Owning and operating your own business is the attainment of a lifelong dream for most people. It’s rewarding, empowering and liberating. You’re responsible for your own fate – you have the ability to dictate the terms of your life, rather than living at the whim of an employer. However, it’s also enormously challenging. Most business owners find that when it comes to their budget, the word “tight” is generous. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to start saving money in your business, right now. Below, you’ll find five of the best options for any business owner.
1. Encourage Word of Mouth
For any business, marketing and advertising are significant expenses. Whether you choose direct mail, billboards, PPC ads, Facebook ads or something else, you’ll discover that your budget is rarely enough. There are things you can do to make your marketing dollar stretch a bit further, though, and one of those is to encourage word of mouth advertising.
Word of mouth is not only free, but it’s also the most effective form or marketing out there. Think about it – how much time and money is spent generating positive “reviews” for companies? How likely are you to buy something or patronize a business based on a friend or family member’s recommendation? Word of mouth carries a LOT of weight. You can put that to your advantage by encouraging satisfied customers to tell others about their experience. Offer rewards, provide discounts, or just flat out ask for their recommendation – it can work wonders.
2. Buy Used
All businesses need equipment in order to operate. Whether you need a new printer or a cash register, a thermal package sealer or loading/unloading equipment for your dock, you’ll find that purchasing equipment is one of the highest costs for any business. Rather than buying new, opt for used equipment. By buying used equipment, you can cut a huge amount of expense out, and still get the equipment you need.
3. Outsource Rather Than Hire
Outsourcing has gotten something of a bad rap in recent years. However, despite its appearances, outsourcing is an excellent way to save money in your business. Whether you find yourself doing the job of three people or simply can’t afford to bring on a fulltime employee, there are outsourcing solutions that will fit your needs. And don’t think you have to send your work overseas, either. There are plenty of outsourcing options right here at home, from virtual assistants to ghostwriters and everything in between. By outsourcing, you still get the help of an expert, and you don’t have the expenses associated with an in-house employee.
4. Have an Accountant
It can be tempting to cut costs wherever necessary in running your business. However, one of the costs that you should never, ever cut out is a professional accountant. Even just spending a few minutes speaking with an accountant can show you ways to save a considerable amount of money in your business. No matter how tight things get with your finances, make sure you always have room for a professional accountant, even if you have experience with finances yourself. There’s a wealth of benefits to be gained by going with a pro.
5. Have More Than One Income Stream
The days of earning enough money to live on just one income from a small business are largely over. With the rising cost of living, the skyrocketing cost of utilities and the need for insurance for both yourself and your business, you need at least two streams of income, at least in the beginning. This is particularly true for very new businesses just starting out, when most of your profits need to be put back into the company.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways that a small business owner can cut costs and save money (as well as a little sanity).
Don Elfrink is the owner and operator of AutoMatStore, an auto flooring company based out Columbia, Missouri. Before AutoMatStore, Elfrink was the operator of an automotive production site. AutoMatStore floor mats consist of customized logo, carpet, molded and all weather mats.