You don’t have to wait for a downturn to start thinking about reducing your spending. Lowering costs is a worthwhile investment, even if your business is booming. It is worthwhile to take the time to look over any and every expense you have, to see if there is another way to accomplish your goals for a lower cost.
1. Look for Used or Recycled Items
The price of equipment and tools can be daunting. Even more so is the climbing price of computers and other electronics. When making purchases, it may be worthwhile to look into items that are recycled or gently used. Open-box items have all the pizzazz of new, with a much lower price tag. This can extend to smaller items too - check online for where you can purchase recycled printer cartridges or other office supplies.
2. Cut on Printing
Overprinting doesn’t just drain your paper, it also eats away at your toner supply. Make an inventory of what types of items are getting printed and who is printing them. How many of these items can serve you in a digital format? If you are printing things in duplicate or triplicate, see if you can mainstream your process to only need one copy.
3. Get Inventory Controlled
Do you know how much your inventory is costing you? Do you even know how much you have of the items you keep in stock? Getting your inventory under control can save you a bundle by eliminating erroneous or emergency purchases.
4. Shop Around
Love that one vendor you always work with? He may not be offering you the best deal. It pays to shop around for the best deals on purchases you make, especially for items you buy on a recurring basis. You can also use this information to renegotiate vendor contracts you already have, ensuring you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
Facility and Employees
Depending on the size and type of your facility, there is a high chance that telecommuting can be a beneficial tool to saving money. While you can’t move your manufacturing plant into your garage, you can move your back office. Rented space to furnish an office can be a real drain. Even allowing your back-office workers to telecommute part time can be a big gain when saving on items like utilities.
6. Hire Interns
There are many programs in which college students can intern for credit. This is an opportunity for a student to gain real-world experience at little to no cost to her host company. Call your local college or university to see if your business can become involved in a beneficial intern partnership.
7. Switch to Energy-Efficient Appliances
Not only can switching to energy-efficient lights, fixtures and appliances at your facility save you money on your utilities, but could make you eligible for green energy tax credits. Call your local electric company for a free energy audit to find ways to for you to save.
8. Discounts from Your Trade Association
Belonging to a trade association has many perks. One perk is partnerships with other companies from which you render service. Your trade association will almost always be able to direct you to a partnered insurance company that can save you on your hefty premiums.
9. Check your tax deductions
If you run a business, you are entitled to a number of tax deductions or rebate. It can pay to take a thorough look through your taxes - local, state and federal - to see which deductions you should be pocketing.
10. Look for Lower Interest Rates
If you are paying down debt on your business, it is worth it to shop around for a lower interest rate than you are currently paying. This will lower recurring monthly payments immediately, freeing up those dollars to either reinvest or pay down the debt more quickly.
Make Cost Reduction an Ongoing Process
The number one thing anyone can do to be more cost-conscious is to begin to track. Even one-off or small purchases should be recorded somewhere, even if they are not going to be written off. Knowing where your money is going - and in what quantities and how often - is the key to cutting expenses. From there, it is just a matter of finding the right solution.