When you run your own business, every dime is precious. Cutting costs is crucial, and just because there might not be any obvious ways to do so, doesn’t mean that there aren’t any. In fact, there is almost always some way to run your business more efficiently and with less overhead. Once you have developed an eye for effective cost-cutting measures, you can generate more profit than you ever thought possible.
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The first thing you should do is look at the cost of your utilities and determine what is actually essential. For instance, many small business owners can do without a landline telephone. Most people use a cell phone as their primary means of communication, and services like Skype and Google Talk are better for teleconferencing than traditional phones. If you must have a landline phone, you could potentially save some money by using a VOIP service like Vonage. Some packages cost as little as $10 per month, and VOIP services generally provide cheaper long distance and international calls than conventional phone services.
Re-Think Your Insurance
If you have more coverage than you need, you can go ahead and drop the extraneous parts of your small business policy without hamstringing yourself in the process. Once you have a decent buffer of cash in your savings account, you may want to opt for a higher deductible in order to lower your monthly premiums.
This kind of thinking extends beyond your home and business space. If you are working out of your house, you can lower your auto insurance costs by reducing the number of miles that your policy covers. This can have a domino effect as less time on the road means that you are much less likely to get into an accident, and your maintenance costs will be drastically lower than someone who has to commute every day. Depending on where you live, it may be possible to reduce your annual auto insurance premiums to a few hundred dollars.
Buy as Much as You Can
You will need lots of supplies to keep your business running smoothly, so make sure to purchase in bulk. Not only is buying in bulk cheaper over the long term, you can deduct the storage space from your taxable income. Even if your business supplies only take up two to five percent of your home storage space, that makes a big difference come tax time.
Use the Cloud
This is one of the biggest things that people overlook. The cloud provides a large number of services ranging from off-site storage to free Web applications that are capable of replacing standard word processing programs. The cloud tends to be cheaper than investing in a number of physical hard drives, and the backups are available from any computer that’s connected to the Internet. The cloud gives small businesses a huge advantage because it allows for greater flexibility and efficiency than the old way of doing things, but many businesses have yet to adapt to the technology.
Barter, Bargain, and When Possible, Get Things for Free
Networking is important for reasons that go beyond drumming up clients or catching wind of new opportunities. Entrepreneurs are more than glad to help each other out, and if you can trade one item you don’t need for something that you want, or you can procure something that you need in exchange for your services, then you may be able to save a lot of money.
There are countless resources devoted to frugal living, and you don’t have to go off-the-grid in order to opt out of the usual consumerist claptrap. If you learn the best ways to save money and cut spending before you hit rough times, you have a much higher chance of keeping yourself and your business afloat until the worst of it passes.
Geoffrey Williams blogs about good deals on car insurance for small business owners. If you are looking for affordable and reliable car insurance, try carinsurance.org.uk, where you can compare quotes.