It’s easy to get lost in the pursuit of finding ways to increase profits. A price bump here, an upsell there…
Perhaps you’re looking into expanding or taking out a loan to acquire new equipment? After all, you have to spend money to make money, right? That may be true, and there is a time and place for these endeavors. But it’s not the only solution when it comes to bringing up your bottom line.
There are great rewards to be reaped from finding ways to save money, too. No matter how big or small your business, there’s bound to be a myriad of ways that you can minimize your expenses. Make a habit out of it and you’ll end each month with more and more money to put towards growth.
The trick is to know where (and by how much) to cut costs without hampering operations or affecting the customer experience. To help you make it happen, take a look at the following 7 actionable tips for minimizing costs in your business.
Most businesses lose a significant portion of their income to utility bills. Finding ways to reduce your energy consumption can not only help you save money, but also improve your public image. Fortunately, solutions are aplenty. Most companies start by getting an energy audit, which is a free service that helps you identify areas for improvement.
Here are some additional ways to save energy in your business:
- Educate staff on energy-saving practices, such as turning off lights when they’re not in use.
- Opt for more efficient appliances that are certified by Energy Star.
- Swap out old lights for CFL or LED bulbs.
- Use motion detectors and automatic dimmers in low-traffic areas.
- Install programmable thermostats to automatically adjust the temperature in your office.
- Use weather-stripping around your windows and doors to trap heat in winter.
- Apply high-reflectivity films or install shades to keep heat out in summer.
Thanks to government-sponsored rebates and green energy tax credits, you can offset the costs that come with implementing these changes, making them an even more worthwhile investment.
Leverage the Freelance Workforce
Over 35% of the American workforce is now freelancing and it’s predicted that by 2027, the majority of people will form part of the gig economy. Why not gain a competitive edge and reap the benefits of a temporary team from day one?
In doing so, you can avoid paying large overheads and having to cover expenses like sick leave, training, insurance, retirement, vacations and so on. A flexible team doesn’t just reduce your operating costs;statistics show that freelance workers improve overall key performance indicators, thus boosting the productivity of your business.
These days, you can outsource just about anything, from simple tasks like answering emails to full-fledged development projects. You also benefit from being able to hire specialists from abroad, which often means lower rates without sacrificing quality.
Here are some freelance marketplaces to consider:
General Projects: Odesk, Upwork, Freelancer and PeoplePerHour.
Small and Simple Tasks: Fiverr, GigBucks and SEOClerks.
Design Jobs: Behance Job and 99designs.
Programming: StackOverflow, GitHub and Get a Coder.
If you’re paying another company to manufacture your products, you probably know how important it is to have swift lead times and a service you can rely on. You might also be aware that innovative processes like prototype machining and prototype molding can save you time and money if you choose the right partner with the right equipment.
This is why it pays to find a company that uses the latest technology to help you meet your manufacturing needs in a prompt and affordable manner. For instance, RapidDirect offers both CNC machining services and rapid prototyping services, as well as sheet metal fabrication, 3D printing and injection molding services. Using the latest technology, this expert producer can help you to produce quality products quickly and efficiently.
Their large team of technicians will help you choose the right materials and keep you up to date. You can also upload design files and track each process in real time. Thanks to their rapid tooling solutions, parts are available in as fast as 24 hours, making them a leading choice for online CNC services and other manufacturing processes.
Use Less Paper
Just like reducing your energy usage, using less paper is beneficial to both your company’s bottom line and its green credentials. From printing and copying double-sided by default to using digital file exchange services instead of traditional couriers, there are countless ways to do it. Here are a few more ways to save paper in your business:
- Encourage staff to proof-read their work before printing.
- Use file storage services to save documents electronically.
- Unsubscribe from junk mail and unnecessary publications.
- Keep a recycling bin in the office.
- Switch to online and app-based faxing.
Utilize the Cloud
You might have recently heard about businesses “migrating to the cloud”, andit’s no fad;utilizing cloud technology brings many benefits to your business, especially when it comes to reducing expenses. Cloud software and storage solutions can save your business money in numerous ways:
Software: Cloud-based software solutions are far more affordable than the hard copies you’re accustomed to. You don’t have to keep multiple copies on each device and updates are installed automatically at no cost to the user. Around-the-clock support is usually included for free, and you won’t have to worry about downtime.
Hardware: Cloud storage services allow you to say goodbye to on-site servers, hard drives, desktops and the IT specialists required to maintain it all. This vastly reduces the amount of money you spend on hardware, especially since you’ll never have to worry about upgrading or paying for more than you need in anticipation of future growth.
Security: No business is safe from the crippling damages that can come with a cyber-attack. In fact, 10% of businesses that were breached in 2019 shut down for good. The cloud is a much safer place to be. It’s also significantly less likely, if possible at all, that you’ll lose data due to user error, hardware failure or natural disaster.
For those you employ full-time, there’s significant cost-cutting potential in allowing them to work from home. Your employees will probably prefer it too, as proven in a Global Workplace Analytics study which found that almost 90% of staff want to be able to telecommute at least occasionally.
In addition to improving employee morale (and with it, their productivity), telecommuting can save your business money in the following ways:
- Reduced water and electricity usage.
- Ability to work with a smaller office space.
- Less money spent on appliances and equipment.
- Reducing travel and commuting times.
- Eliminating time lost to travel.
Modernize Your Communications
The telecommunications market is fiercely competitive, and it doesn’t take long for one company to undercut another. If you haven’t recently checked the latest prices on the market, it’s worth taking a look to see if you can save on your phone plan or internet bill.
Considering that virtual phones and VoIP services like Skype and Line are highly affordable and used by almost every business, it might be time to ditch the landline, too. You can also save money on travel costs by opting to conduct meetings over the phone or video calls instead.
While by no means extensive, this list of cost-saving measures can go a long way in helping you increase your profits. Be sure to always seek out new ways to save money in your business, as there’s always a solution waiting to be discovered.