The expenses associated with small business owners are anything but light, as it’s quite pricey to have your own company. This shouldn’t come as a surprise for any entrepreneurial minds out there—if it does, you could be in trouble—because even after the very basic stages of planning for a new business, it’s obvious that there are many costs involved, including some that are only learned about partway down the road to business ownership.
If money is tight (because honestly, as a small business owner, when isn’t it?) and you’re trying to squeeze every penny by finding efficiencies and eliminating unnecessary financial spending, you can turn to these areas first to see if you can reduce spending.
On your office supplies
Like most start-ups, you might have gotten excited and ordered office swag with the company name and logo all over them. While there’s nothing wrong with company-branded office supplies, they might not be necessary right away, and it probably isn’t necessary to get boxes of notebooks or pens to give to all your staff.
As for your basic office supplies, you can negotiate with suppliers to find the one who will give you the best prices. Compare against competitors and contact your current supplier to see if they can make a deal or match another price. Typically, big box stores like Wal-Mart and Staples can afford to offer better deals, so while finances are tight, it might be a good idea to shop at a store like that, rather than a boutique or local store.
On your utilities
Do you know if you’re paying the best rate for your utilities, and do you know what the best rates are? You can use a utility comparison website like Utility Bidder to find out which business energy suppliers are offering the lowest rates on energy. If your current provider is not, you can call them and haggle to see if they can match their competitor. If not, you still may be able to work out another deal if you make it clear you would switch to get a better rate. Energy bills can be one of the biggest monthly expenses for business owners, so saving money here can really help in the long run.
On your staff benefits
If you have benefits available to your staff, it might be worth evaluating them and seeing which benefits aren’t being used at all. If you find some under-utilized benefits, it could be worth discussing with your employees to see if they can be eliminated, since you pay for them whether they’re being used or not. Why waste money on something that isn’t being used or taken full advantage of? The goal isn’t to completely eliminate benefits, or remove the ones that cost the most, because if your staff uses them or relies on them and you remove them, you could be left with unhappy and disgruntled employees, which isn’t a problem you want to solve.
On your advertising
Running successful advertising campaigns don’t necessarily require spending the big bucks to do it. Organic social media content and outreach is a great way to get your brand out there and increase awareness without spending a fortune. Consider getting help from a marketing freelancer rather than an advertising agency, because they will most likely be able to help your company with lean marketing instead of flashy, unnecessarily expensive paid digital or social campaigns.