They say it’s much easier to save what you already have than to try and earn more, and that applies to businesses too. Whether your startup is just being launched now, or you’re 20 years into your business, cutting expenses can make a dramatic difference in how profitable you are.
If you just look at the biggest costs, it may seem overwhelming, but focusing on places where you can really save that are typically overlooked can help you get to where you want to be.
Considering that around half of all businesses fail by their fifth year, taking steps now can help ensure that you’re still going strong well after that anniversary mark and perhaps decades beyond.
Cut back on utilities
One of the first areas to look at may be your utility bills, particularly energy use. One of the biggest money suckers is keeping office spaces warm when it’s chilly out and comfortable when temperatures are sizzling. You can still maintain comfort simply by adjusting the thermostat only a degree or two. After everyone has left in the evening, be sure to set the thermostat to reflect that, and turn all lights off.
You may also want to invest in a programmable thermostat which will automatically adjust the temperature during hours where no one is working. Just a night or two of not letting the air conditioning unit run all night when no one is around, is likely to pay for the thermostat anyway, and beyond that, it’s all savings.
Another option is to get utility tracking software. Utility bill analysis can help you determine how much, if any, your saving on utilities and much more.
Do you really need an outside office?
If you’re able to work from home, and hire employees that work remotely too, do so as long as you possibly can. In many cases, you probably don’t even need an office space, which is one of the biggest business expenses there is. If necessary, look for a co-working space that includes some type of conference room that can be used for client meetings. If you do need to work in an office outside of your home, choose something that let’s you share a conference room, receptionist, lobby and break areas if possible.
Instead of traveling, make use of free meeting tools
The cost of traveling to meetings can be significant too. Business travelers, just traveling within the U.S., are reported to spend an average of $949 on airline costs, hotel fees and other expenses annually. Why spend money on pricey plane tickets, hotel rooms and the like when there are free resources like Skype? It lets you be two places at once for an “in-person” meeting wherever you happen to be.
While you may not be able to halt all business travel, free video calls and web conferencing can help you save a ton of time and money that can be reinvested in the business.
Cut back or go totally paperless
Surprisingly, there are still many companies these days that use a lot of their paper, and never think about it as part of their expense management. It’s easy to reduce here – going paperless means cutting or eliminating what you spend on paper, printer ink and more. Why are you sending any letters when you can send emails in the 21st century? Not only will it help you save, but it will reduce your carbon footprint making your business more sustainable, and less cluttered too.