If you are a business owner, maintaining a strict budget can be everything. Here are some cost saving strategies that can keep your business profitable without sacrificing quality of your products.
Save Money with Supplier Consolidation
Take a look at all of your business’s suppliers. You’ll probably find a lot of redundancy. A company, for example, that supplies your cardboard packaging material, might also supply tags, and tape, and labels. Perhaps you’re using multiple printers instead of one for your diverse printing needs.
Sure, there are times when a supplier is really good with just one thing, but most of the time, a supplier can handle many of your needs at once. If you can consolidate your suppliers, you might find that you have a lot more bargaining power and can convince them to lower the costs across the board. At the very least, you can save on shipping, some suppliers may also give you discounts.
Take advantage of these energy-saving tips for cost saving strategies
A good chunk of your monthly budget may literally be flying out the window. Take a good hard look at your energy usage, and you could save hundreds every single month. Fortunately, there are several simple methods for saving money on your energy bills.
Get an energy audit
Most utility companies are happy to come to your location for free, to determine where you might have leaks and offer some energy saving strategies, like changing your light bulbs or where you might be able to add insulation.
Always buy Energy Star
Energy Star appliances go through rigorous testing to ensure they are energy efficient. Here is a list of Energy Star appliances for homes and businesses.
Turn off the lights
There is no reason to have lights on in the conference room or the bathrooms when they aren’t in use. Remind employees to turn off the lights when they are the last to leave a place. Consider installing motion detectors to turn lights off when no one is in a room, they may just pay for themselves.
Turn electronics off
Power down the computers and printers when it’s quitting time. Lower the thermostat in the winter and raise it during the summer. Better yet, put a timer on your thermostat, so the air conditioners don’t blast when no one is in the office. User power strip type surge protectors to turn computers off with the flip of a switch.
You could also consider upgrading to a smart office, so you can monitor the thermostats, lights, and appliances from your device.
Use your windows
If you have access to natural sunlight, take advantage of it. Open your shades instead of turning on lights. Natural light has been shown to positively impact your employee’s productivity. Open a window instead of turning on the air conditioning, if you can.
Turn on fans
A few fans might not be enough for 90 degree plus days, but when the temperature outside is in the 70s, those fans could get the stuffiness out of your office and make it feel much cooler. Add ceiling fans in the executive offices and large industrial fans on plant floors.
Become a certified green business. To get certified, you must pass a strict set of business standards, but don’t worry they are customized based on the type of business. Initially, the expense may seem daunting, but over the years it will undoubtedly pay off. And being green is great bragging rights for marketing, especially if you are in an environmentally conscious area.
How to save on USPS shipping cost
If your business requires fulfillment services, think about slowing down your shipping by just a bit. Yes, we live in the age of Amazon, but even their free shipping is two days, and sometimes more. Overnight shipping is extremely expensive. For example, overnight shipping of a small envelope costs $17.50. Priority shipping for that same envelope is $6.75 and will arrive within 1 — 3 days. If your customer must have their shipment by the next day, charge them for it.
Use scrap recycling to save the environment and money
If you have scrap metal, recycle it. If you don’t have the ability to recycle it yourself, many companies buy scrap metal. You might only make pennies on the dollar, but it’s still a lot better than nothing.
If you recycle instead of dispose of trash, supplier consolidation, energy savings tips, USPS shipping cost, and scrap recycling you’ll also be doing the environment a big favor.
Cost saving strategies for marketing
If there’s one thing every business school tells you not to skimp on, it’s marketing. That doesn’t mean that you should be throwing your marketing money away, though. Use these smart strategies to laser focus your marketing budget on what really matters.
Take advantage of the point of purchase
Stick some coupons or a business card in a customer’s bag. Consolidate mailings. Put coupons in with your bills or your monthly newsletter. Better yet, collect email addresses and forgo snail mail altogether.
Put your customers to work
The number one source of new customers should be old customers. You’d be amazed at how few people ask happy their customers for referrals and for online reviews. You’d be equally amazed at the number of people who don’t give referrals and reviews a second thought without being reminded. In fact, you can even offer them a nominal referral bonus, such as a gift card or a discount off their next purchase.
Show the world that you are an expert
Consider writing guest blogs, on relevant and successful blogs for your industry. Speak at community events or teach a local class.
Save on internet marketing
If you pay for Pay per Click campaigns through search engines or social media, you may not be getting your money’s worth. Spend a bit of money upfront, with a small maintenance fee and hire a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) specialist. SEO is the science of getting you to the top of search engine listings.
It may not take the place of Pay per Click advertising, and it does take a few months to implement, but once your site is optimized, you should be able to cut back on ads.
Office overhead cost saving strategies
Additionally, if you run a small business, consider renting an office suite. You get a shared receptionist who can transfer your calls to your cell phone. You also get a legitimate mailing address and quite often, access to a conference room. Best of all, the maintenance is completely up to the landlord.
Cost saving strategies for office equipment
Office equipment is a large expense for most offices. The worst part is that the equipment is often obsolete after just a few years. It doesn’t have to be that way. There are a number of cost saving strategies for office equipment.
Lease office equipment
Check with your tax accountant before leasing office equipment, but if you have equipment that needs to be upgraded on a regular basis, leasing could be the better choice. There are reasons your accountant may prefer to buy: If you do, you can write off the depreciation. If you lease, however, you can’t.
A perk to leasing is that the company handles maintenance and replace broken equipment. Note that if you lease, you have an option to purchase at the end of the lease, but you may end up spending more than if you were to buy it outright.
Leasing may also be advantageous if you’re short on cash, since the initial cash layout is quite low; as well as allowing you to upgrade to newer equipment more often.
Buy used equipment
If you don’t have to have state-of-the-art technology, buy your equipment used. In fact, it could save you a fortune. Take caution when choosing your purchases, because the wrong ones could also cost you in maintenance. Make sure you see the maintenance records of any used item before purchasing and understand the normal lifespan of said equipment.
Get free software
Most business softwares offer a free trial period. Take advantage of the free periods when shopping for software. Not only will this save you several months, if not a year, of software subscription fees, it will give you a chance to find out which one suits your business’s needs. You may find that the kind everyone uses, the one with all the bells and whistles, has more bells and whistles than you need. You may find that the cheapest is the best cost saving strategies for you.
You may also find out the “bargain” software doesn’t perform the way your company needs it to, without having entered a contract.
Cut payroll costs
For many companies, payroll is the number one expense. While it’s great to provide jobs, especially well-paid jobs, there are a number of cost saving strategies.
Don’t hire overqualified people
You don’t need to pay for an employee with an MBA to file or make follow-up phone calls. Hire students or even give someone a chance who doesn’t have a degree. They may not be on the same career track as people with degrees, but you might find a diamond in the rough. For some jobs, you may be able to hire an intern.
Hire independent contractors
Offer straight commission to independent salespeople or per stop fees for delivery people. You’ll get similar results, but with no risk and you don’t have to pay payroll taxes or benefits.
Remote contractors also mean you need less office space to house your staff, and may be able to “cover” more hours per day, without paying for extra labor. Having contractors in multiple time zones means serving people in those time zones better than if you had all of them under your roof.
If your business is seasonal, hire temps during the busy times. Most people think of temps for low-level jobs, like answering the phone and basic paperwork, but there are many skilled temps.
Start Implementing These Cost Saving Strategies Today
Even if your business is doing well, potential investors want to see a tight ship. Use these cost saving strategies to save money with a few simple changes without sacrificing customer service or quality.