment, check out used equipment sellers online and find a decent deal. The same goes for furniture.
In essence, go online for the best deals.
Yes, barter. Like in the olden days. You provide a service or some kind, or sell a product that some other company can use. They might offer a service that you are in dire need of. Why not find a way to exchange services and save both companies a lot of troubles?
Of course, it can be somewhat difficult to work out an exchange that will be 100% equal in both directions, but there should be a way to get something done in the vast majority of cases.
Nowadays there are even websites where you can find companies to barter services with and they are getting some serious work done.
6. Become an Expert
Getting media exposure can be quite costly, even if you concentrate on the most local of outlets. Still, there is no doubt that getting some coverage can go a long way towards promoting your company. So, how do you do it without breaking the bank?
You become an expert.
For instance, when a piece of news breaks that has to do with your company, you approach local papers, TV and radio stations and websites offering your expert opinion. Most times, media outlets will gladly welcome an expert who knows what they are talking about and they will be more than happy to give you due credit.
You can also get involved in local forums and online communities where you will not be brutally salesy, but where you will genuinely help people.
About the Author:
James D. Burbank is the editor in chief of a business-oriented blog called BizzMarkBlog. He is also a big Utah Jazz fan.
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