Running a business costs money, and these costs increase regularly. Over time, you have to give your employees a salary boost while also keeping your profits up. You need to continue developing products and services, too, to keep up with your competitors in the market. But now more than ever, it is imperative for you to cut business costs. The only way for many businesses to stay afloat during these challenging times is to be prudent with their expenses.
The formula is simple enough: if you don’t need it, throw it away. If you do need it, do everything you can to keep it in your organization. Just look at the idea of mortgage refinancing. Who are the people responsible for giving you data on your financial status? You’re going to need them if you will decide on refinancing. You have to assess every aspect of the business and decide what is worth keeping and not.
If you still have in-house marketing, advertising, and accounting teams, you should look into outsourcing these services. A lot of companies now hire third-party service providers for their marketing and accounting needs. This practice saves costs related to salaries, compensations, benefits, and many other things. Eliminating your need for an in-house marketing and accounting teams will also save on office space. As much as it hurts to close down whole departments, this is the kind of decision you have to make as an entrepreneur.
That leads to the next point. How can you downsize your office space if you have a lot of people working in the building? Consider renting a smaller office space. If you are still under contract with the landlord, talk about sub-leasing a part of the office to other small businesses. Or, you can renegotiate for better lease terms. Make sure that all agreed-upon terms are put into writing. If there’s a contract involved, cancel the existing contract before entering into a new one.
You can also consider operating your office from your home. If you have a small staff, you can renovate your garage or basement and turn that into a home office. However, there may be zoning and privacy issues, so make sure to secure permits and licenses if you go down this route.
Work from home
Related to the second item is a work-from-home setup. Is this possible with your current crop of talents? Don’t they need to be with one another to finish projects and meet deadlines? The best thing about operating a business in the 21st century is the availability of technology. There are hundreds of devices, tools, programs, and apps you can use to encourage collaboration and productivity.
If you still need to cut costs after you’ve downsized your rent and removed whole departments, which are the biggest expenses of a business, then you may have to retrench more people. This is usually an emotional decision to make for an entrepreneur, so don’t make the decision lightly. Think about it. Renegotiate contracts with your existing employees. Some of them may opt for reduced working hours rather than lose a job completely.
But if retrenching is the only solution, make sure you’ll help place your employees to other companies. Write them recommendations. Ask some of your friends in the industry about the possibility of hiring the people you need to let go of. After you’ve downsized the number of your employees, you need to do more for the business and even ask some family members to help once in a while.
You can also barter goods and services. In the marketing world, this is called an x-deal. It means paying with goods or services rather than with cash. For example, if you’re a web designer who needs an ergonomic chair with armrest. Instead of paying for that with cash, you can barter with your services. in exchange for a set of table and chair, you can design the website of this furniture company.
There are other things that businesses do online such as collecting barter dollars. This is when you give out as much free service you can without immediately getting paid with products or services. But once you need a specific product or service, you can use the barter dollars to pay for them.
Most businesses base their revenue on how much they can get their supplies. Make sure to regularly check if other companies are offering the same supplies for a lower cost. You can expand your profit margin significantly by looking for better deals. You can either pass the discount on to your customers (and receive love and loyalty) or you can use that to maximize your profit margin. Either way, it’s going to be a win for your business to find a more affordable supplier.
Every business is different, but these are the basic things that you can do to cut down business expenses. Also, you need a good understanding of where your business stands in terms of expenses and savings. This way, you can figure out what needs to be cut down and which has to go first.