Working with a small budget? Need ways to cut back on operational costs in an effort to increase profit? Owners of small businesses don’t have the same financial luxuries of a large organization. As such they must make economic decisions that will allow them to save money while still providing the same quality of products and/or services. There are essentially hundreds of ways in which you can cut back on your overhead costs. However, some of them may require a large initial investment or an array of resources you may not have at the moment.
The good news is, however, modern technology has made some money saving options a lot easier for small business owners to accomplish. Here are five considerations.
1. Outsource Instead of Hiring
There’s more to hiring an employee than just paying for their salaries. As a business owner you would also be required to pay employee taxes, insurance costs, and more which can add up on a small budget. Not to mention the costs of office space, furniture, and training for a new employee to start. However, if you were to hire a freelance contractor or outsource certain aspects of your business, you will come off a lot cheaper.
By hiring an individual or company on an as needed basis you’re essentially only paying for the time they actually spend completing work. There is no need to pay for taxes or insurance, and since they have their own location to work from, there is no need to invest in things like office space or equipment. Look at areas of your business that doesn’t require someone to physically be on location on the daily basis. This might mean hiring a virtual assistant to handle clerical tasks, or even a freelance accountant to handle the bookkeeping on a monthly basis. Ultimately it will save you big time.
2. Consider Switching Phone Systems
If you’re using traditional land lines for your organization, you may want to reconsider this option. There are more innovative phone systems that you can invest in that will essentially cost you next to nothing. Not only that but many of these new phone systems allow users to access the company phone system remotely. There are several options for you to choose from including VoIP phone services or a hosted PBX system. Each has its own pros and cons that should be evaluated, but in the right organization can work well while also saving money each month.
3. Go Paperless
Going paperless is not only great for the environment, but it can save your company a bunch of money. Gone are the days where forms have to be printed out and correspondence has to be sent by mail. With modern technology you can essentially run all of your business operations online. Here are a few options you might consider when going paperless:
· Send emails – instead of mailing correspondence out to clients or customers why not send an email? Emails are a lot faster to send and track, and you can also send them out in large batches saving you time and money as there is no need for envelopes or postage stamps.
· Go in the cloud – when it comes to storing files and other documents, the cloud is the new way to go. All of your company’s data can be stored in one virtual destination allowing as many permitted users to access it from virtually anywhere with an internet connection. Worried about your company information being compromised? Software security software and features have come a long way and will certainly keep your information safe from hackers.
· Paperless Fax – Need to fax something to a client? There are now paperless fax options available. You receive a legitimate fax number. You then send a fax virtually to anyone with a telephone number or email address instantly. You’ll receive instant notifications when faxes have been transmitted and received.
4. Shift Your Marketing to Online
Marketing is certainly an important aspect of any business type. Without effective and continual marketing efforts, your company’s brand essentially falls by the wayside. However, if you’ve been doing a great deal of traditional marketing (i.e. flyers, postcards, mass mailings, etc.) you may want to consider more affordable (and sometimes free) options such as online marketing. Creating an effective website, company social media page, and compelling content allows you to build a strong online presence while still getting the word out about your products and services.
5. Utilize Free Online Software
Last but certainly not least is the option to utilize free online software for some of your business practices. Investing hundreds of dollars into expensive software can put you over budget. Many times, there are free software options that are just as effective as the expensive ones. For instance there are free online templates, cloud storage accounts, and even email mailing (marketing) accounts. These allow you to get the job done effectively without spending the unnecessary cash.
Saving money in your small business is all about making informed economical decisions. Take the time to evaluate your company expenses. Look into the areas in which can be cut such as those described above. By incorporating different ideas such as outsourcing, going paperless, or utilizing online marketing, you will see that cost of operational costs start to plummet allowing you to put the excess money to use in other areas of your business.