If a small business is going to survive in today’s complex economy, senior management must remain creative and flexible. You simply can’t run things the way they were handled ten or twenty years ago. The market will bear what the market will bear, and the costs of doing business continue to rise. As the recession economy has made daily life difficult for millions of Americans, there isn’t exactly a ton of disposable income wandering around. So how do you thrive with these complex concerns? It all comes down to saving cash where you can. Here are five innovative ways for small businesses to save money.
First of all, look for creative ways to generate flexibility in your work space. The days of assigned cubicles are over, and the private office is all about ego. If you maintain space for every employee and structure it rigidly, you’ll waste square footage and increase your operating expenses far more than is actually necessary. Have an open floor plan and leave desks available for anyone to use, based on what time they come in each morning. You’ll cut down all sorts of rental expenses, finding you can get by with less office space. And your IT expenses will plummet as well.
You also shouldn’t take your regular expenses as written in stone. Just because a monthly bill says your costs are at a certain level doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate. If you’ve been a regular client for several years and pay a good amount due to your size, you can probably get your utility suppliers to come down a bit. Simply call and see what’s possible. You could end up saving thousands of dollars every single month.
If you run a retail business, you’ve got to find a way to cut down those debit card fees. Very few people walk around with cash these days. And while those simple credit and debit card swipes are convenient, they certainly aren’t cheap. You’ll have to swallow several percentage points of every purchase as payment to the processing companies. Consider trimming down the credit cards you accept, or asking for debit cards instead. If you ask customers to key in their PINs when making a purchase, your processing company might cut your costs in return.
Companies spend a ton of money each year on printing and file storage. There’s the ink, the paper and the printers to contend with, not to mention all of those filing cabinets and storage space rentals required for the physical documents. Switch to cloud storage, and all of those old school requirements fly out the window. You’ll also have a less expensive way to back up digital files than using external hardware, and can trim your IT expenditures by using a cloud computing company that provides its own IT support.
Finally, take advantage of digital commuting. If it works for your business, having some of your employees conduct their activities from a home office will save all sorts of infrastructure expenses. That’s fewer desks you’ll need to manage, and lowered utility expenses at the office. Then you’ll get to compare high interest savings accounts and set that cash aside for a day when your business really needs it.