6 simple ways for today’s small businesses to cut costs

For small businesses, the emphasis always seems to be on increasing revenue. While this is a noble goal, it isn’t the only way to improve profit margins.

The other option is to slash expenses. And in most cases, there’s some pretty low hanging fruit.

Saving money isn’t the easiest thing for most people. And as hard as it is in your personal life, it can be even more challenging when it comes to running a small businesses. With as many non-negotiable expenses as there are, proper discernment is of the utmost importance. Having said that, you may find opportunity in the following areas:

Go Paperless

Going green saves green. It’s a cliché, but it’s true.

There are plenty of ways you can go green in your business, but one of the more cost-effective opportunities is found in the cultivation of a paperless office.

According to a study by MultiBriefs, U.S. organizations spend roughly $80 per employee on paper annually. Even more shocking is the fact that 50 to 70 percent of office space is devoted to filing and storing documentation. When you consider the cost per square foot of office space in major markets, the cost of paper continues to rise.

The good news is that it’s easier than ever to digitize manual processes and purge physical paper from your company. Start by limiting the number of prints and copies employees get per week (or removing these machines altogether). You can then strategically select cloud software for digitizing and storing existing documents. Electronic signature solutions can also prove to be helpful.

Switch to VoIP

Are you still using a traditional landline phone system in your office? If so, you’re spending way more than you have to. Cutting the cord and going with a cloud-hosted VoIP system may yield significant savings.

“How a VoIP phone system impacts your company’s bottom line depends on your needs,” Nadav Shemer writes for Top10BestVoIPProviders.com. “Variables include: number of users; features and third-party integrations; and optional equipment, such as hardphones. Choosing a hosted or managed VoIP solution is generally cheaper than having an on-premise VoIP, unless you prefer your IT team manage the system.”

Encourage Remote Working

The rise of remote work has been well-documented. But while most of the commentary focuses on the appeal from the employee-side, there’s actually more for the employer to gain.

When you’re able to gently nudge employees out of the office and into remote working situations, you lower your utility costs, eliminate the need for onsite technology – including computers, scanners, copiers, etc. – and reduce your square footage demands. This can enable you to move into a much smaller, more cost-effective building (potentially saving thousands of dollars every year).

Outsource Social Media

There are certain tasks that don’t fit within your company’s core competencies, yet you continue to spend hours on each week. Social media may be one of them.

By outsourcing social media, you can obtain better quality social media marketing and make more efficient use of your time doing tasks that directly contribute to revenue – such as sales and advertising. Outsourcing is also cheaper than hiring, as you don’t have pay payroll taxes, offer benefits, or use up valuable company resources.

Unsubscribe From Unused Services

Chances are, your business has a number of services that it pays for, yet rarely (if ever) uses. In isolation, an individual service might not cost you much. But monthly charges of $15 here, $60 there, and another $40 over there can cost thousands over time. Unsubscribe from unused services and stop your slow, steady money leak.

Cut Back on Business Travel

Business travel is extremely expensive and largely unnecessary in today’s climate. With  cloud technology and remote working solutions, you can stay in the office and save thousands per year.

Give Your Business a Jolt of Energy

A dollar saved is a dollar earned. Whether your business seems to be teetering on the edge of profitability, or you’re simply looking to improve your numbers for the sake of growth, cutting some expenses can have the same impact as increasing revenue. Keep this in mind and get creative with how you address these issues within your business.