If the answer to that question is no, it probably would not be a bad idea to schedule some time to do just that. In the end, you may find yourself saving some money over the long run, money that could help keep you in business for years to come.
As many business owners can tell you, it is oftentimes the expenses of running a company that weight on them most.
So, where can you look into cutting expenses to keep your small business moving along smoothly?
Do an Inventory of Your Expenses
Start by breaking down your costs (including if you have staff), seeing where you might save some money.
- Employees – Oftentimes the most expensive component in running a business, your help typically doesn’t come cheap. That said having employees takes a huge burden off of you when running a small business. Even if you are a really small business that relies on just an assistant, he or she can prove more than worth their weight in gold over time. If money is tight (yet you still need help), you can look to reimburse the employee or employees in other ways besides income. Partial or full healthcare benefits, providing them with discounts to other area merchants, allowing them to work from home (saves them commuting time and gas bills etc.) are some ways to compensate for lower salaries. Most importantly, weigh the true costs of not having others help you. Those costs in added time away from your family, additional stress etc. can certainly give you reason to want assistance in running your business;
- Supplies – How often do you run the numbers in what it costs you as far as office expenses? You may be surprised to learn just how much money you truly are shelling out in terms of supplies etc. More businesses are going paperless (or at least attempting to) not only to save money, but expedite how they deal with clients. Instead of there being a long and expensive paper trail, your business can ultimately save money and have faster and more precise contact with clients through technology. Whether you run a medical office or another form of business, getting information to your customers via electronic means is a win-win for both parties. This is also true when it comes to billing clients. Instead of the cumbersome paper trail, everything can be neatly viewed online. When ordering supplies yourself, you should also do as much online as possible, saving you and the vendor time and money;
- Teleconferencing – While in-person meetings with clients are sometimes necessary (don’t underestimate the value of such interactions), doing teleconferences has benefits too. Instead of having to run in and out of your office meeting with this person and that person, doing it over the computer, by phone etc. can save you time and money in the long run. If you run your business from home, set up an area in your residence where you can shield yourself from distractions, allowing you to do Skype and other video conference calls with customers. This saves you the hassles of being stuck in traffic and spending gas money driving all over town to meet with clients. In many cases, you will discover your customers prefer this mode of communication too;
- Deductions – Given tax season is in full bloom, have you made sure to deduct everything but the kitchen sink for your 2015 returns? Oftentimes, small business owners will miss key deductions, deductions that ultimately end up costing them money. Take the time now to do a thorough review of your 2015 taxes, looking for any possible missed deductions. You might be surprised to see the money you are literally leaving on the table.
From paperless projects at work to making your meetings with clients more productive, there are many ways your small business can save on expenses in 2016 and beyond.
The goal is to take the time to find those savings, knowing that it is a worthwhile investment over the long run.
So, as a small business owner in 2016, how are you saving money?
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About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business and marketing topics on the web.