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10 Simple Ways to Cut Business Costs

Ask any small business owner what they consider to be the most important component of success and they’ll inevitably answer keeping costs down. The concept is obvious, but actually doing isn’t necessarily so cut and dry because, let’s face it - running a business is expensive. If you’re looking for a few ways to lower expenses and save some cash, we’ve compiled a list of ten simple things you may not have thought of.

  • Conserve Energy – Be aware of your energy consumption and try to cut back wherever possible. Seems simple but monitoring this can help you significantly reduce your monthly utility charges. Using energy efficient equipment can also make a difference in your utility bills and save you money each month.

  • Shop Your Banks – Businesses get walloped with fees associated with bank products and services. If you’re one of them, consider shopping around for other options. Banks are extremely competitive and you might be surprised what types of offers you’ll receive from the competition. (We know switching banks can be a hassle but if you can save a decent amount of money over the long haul it’ll be worth it.)

  • Barter – Not every business deal has to be done in consideration of currency. Be creative and consider proposing a barter deal for goods or services with other businesses. If you both have something the other one needs, it’s the perfect situation for both parties involved and it won’t cost you anything out of pocket. (Just be sure that any such deal is always detailed on paper.)
  • Use a Virtual Phone System – We’re not just sharing this because it’s the service we offer – virtual phone systems can actually save businesses a lot of money. Its web-based nature allows you to eliminate costly software and hardware and help you save on monthly phone usage costs.
  • Pay Invoices Early – Check the fine print on the invoices from your vendors. Many of them offer attractive discounts for early payments and every little bit counts!
  • Outsource – Hiring employees is more than just paying a salary. There are a number of other expenses associated with having an in-house workforce. Outsourcing allows you to tap into talent across the globe without having to pay additional employment expenses. Consider leveraging freelance workers for some of your needs, such as marketing, IT or bookkeeping, and you’ll get the job done while saving money. Sites such as oDesk, Elance and Guru are great for locating quality freelance providers.
  • Buy Used – Buying refurbished office equipment instead of brand new items can save a significant amount of money and as long as you work with a reputable supplier, you’ll find that most of them run just as well as the newer models.
  • Embrace the Remote WorkforceAllowing your employees to work from home part or all of the time can help save money by eliminating the need to rent a large, expensive office space. This is particularly easy to do with your virtual phone system since it allows you and your team to make and receive calls from anywhere.
  • Evaluate Your Marketing – While traditional marketing methods, like print or radio, still serve a purpose, there are also other alternative methods that cost much less and are quite effective. For instance, social media marketing costs almost nothing and can easily generate valuable word-of-mouth leads and referrals.
  • Polish Your Negotiating Skills – You may have vendors that you’ve developed long term relationships with but when’s the last time you evaluated their pricing? Are there other companies that might offer better rates? Perhaps it’s time to do some shopping around and renegotiating. Sometimes just pointing this out to your current suppliers is enough to get an adjustment and start realizing some savings.


    Saving money and cutting expenses is something that is on the mind of every small business owner. Putting a few of these tips to use can help you tighten your budget and realize some significant long-term savings.

posted by Rebecca Daneault @ 3:32 PM