Running a lean, and efficient, operation is the goal of many business opportunity and other small business owners. What processes and efforts yield the greatest ROI? Where can our business eliminate costs?
These are just a few of the questions small business owners ask themselves. Small businesses have a lot to worry about, including their budget. If you’re looking for ways to save, you need to reevaluate the current expenses of your business operations. Whether it’s negotiating the contract with your business’s credit card processing company or even going green and paperless, there are a number of ways your small business can save.
Every year or two, it’s important to reevaluate your current contracts to see if there is a way you can save by switching providers, negotiating your contract or reducing your plan. Credit card processing in particular can cost small businesses more than anticipated if they don’t have the right plan in place. Spend some time comparing providers for all your business’s major expenses. There may be different companies that will provide you with more for less, or at least they’ll provide you with something comparable at a lower cost. Some important expenses you will want to consider are: phone services, internet services, credit card processing services and insurance costs.
By going green, small businesses can also realize some real benefits. Reduce the amount of paper your business uses, and you’ll save by cutting back on how much paper you need to purchase. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, each employee in a typical office accumulates 1.5 pounds of paper waste every day. Turn off electronics when leaving for the night, use Energy Star® products and switch off lights in rooms that aren’t being used. The use of fluorescent lighting has proven to generate savings of over 30 percent in comparison to the use of traditional lighting systems. By reducing resource waste by your business, you’ll increase your savings and chances of sticking to your budget.
Consider the Cloud
Not only will moving various aspects of your business to a cloud-based system help your business reduce its carbon footprint, you’ll save money. You won’t need as much hardware on site, if at all, and will be able to outsource the maintenance, which all too often requires the addition of an employee or two to your payroll. One study found that businesses that switched to the cloud cut energy consumption by as much as 28 percent. You’ll cut energy costs, have up to date software at your disposal and be able to access necessary information anywhere. You can save time and money with the right cloud solution.
Evaluate Your Equipment
Are you buying new when a more cost-effective choice would be to go with something pre-owned? While in some cases, technological advancements and new capabilities make something newer worth the investment, that isn’t always the case. For instance, if you’re shipping products regularly, look for a postage meter for your business—you can save on shipping and the equipment cost. If you use a printer or copier every now and then, the newest and most expensive one out there probably isn’t the best choice. Depending on your industry, there may be different ways for your business to save on the equipment it uses daily or even sporadically.
If your business is on a budget, it’s time do an evaluation of where your business is spending the most and conduct research to see where you can cut back or make improvements. One of the easiest ways to get started is by cutting down your energy consumption and paper waste. Evaluate your office or business equipment and see what can go, needs to stay or needs improvement. Negotiate your contracts every year or two, reevaluating what you’re currently paying for on a routine basis.
Running a business on a budget means taking a good, hard look at what your business is spending money on and finding ways to reduce those expenses.
Erica Bell is a small business writer who focuses on topics such as new phone systems and time and attendance software providers. She is a web content writer for Business.com.