How to Reduce Your Small Business Costs Starting Today
Every business owner wants to cut costs. When you’re a small business owner, though, saving money often means more than simply balancing your bottom line or turning your first profit. Each penny you save could mean the difference between shutting your doors or making it another day.
So how can you ensure that you don’t just “make it another day,” but rather secure the long-term viability of your enterprise?
Explore these tips and find out!
Reexamine Your Phone Plans
An effective phone system is essential to most businesses. Traditional landlines, though, can be expensive and unnecessary. If you rely on the phone for your business, consider ditching the landline and opting for a business VoIP provider. Many offer multiple lines, voicemail, call screening, and more.
Have a look at your mobile plan, as well. If more than a year has passed since you signed up, chances are it’s no longer the best plan on the market. Depending on the nature of your business, a mobile phone could even serve as your business line.
The cost of maintaining a physical place of business can be enormous. Often, this overhead is just part of the cost of doing business.
Technology, however, is redefining the traditional office space. The internet and team communication and collaboration platforms mean that, in some cases, a physical retail location is no longer necessary.
Small businesses such as consultancies, design or development services, photography studios, and accounting agencies, for example, have the potential to be carried out remotely.
If going fully remote isn’t possible, consider whether certain team members can fulfill their duties via telecommuting. This allows for the possibility of downsizing the office space you need, while still effectively executing all vital business functionalities.
Rethink How You Market
If you’re not marketing online, not only are you likely throwing away your marketing budget, but you’re missing out on an infinite pool of possible consumers.
What’s more, building your online presence is free. Facebook business pages don’t cost you a dime. And the same goes for Twitter and Instagram profiles. And while you can spend as much or as little as you like in ads, and you will need to invest time and patience – creating and optimizing your profiles, crafting timely and relevant posts, and organically growing your customer base costs you nil.
To further maximize your online presence, implement a business blog. Educating your customers by offering relevant advice and information makes them more likely to spread word about your business. Linking with other bloggers, businesses, and media, on the other hand, helps you potentially attract new leads.
Conduct a Thorough Audit
More thoroughly lowering your small business expenses means scrutinizing the finer details of your operating costs.
Conduct an audit to see if you can:
- Slash printing costs – Consider going paperless or, at the very least, curtailing the amount you print. Enterprise-grade printers aren’t cheap and paper, ink, postage, and maintenance costs add up. Digitalizing invoices, bills, and payments help you reduce or even eliminate this overlooked expense.
- Buy second-hand – Brand new furniture and equipment isn’t just expensive. In many cases, it’s unnecessary. Purchasing second-hand or scratch-and-dent furniture, as well as refurbished equipment, can save you a fortune.
- Reduce credit card debt – A credit card is fundamental for any business owner. But if you’re not careful, interest and fees can creep up and impede your bottom line. You may not be able to pay off credit card debt overnight, but getting started now though makes your business more financially viable in the long-run.
Consolidate Your Software
How many tools do you use on a daily basis? Include in your audit the software you’re paying for and determine whether:
- You’re recouping what you pay
- It’s vital to company functionality
- You can consolidate your toolkit
In many cases, managing multiple tools is a nuisance – and an expensive one. Software and app subscriptions don’t come cheap, and by not utilizing them to their full extent, you’re throwing money away. What’s more, toggling back and forth between programs is an unnecessary inconvenience, and it could lead to time-wasting and errors.
Go for an all-in-one communication and collaboration solution which not only affords your business real-time internal communication, but also the ability to pair team collaboration tools like whiteboard, screen sharing, and unlimited size file transfer, for example.
This way, regardless of the task, project, and/or data in question, teamwork can transpire seamlessly and in real time, but without the burden of costly or unnecessary software.
Take Advantage of Freelancers
Hiring isn’t cheap. In addition to onboarding and training, sick leave, vacation pay, and insurance, there’s the general overhead of managing a team in-house.
These days, though, you can outsource almost any project or task – from software, web, and app development to copywriting and social media marketing. By taking advantage of freelancers, you can better focus on meeting goals and objectives, improving KPIs, and running the day-to-day operations of the business.
What’s more, employing a specialist abroad often costs significantly less than hiring someone with a similar skillset back home; allowing you to avoid the cost-burden and unpredictability of hiring and turnover.
Reconsider How You Communicate
Businesses on average lose $11,000 per employee per year due to inefficient communication and collaboration.
Be strategic about how you communicate. While relying on email because it’s free may seem like a wise idea, there’s often a delay or lag involved in response times. Not to mention inefficiency when using it as a tool to communicate with multiple team members. Free consumer-grade chat apps, on the other hand, come with inherent security risks and possible misbehavior.
For your small business, choose an enterprise instant messenger that offers you text chat, chat rooms, and voice and video capability and, importantly, consider the following guidelines:
- Text chats are fitting for on-the-fly small talk, free-flowing conversations, short answer inquiries, and file transfers.
- Chat rooms are ideal for on-going conversation and discussion involving multiple participants; or organizing conversations by way of relevance – by project, team, department, or location, for example.
- Voice and video chats are optimal for conversations of a sensitive or personal nature, when there’s a lot to discuss, or if you need to effectively gauge vocal and facial reactions. Voice chats offer a dynamic communication alternative, while video chats, if structured effectively, can save you a fortune in business travel costs.
Carefully considering how you communicate and utilizing a team communication platform, like Brosix, for example, allows you to:
- Meet team members on their preferred communication channels
- Communicate dynamically and effectively
- Improve internal efficiency
- Boost cost savings long-term
Go All-in on Security
In 2018, the average cost of a data breach was $148 per record. A breach of just 10,000 records would set you back nearly $1.5 million – or more specifically, the kind of figure that could sink your small business.
Investing in enterprise-grade communication and collaboration, though, safeguards you on multiple fronts:
- A private team network which allows you to individually authorize user access, establish custom data security levels, manage contacts and features, and monitor communications platform-wide ensures internal communication remains in-house.
- End-to-end data encryption across peer-to-peer communication channels further complemented by anti-virus and malware integration protects you from malicious outside threats and attacks.
Devoting resources to secure communication costs money upfront, but saves you big in the long-run.
Deciding where and how to cut costs is never easy. By following these tips and carefully considering your expenses, though, you can begin to chip away at both avoidable and impractical expenditures, save money, and little by little enhance the long term viability of your small business.