Every business- big or small- struggles with its finances. We look at our spreadsheets and our profit and loss statements and try to find a small place here and there where we can make a difference. For a start-up business, this can be especially hard as there is virtually no fat to trim on that budget. If money is tight to start with, how can you save?
But there are areas where you might be able to shave a bit off that spreadsheet, if you know where to look. Some of these ideas are just common sense, some might be a new insight for you. Sometimes you can save money from being more efficient with a key area, let’s say customer service, by implementing software like the popular Dynamics CRM program. Other times it might mean actually shifting your budget from advertising to marketing programs that take more time than money. Here are more great ideas.
Cut Energy Costs – Go Green
This is the kind of thing that can be implemented no matter what kind of business you have or want to start. Before you buy supplies, think green and purchase compact florescent bulbs to save on electricity costs.
Look at recycling services that you bring to them to cut down on delivery costs and be sure to check out the Energy Star programs in your area for more ideas. They will help you find even more ways to cut down on energy costs and help you to turn into a truly green company.
Go Open Source
Buying into those expensive operating systems when your business relies on your computers can get pricey. Luckily today there are some great open source programs you can use that will save you big time on all your computers.
When you couple this with moving most of your financial services into the cloud, you have even bigger savings. Why pay for something 24/7 if you only use it for ten hours out of the day? Pay for what you need when you need it and save that money for better uses.
Barter and Sponsors
These two very different ways to market your services are actually pretty closely related. If you have something to offer, why not put your business into a barter system and see if you can’t trade services for other services or goods?
Sponsors actually work the same way, except it is usually with marketing. If you plan to use events to get the word out, and you should, then find local sponsors to help pay for the event and get their name out at the same time. You do the planning, they pay for the event and you both get some exposure.
There are several ways you can make your employees not be the biggest cost center for your business and still your biggest asset. It starts with getting rid of those time-wasting meetings we all seem to hold too often. Look at ways to cut down the time they take up and you will see productivity go up.
As the same time, look at hiring employees who have little work experience. This won’t work for all positions, but you would be surprised how much of a difference it can make. They will cost less, you can train them to work to your expectations and younger employees often have not yet taken on the added responsibility of families.