If you’ve just set up a small business, you’ll realize that keeping control off all those hidden costs and regular outlays is one of the most important aspects of being an entrepreneur. If you have been running a business for a while now you’ll no doubt be used to constantly looking for ways to cut those running costs.
- Operating efficiently and getting the best price on everything can be the difference between success and failure in today’s competitive world.
- Cutting costs allows you to put valuable money and resources into new areas of business development.
- Making staff aware of the need to keep on top of what you pay for creates a culture of efficiency that is firmly embedded within the business.
Obviously there are many areas that you can look into regarding cutting the costs, from how you pay for hosting of your website and the way you choose to work with other professionals to the type of hardware you have installed. Here are four simple ways to cut costs for your small business and release valuable funds for other, more important uses.
1. Outsourcing is easier and cheaper
Back in the old days, businesses needed to get an infrastructure installed that met all the requirements of not only operating online but in real-world situations. You had to install a server, get an IT expert involved, hire someone to work on your website and marketing, not to mention sales and customer service staff to bring in business and keep customers satisfied.
In recent years, things have changed dramatically. We now have greater connectivity which means you can just as easily work on your smartphone or tablet as at a desktop computer. Technology is changing rapidly and the prospect of getting hardware installed is all the more fragile because it can be out of date as soon as you have plugged it in.
With the development of online technologies, many small businesses are opting for an outsourced agreement for areas such as IT support. It means they can pay a smaller monthly amount for a remote service that does all the work needed without having to employ a technical expert onsite. The main value of outsourcing is that you only pay for what you get – it is a way of doing business that is beginning to spread into a large number of service areas from sales and customer service to marketing and product development. Done effectively it can save a large amount of money.
2. Travel and delivery costs that can be cut
The amount of money that your business spends on travel and transportation will, of course, vary according to how you use them. If you operate a fleet of vehicles then there are a number of ways that you can reduce transportation costs including joining a fleet management organization that provides lower cost fuel and better deals as well as reducing the amount you have to spend on administration.
The cost of transport can be an issue for small businesses where delivery is concerned. If you have products that need to be moved from your premises to the customer then renegotiating a better deal with your delivery company can make a big difference to the amount you spend. It means you can pass on savings to the customer and hopefully improve revenue from sales.
The final area to look at is the cost of travel for your staff. Do they need to catch a train for a meeting? Would it be cheaper to go by car? Or could you save some money by having a video conference instead?
All areas of travel and transportation should be reviewed on a regular basis to make sure that your business is getting the best deal possible.
3. How the cloud improves efficiency
The cloud has changed the way that any small business operates. It provides a flexible way of working which means that staff can operate at optimum performance wherever they are located. The cloud allows you to have an operating system that is shared across different devices and that can be accessed online. This means that a staff member can work at home by accessing your business software simply by logging in on their own computer or laptop. Communication has been revolutionized which means that someone can respond to customer queries whilst they are on the move.
Opting to use a cloud based solution means that you and your staff work more efficiently, save money on a bespoke operating system and giving your employees every chance to communicate and work when they need to.
4. Switch to green technologies
One area that many small businesses often ignore is the use of green technologies in the office. Some see it as an unnecessary expense without realizing that bringing in the right technology can significantly reduce outgoings.
- Changing your existing lighting to LED can quickly reduce the amount your business spends on electricity bills. LED lighting may seem like a more expensive option but these bulbs last much longer than normal ones and use far less power.
- Switching to more energy efficient hardware can make another difference to your utility bills. Opting for something like a multi-function printer that has storage capabilities can help reduce your charges for consumables like paper. In addition, the latest energy saving functions on new computers and other devices are designed to keep your bills down.
- It’s not just your office hardware that could help save money in the long run – changing your heating system or introducing better insulation can all contribute to more dollars in the business development fund.
There’s no doubt that small business owners have to work a lot more smartly than before. For one thing, there is greater competition with many of us becoming increasingly confident to step out on our own. The great news is that there are solutions out there that can help reduce the running costs for your business, some at a fraction of the cost of the old way of doing things.
It pays for any business to take a long hard look at the way money is spent and not be afraid to try new solutions that can bring great benefits both now and in the future.
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