Owning and running a business means endless hours of hard work, and business owners also have a lot of overhead that they need to manage on top of everything else. Because of the burden of keeping a business above water, it may seem like you aren’t ever going to make a reasonable profit. However, with clever and thoughtful planning, your overall expenses can actually go down while your profits go up. Here are expenses to mitigate so you can elevate your business from surviving to thriving.
In this modern era, it pays to go paperless. Face it, the digital environment makes it so much easier for you to save money. Not only do you not have to worry about buying enough printers to accommodate everyone, but you also don’t need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on paper documents. This keeps your overall costs down, and helps erase your carbon footprint. However, going paperless can provide its fair share of problems to be aware of. For instance, you may lose or become disorganized if you don’t clear your digital space effectively. Make sure you are also keeping your information private so it doesn’t get into the hands of cybercriminals. You can do this through installing a VPN and keeping your information in a secure, digital cloud that requires double verification to access.
Next, you will probably have to look at your list of software subscriptions, and decide which ones are most essential, and which ones are simply helpful. Of course, you can make do without some common programs, and many businesses rely exclusively on free software to get the job done. However, for most companies, that isn’t going to be enough. Instead of seeking to replace software, you should find ways to get a deal on the programs you will be using in your business. Most software companies offer a trial period for their products so you can learn how it works. Others crack deals with other businesses. Reach out and see what they can do for you.
On the other hand, obtaining a deal on insurance can be a tougher sell. For one thing, most insurance companies are not willing to budge on their offerings. Meaning the prices that you see are the ones they are offering you without question. So how can you strike a better deal? Showing that you are a trustworthy company is probably your best bet. In an office job, that can be particularly easy since most people are not working with heavy machinery or driving to and fro. Make sure your business is in a decent location where loss from theft is minimized. Also keep every building and fire code in the books so they can’t deduct from your coverage.
Obviously, another way you can cut back on your overhead is by reducing your electricity bill. The most common way to do this is by turning off lights and using more effective power. Replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs should be your first step. You should also focus on retaining heat. Tinting your office windows reduces your A/C bill and helps reduce annoying glare from the sun in your eyes or on computer screens. Look for ways to use alternative energy. Solar power has become a staple in many businesses, so why shouldn’t it be for you? Make sure you are also turning off most of your lights before you leave the office.
It’s not uncommon for your advertising dollars to be your most intense investment out of anything. Advertising your business is pricey, and the best way for you to reduce the cost is by making sure your contacts are quality. Forget buying billboards all over the city, and directly market online. Using social media and search engines caters to a specific demographic in a specific region of the world, making your outreach much more focused. By researching to improve your SEO and bid for the right keywords for PPAs, you can always know who you are speaking to and guarantee that your message is reaching your intended audience. Online advertising is the way to go!
Education and Training
Do you know how much it costs to educate and train new employees? It can cost quite a lot! Because of this, you may want to invest in new ways to train your workers—particularly your interns. Instead of having someone who has to shadow employees throughout the day, using training modules will help your new recruits learn quickly without supervision, allowing each one of your other employees to keep steady throughout the day. This also will help streamline your training approach dramatically, so newly-hired employees become efficient much faster!
Yet another cost that you should keep in mind is your utilities. Electricity does count as a type of utility, but the others can also add up over time. You need to be pretty thoughtful over how you use them and how much they cost overall. In doing so, you can find out how to reduce the prices over time. Water is simple; cut back on how much you are using. Sewer and trash aren’t so easy. However, in some counties you can actually get a bit of a break if you dedicate a certain amount of your trash to recycling. So, you may want to consider doing that.
Depending on how far along your business is, you may or may not have gotten every worker an office computer yet. And though one option is to have everyone use their own laptops, it’s not a very sustainable one long-term. Office technology can get very expensive, so the best way to lower this needed expense is by buying in bulk. Many technology companies will give you discounts for buying a ‘lot,’ or ten or more of the same product. Also, looking into refurbished computers and sales is never a bad idea when you’re shopping for work computers and other needed technology, especially considering the thousands of dollars you’ll be spending otherwise!
Though inevitably furnishing and running an office involves expenses, you don’t need to break your business’s bank to do it. Learning to strike a deal when possible, as well as saving money in smart, long-term ways will pay off quite literally down the road. As long as you aren’t sacrificing too much on quality, it’s well worth the effort to find ways you can save.
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