We spend a great deal of our time thinking of ways to save money in our personal lives so we can own things and take trips and lead a good quality of life. We don’t often think about how we can save money in our businesses, beyond the obvious solution of cutting jobs. It’s important to look at the financial health of a business on a regular basis and consider ways to save your company money, rather than “cutting costs”. When you approach money-saving measures from a place of abundance, rather than lack thereof, it is easier to see the overspending and identify ways to reduce it.
Order Supplies Online
Many small businesses, and big businesses for that matter, keep a petty cash fund to pay for things like toilet paper or courier fees when they need cash. A better way to reduce costs overall is to have a running list of products that are used on a regular basis, and to order them all at once on a regular basis. This will create an expectation of cash going out the door, and you won’t be taking money “out of the business’ pocket” to buy small things. Also, when you bulk order, you often save on shipping. If you aren’t tied to a particular supply company, order from Amazon. It’s cheaper in a lot of cases, and you can order everything, even toilet paper.
Hire Within First
Your employees are full of great ideas and have skills you can’t even imagine. When you are looking to get some outside help to bring your company to the next level, forget hiring expensive consultants: look to your current employees first. Your employees will appreciate the opportunity to step up and help the company out of a jam, but also, you’ll be surprised by what past experiences your employees have that could really help your company. Rather than paying a full consulting fee, you can probably give your employee a promotion and a raise, which is good for everyone involved and saves you money in the long run. You can run new police checks if you need to, but the cost is minimal compared to hiring a new employee or consultant.
Check Travel Expenses
I once worked for a company that spent $260,000 in one month on travel…for meetings. I wasn’t sure if they had heard of the internet or not, but once the guy in charge sat down to look at the numbers, he was astonished at how quickly money had gone down the tubes to move people around. While travel is a nice perk of a job sometimes, it can suck the bottom line right out of your company.
Whatever you decide to do to cut costs in your company, try to avoid cutting the people for as long as possible. There are lots of ways a company can save money. You need your employees so that your business can continue to function. Start in the supply closet and take a look at some of your other expenses first. You might be surprised by where you are overspending.