Reducing business costs. It’s something every small business needs to do from time to time, but it’s not always obvious how. Sometimes it takes a new or unique way of doing things - a life hack - to get the job done.
As such, here are 12 life hacks to reduce small business costs without touching your core business.
Life Hack #1: Adopt Technology
From new cloud-based software to innovative manufacturing processes, technology allows us to save money and advance our businesses in new and exciting ways.
Life Hack #2: Go Green
Audit your work space and operations to find ways to reduce energy use and reduce waste. Ideas include lowering the temperature during off hours, going paperless, and evaluating packaging or manufacturing.
Life Hack #3: Allow Employees to Work From Home
Telecommuting can save businesses costs in a variety of ways such as reduced overhead expenses and increased productivity, and it’s a perk that employees appreciate as well.
Life Hack #4: Pay Invoices Early
Take advantage of discounts suppliers offer for paying invoices early. For example, offer 2% off for payment within 10 days.
Life Hack #5: Lower Bank Fees
Don’t just accept the fees and rates offered by your current bank. Shop around to find lower bank fees and higher savings interest rates.
Life Hack #6: Reduce Travel Expenses
Only spend money to travel only when you see payback to sales and growth. Look for local trade conferences instead of traveling, and use technology such as video chat online project management tools to collaborate effectively with remote staff or off site vendors.
Life Hack #7: Find Less Expensive Space
Another way to reduce business costs is to find less expensive space, or negotiate your current space rental to reduce costs.
Life Hack #8: Buy Used Equipment
Reduce your capital expenditure by purchasing used equipment. Look for businesses who are liquidating gently-used equipment.
Life Hack #9: Barter
Another way to reduce expenses is to barter for services or products. Is there a gym next door to your startup marketing firm? Trade a few hours a month of social media marketing consultation for discounted gym passes for employees. It's a win win.
Life Hack #10: Maximize Tax Deductions
There are several tax deductions and breaks available to small businesses. Research which deductions are available and take advantage of as many as possible.
Life Hack #11: Get New Insurance Quotes
Don’t assume you have the best deal on your business insurance. Shop your workers' compensation insurance, unemployment insurance, and disability insurance (if offered) around to get fresh quotes.
Similarly, audit your health benefits (if offered) and ask - Is this still the best way to offer health insurance? Are we (and our employees) happy? Would switching plans or switching employees to individual health insurance save us money?
Life Hack #12: Utilize Online and Social Marketing
New online and social marketing strategies are far less expensive than traditional marketing approaches -- and just as (if not more) effective. These days, many small businesses can run an effective online and social media marketing campaign on a shoestring budget. For example, blogs are one great way to garnish website traffic and sales.
From technology to new marketing strategies, there are several new tricks and ideas to help your business reduce business costs and increase profits. What life hacks would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments.