Ten Money-Saving Small Business Tips
Tips and tricks to cut costs in your small business
While all business owners are on the constant lookout for new ways to save money, it is especially important for those running small businesses. Owners of small businesses typically operate under very tight budgets, so even small savings can make a big difference in the bottom line. If you’re a small business owner trying to increase your profits, consider these 10 ways to cut costs.
1) Get a Deal on Mutually Beneficial Advertising
One easy way for businesses that are just starting out to save on advertising is to team up with another business that needs exposure. For example, if you can find a local print shop looking to get its name out in the community, it may be willing to print posters, handouts or fliers at a discounted rate if it can include its own logo on the bottom of the printouts. Other businesses that may be interested in giving a discounted rate are manufacturers of small goods that businesses can personalize like keychains, e-mail newsletter designers and sign makers.
2) Split Advertising Costs with Other Local Businesses
Another way to cut advertising costs is to ask other businesses in your area if they would like to split advertising costs in order to attract potential new customers to the area. Approaching businesses that sell products or services that are complementary to your business can help you sell the idea. For example, a hair salon could team up with a nearby nail salon to promote a “day of beauty treatments” concept. You can also try this multi-business marketing approach to promote specific businesses during a local street fair or festival.
3) Choose Pick Up, Not Delivery
You may be surprised how much your business can save if you pick up supplies for your business instead of having them shipped. This tactic is especially profitable if you travel frequently for business, and can time your trips to coincide with when you need to replenish stocks.
“Pick up supplies yourself only when it truly saves you money. If it's taking you away from a revenue-producing activity, you're not really saving,” caution the contributors at Entrepreneur.com.
4) Join a Group
“Many trade and business associations have reasonable membership fees and offer discounts on everything from insurance, travel and car rental to long-distance phone service, prescriptions and even golf course fees,” according to Entrepreneur.com.
5) Buy Used
The majority of supplies that most businesses need can be found used, which adds up to huge savings. Entrepreneur.com suggests that you can “save up to 60 percent by buying used computer equipment, copiers and office furniture.” Check local auction houses, as well as online listings and online auction websites for the best deals. If a local business is moving or closing, that can be another great source of used equipment.
6) Think Outside the Brick-and-Mortar Box
Be flexible when it comes to locating your business. The overhead for traditional brick-and-mortar offices or stores is usually a huge percentage of a business’s budget. Businesses that sell a product can try starting out with an online store and opening a retail location once profits grow. Another possibility is to open a mobile, rather than permanent, location. Food trucks, for example, are extremely popular right now and can be a great stepping-stone toward a successful restaurant because the fan base is established and menu items have been tested in the local demographic.
7) Try to Meet Software Needs with Freeware
Before you purchase software, search the Internet to determine if there are any freeware or shareware options that can meet your needs. Even if you end up purchasing other software eventually, getting by without it for a few months frees up funds to help your cash flow or to invest. Download.com is a good place to go to look for free downloads.
8) Embrace Software Trials
If you’re sure that only expensive, brand-name software can meet the needs of your small business, be sure to try a free-trial first. Oftentimes, a system that sounds great on paper may not work out as expected, or you may find that your employees are more familiar and efficient with a different option. Taking advantage of free trials ensures that your choice works well with your needs and that your employees can work with it, so you won’t end up wasting money by having to start over with a new system.
9) Buy in Bulk
Before purchasing supplies for your business, you should speak to other local businesses and trade associations to see if they’re interested in purchasing supplies jointly to receive bulk purchase discounts.
10) Pay Attention to Sales and Coupons
Many small business owners ignore coupons because they generally aren’t offered on traditional business needs, but businesses require a wide variety of supplies.
“Coupons work just as well for small businesses as they do for homes. You will need cleaning supplies, drinks or other items,” states Nona Weeks, Yahoo! Contributor. “You can find coupons for all of these, if you look.”
One of the best ways to save money for your small business is to work with a financial institution committed to helping you grow your business. If you would like to discuss ways to save or other financial issues, please give us a call.