Getting a small business up and running requires a lot of money, and after those initial start-up expenses, there are going to be all kinds of other costs for equipment and supplies that you’ll need to keep on top of. While this can certainly be strenuous to begin with, there are a range of little changes you can carry out which will make your business more cost-effective and profitable. Here are a few to consider.
Outsource Infrequent Tasks
The word “outsource” has become something of a taboo to many small business owners. When you’re struggling to keep a consistent profit margin, hiring in outside help is probably the last thing on your mind. However, this can be a necessary evil for a lot of fledgling start-ups. Instead of paying for someone to deal with day-to-day tasks, it’s better to save your outsourcing budget for anything that doesn’t happen frequently enough to train your in-house staff for. For example, if you only have to draft print flyers once per quarter, it may be a good idea to outsource the work to a freelance graphic designer. This will not only give you better results, but will save you a considerable amount of money.
Get Advice from the Pros
This is closely linked in to my last point, though with a key difference. Trying to limit costs at your business can end up crippling the whole operation if you don’t seek out professional help for certain things. For example, unless you’ve spent years as a commercial accountant, there’s a fair chance that you’ll miss out on certain deductions you’re entitled to, and end up costing your business a significant amount of money. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Your utilities may be highly inefficient, there may be a sinkhole in your filing system, your printer network may need an audit, and you may be buying supplies that you really don’t need. With this in mind, it’s always a good idea to put your feelers out into your professional network, and see if there’s anyone with more experience in managing an office who’d be willing to help you. If you have a mentor who’s been in your position, then this is perfect. Failing this, there are various consultancies out there which can answer your questions about efficiency.
Use Telecommuting Wherever Possible
If, like most business owners, you learned all about your industry in a more traditional environment, you might feel that having a physical office and being able to communicate with your staff in person is a given. While a physical office certainly has its advantages, there are many money-saving benefits to using telecommuting at your company. You’ll be able to save a huge amount of capital, as you’ll no longer have to worry about things like paying travel expenses and sourcing equipment for your employees. Aside from that, every person you keep in the office represents a greater cost in electricity, water and heating utilities. Although it can take some getting used to, more and more businesses are turning to telecommuting, and you should spend some time considering it.