The expenses related to owning a small business adds up, and small business owners who do not keep track of their expenses often end up going out of business. That is definitely something you want to avoid at all costs. Not all hope is lost, it’s possible to run a top-notch small business and save money at the same time. You just need to adopt some frugal habits that can help prevent your business from falling into financial despair.
The cost of printing invoices and mailing them out takes a big chunk out of your budget. Printing off documents to share within your organization also adds up. Not to mention the additional cost of sticky notes, file folders, and register receipts. With that in mind, it’s more profitable to go paperless when you can. You’ll be saving your business money, and as a bonus, you’ll be doing your part to protect the environment and reduce your carbon footprint.
If you’re like many small business owners, you may have trouble keeping staff in the early days of your business due to budgetary shortfalls. If that’s the case, then consider outsourcing the tasks that you’re not as good at. This allows you to hire people to do projects that need to be done. It’s a smart move financially, and it allows you to concentrate on the areas of business that you are good at while delegating the rest. However, this practice also does more than just protect your business’s bottom line. It ensures that you don’t go without critical workers. Outsourcing your IT support can help protect your business from various cybersecurity threats. This is particularly important because many of the money-saving practices you use rely on using technology, so keep your technology safe by hiring this job out if it’s not your thing.
Write Off Expenses
Business-related expenses cost you money upfront but save you money in taxes. So, if you’re not writing off your expenses, adopt the habit. There are several expenses that small business owners have the ability to write off. The costs of your home office, your employees’ salaries, your professional fees, vehicle insurance, and meals and travel expenses, can all be written off. You can start by saving all of your receipts and invoices. You’ll give these to your accountant come tax time.
Employ Low-Cost Marketing Strategies
You need to advertise your small business if you want to attract customers. However, you may not have a big budget for marketing. Fortunately, there are a few ways to market your business that are low-cost and yet effective at the same time. First, tap into your social media networks. Post helpful content on Facebook or interesting tips on Pinterest. Host Twitter chats or write a blog series that establishes you as an industry expert.
Next, work on building relationships with the local media so that you can get covered in newspaper articles or radio or TV interviews. Finally, try piggyback marketing. With this marketing technique, you share advertising costs with another business owner. The business owner you partner with will be in the same industry that you are but not in direct competition with you. For example, if you’re a coffee shop owner, then partner with a local bakery on advertising costs. If you’re a nutritionist, then partner with a fitness trainer.
Take Advantage of Free Software
Software costs add up, particularly if you have to get a subscription for one of the more expensive software programs on the market, like Adobe. While you may not find free software alternatives for all your software needs, chances are you can find quite a few free substitutes. For example, Google Drive has a version of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel that you can use for free with a Gmail account. Canva allows you to create postcards and graphic headers for your social media sites for free. Gimp is a free graphics editing program that’s similar to Photoshop.
Rethink Your Office Space
Office rental costs can eat up a bunch of your profit. That’s why it pays to rethink how and where you work. If it’s possible, avoid renting office space by yourself. Instead, think of sharing office space with another business owner or going with a coworking space. Naturally, you can also use your home as an office if you need to.
Buy Items Used
The cost of tangible items in your office, like desks, computers, printers and other equipment, add up. You can save money on these items if you buy them used. Get into the habit of going to local auctions or spending time in thrift stores. Doing so allows you to get the items you need at a fraction of the cost.
While it may be more convenient for you to go with the vendors that you know, it may not be the most economical practice. If you’re not in the habit of getting bids for goods and services, change this practice. Make sure you get bids for every cost, whether you need to hire a freelance graphic designer or you need to buy raw materials for your manufacturing process.
Bartering may not be super common in the modern world, but adopting this practice can save your business some serious cash. You can trade almost any good or service with someone if you can find someone who needs what you’re offering. For example, if you own a body shop and are in need of some content writing, then partner with a freelance writer. You provide the writer with car service and repairs and the writer provides you with content for your website.
Running a small business is both rewarding and sometimes, expensive. Fortunately, there are a number of tangible ways you can save money on business costs. These include going paperless, outsourcing services, writing off your expenses, taking advantage of free software, co-sharing office space, buying used, getting bids, and bartering. While these steps may take a bit of extra time, they can save your business a bundle in the long run.
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