A small business usually operates on some very lean margins to be able to price competitively, but now so more than ever. Overprice and then lose business to your competitors. Price too low and you can’t survive on the meager profits.
Though you should always be looking to grow your business to get through that, you should also be looking to cut down on expenses to grow that profit margin. This is especially true in a down economy.
There is always waste in any operation that can be cut. Sometimes it just takes looking at things a different way.
In this article, I will go over several ways that you can gain a competitive edge by saving money.
1 – Pay less for gas
If you have a fleet of vehicles or at least use a company car, then saving money on gassing it up is the low hanging fruit you should be looking for to save money.
If you have a fleet of vehicles, you should look into getting a discount with a particular gas station. Your business will get special prices. Often you will get your own debit cards for each vehicle so the driver can use that.
You can use apps to find the cheapest gas within your desired radius, so if you don’t mind hunting around and using different gas stations, then this can also save a few dollars.
There are also ways to get gas cards that are prepaid and already filled with money to fill up. Many credit cards offer rewards in the form of gas debit cards that will give you free gas when you use them.
2 – Go paperless
From receipts to printing out memos there is little need to use paper these days. If you get your office to commit to going paperless your business can save thousands of dollars per year.
Meetings should definitely be paperless as it is very wasteful to have everybody use a print out that is only needed for that one meeting. Minutes can be kept digitally and uploaded to the cloud for everybody to download as needed.
Even documents that normally need to be printed so they can be signed are now made obsolete by digital signature software.
3 – Encourage working from home
Big offices cost a lot to lease, to heat and for lights. The smaller your office is the better.
How many of your employees actually need to be in the office? It’s a sure bet that there are more than you really need. Have a certain segment of non essential workers stay home so you can massively cut down on office expenses.
On the same note, you should be outsourcing some of the work and save even further. Instead of having a team of developers, for instance, hire some freelancers to get the job done. This will save you on salary and benefits that would be going to many people.
Growing your business takes time and requires a lot of resources. Cutting costs is instantaneous and takes almost no effort at all. These savings are as good as building more revenue.