Our Top 10 Money Saving Tips for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs
- Cut traditional advertising in favor of low-cost substitutes.
It’s a popular move for small businesses to look into the many options of internet marketing and advertising, cut traditional advertising spending like magazine ads, and reach customers online instead.
You can hire an experienced SEO agency to focus on getting results by using SEO techniques to build up the company website. Additionally, you can create YouTube videos, a move which can increase traffic to your website.
- Get sponsors for events.
Events can be enormous draws for both old and new customers, and many businesses rely on regular events, from galas to seminars, to grow their customer base. Getting sponsors who will help bring the expense of events in exchange for some form of advertising within the event is beneficial. It’s usually a good trade for both the small business hosting the event and the sponsor paying for expenses, if the two are in associated areas.
- Outsource, outsource, outsource.
Employees are crucial to getting work done, but employee costs—from salaries to office space to insurance—can be the biggest portion of a small business‘s budget. You could choose to keep your full-time staff to the lowest and outsource work to independent contractors for the work that your staff cannot cover as needed.
- Negotiate with vendors.
What you’ve been paying your vendors does not have to be the last word on what you continue paying. Ultimately, vendors want to stay in business too, and they’re dealing with a harsh economy just as you are. Many are often willing to discuss lower prices rather than lose a regular customer. You might be able to negotiate better prices on everything from office materials to the phone bill. You certainly won’t lose anything by trying, and you may find yourself able to trim several hundred dollars off your monthly operating costs. But don’t sacrifice quality for a few bucks!
- Think beyond the money box.
When that cash amount gets low, as it tends to do in small businesses, don’t close the door on getting what you need. We recommend the long-standing practice of bartering. You can use bartering effectively by offering your own services in exchange for work. As with the vendor negotiation, the worst answer you can get is a simple no, and you might be amazed by how quickly you’ll hear a yes.
- Live in the cloud.
Thrifty marketing advice gurus will give you a cloud-based answer before you even finish asking your question, but real small-business owners commend the same strategy. You can potentially avoid the cost of expensive hardware and use cloud-based services to save important data and help keep you organized.
- Cut unnecessary employee expenses, not employees.
You might need to rethink certain expenditures. Though neither the company nor the employees want to give up the perks, sometimes it is a better choice financially for a company to offer a modest perk, to save the money spent on a bigger perk, and thus be able to keep employees working rather than laying them off. Another way to save on expenses is to reduce your credit card transactions fees by switching to a zero fee credit card processing company such as ZeroPoint. You can pass your transactions fees onto to your customer or give them an option to pay cash and avoid the fees altogether. It’s that simple!
- Embrace telecommuting.
Telecommuting isn’t possible for all businesses, or for all employees within a business, but when it is, it can be a massive money-saver. Keeping things virtual allows small businesses to dodge the expense of office space and the ongoing operating costs that come with it, and emphasize on producing work at minimum overhead. If you’re not able to transform your entire staff to a telecommuting situation, find a way to transform at least some of them.
- Go green to save green.
Going green is not only a great PR move, it’s also a keen financial move. Simple moves such as keeping equipment on a power strip and turning it off when not in use, or substituting your existing printer with one that prints on both sides of the paper, thus decreasing paper waste and cost. Since the object of many environmentally friendly alterations is to save energy, and you have to pay for the energy your business uses, if you can reduce energy use you will also be decreasing your costs.
- Employ smart, inexperienced people.
Experience isn’t everything, and it costs more. Next time you put up a job ad, remove the line that says, “Must have X years of experience,” and swap it with “Recent graduates welcome to apply.” You might be gaining a monetary advantage by providing an entry-level salary and benefiting by having employees who are “up-to-date on the newest technology or techniques…often more nimble and eager to learn.”