When it comes to running a small business, small expenses can have a bigger impact than one might expect. Sure, your initial investments and cost of employees are much more noticeable, small expenses can fly under the radar and drain your account balance without even realizing it.
Optimizing expenses in any business should be a huge priority. You can maximize your profits and the success of your business by spending some time to sort through your expenditures and identify what can be changed or updated to save money and possibly time too. It can be hard to know where to start though, as there can be a lot to consider and sort through.
Here are a few suggestions for ways you can identify which small expenses can be reduced or even eliminated to allow the best chances for your small business to thrive.
Reduce Paper Usage or Go Paperless
Paper is quickly fading away in business to make way for new paperless and online services. Point of service systems has evolved hugely over the years, with the Square app being among the more well-known modern POS systems that don’t rely on paper.
Square is a company that specializes in these one-size-fits-all systems that are very customizable, and their software is very cheap and user-friendly. It has options for receipts, but the customer can also choose to get an email or text version of their receipt instead.
This is just one way you can save paper – another way you can reduce paper is by using exclusively online invoices and only printing items when it is totally necessary.
Reduce Your Power Bill by Switching to a Lower Tariff
If you are looking to reduce your electricity and gas costs over time, you should search for lower energy tariffs and switching energy suppliers. This is an especially effective idea if you are still a very new business, but it is a good idea nonetheless for businesses in general.
Lowering your electricity or reducing your gas tariff can affect your bottom line significantly – paying more for energy can seriously add to the running cost of your business. Switching energy suppliers is easier and cheaper than it used to be – plus, it can all be done online for free and can start saving you money right away.
Turn Off Everything at Night and Weekends
This one seems obvious, but you might be amazed by how many businesses keep all the lights on overnight or even all weekend when nobody is even there. Lights that have been left on and forgotten about in different rooms, over the course of weeks, can have a significant impact on your electricity usage.
It’s simple but it’s important – when you leave a room, turn off the light, and when the business officially closes for the day and over the weekend, make absolutely certain that all unnecessary electronics are switched off while nobody is around. Once you start paying attention to how often you leave lights on, you might surprise yourself by how much you can reduce your energy costs.
Upgrade to Lower Maintenance Hardware and Software
Having a stress-free POS with free online customer service, easy-to-use accounting programs, and other business software that is much more efficient than it used to be can keep your wallet plump through reduced services and maintenance costs.
While you may have a good relationship with the guy who comes in to service the POS systems every other month, upgrading to something that doesn’t require an on-call technician can save you thousands every year.
Another upgrade suggestion for reducing costs is to ditch your landline. That’s right, landlines are very costly and don’t provide much of a needed service for businesses anymore.
Use your cell phone or think about establishing new ways of having your customers contact you – whether that be a dedicated email or a VOIP (voice over internet protocol) setup, or something else. Upgrading to a modern communication method will result in better interactions with your customers as a whole and can save you money in the long run.
Manage Your Social Media Marketing
Marketing can take up a big part of your business budget. If you are social media savvy and know how to run a business page, you can save a lot of money by managing your social media profiles yourself.
If you don’t feel comfortable managing it yourself, pretty much everybody is on some form of social media nowadays, from Facebook to Twitter to Reddit, so you can hire someone to manage your online presence professionally rather than buy ad space blindly.
With a properly targeted social media campaign, you should notice an uptick on people interested in your business online, and you may find that it costs less than you initially thought while bringing in potentially significant revenue.
Jayson is a recent graduate of Arizona State University who lives in Phoenix. Being a lover of entrepreneurship and travel, he’s always ready to bust out a business laptop and visit new places. He started writing in hope of sharing his experiences with fellow entrepreneurs and travel bugs.