Small business owners need to budget tightly. They can’t try to go without the things that they need to operate, but they definitely need to be mindful about paying too much for them. Here are a few ideas about how you can save money on your overhead costs every month.
Be More Energy Efficient
A lot of businesses spend a lot on electricity. Commercial use of electricity can generate a staggering amount of kilowatts per hour, even in an office setting. Using less energy can generate appreciable savings in your utility bills. Moreover, the way that businesses use energy is a big factor in the overall impact of their carbon footprint.
First, make a switch to LED lighting. Compared to fluorescent lighting, it uses substantially less electricity. Also, the lights need to be replaced less frequently so they produce less waste. Also, you can save a little staff time because you’ll have to change them less frequently. Second, reevaluate how you’re using your heating and cooling system. Ongoing maintenance is a key part of efficient use. If you don’t get regular cleaning and calibration, your system will have to work a lot harder than it needs to. A programmable thermostat can also help you avoid using your system more than necessary.
Trying to go green doesn’t just save you money, it also helps your business’ profile. People want to work with businesses that are environmentally conscious. Minimizing harm to the environment is something that should be intrinsic to your business’ core mission and values. Your marketing materials can reflect your earnest commitment to sustainability.
A lot of the things that small businesses need to take care of in their day-to-day operations can involve a lot of staff time. Having to pay a staff member on a small team to handle those responsibilities can represent a big portion of a payroll budget. Trying to overload staff with extra duties that aren’t really their forte will result in people having to spend too much time on them. Also, their performance on their primary duties could be negatively affected if they’re preoccupied with extra obligations.
Outsourcing certain tasks may be the best option for small businesses. This is particularly true of administrative matters that are easy to segment from everything else that is happening. Human resources tasks are a good thing to outsource to a specialty service provider. They have special knowledge and experience in handling these types of matters, so working with an HR service provider can help to assure that the employer-employee relationship is well-managed. Small businesses may be able to prevent problems that could develop into legal liability concerns.
Outsourcing customers’ or clients’ first point of contact with a small business may also be advantageous. An answering service can take calls to the company that come in during business hours and route them to the appropriate person or relay messages. In addition to answering calls while you’re open, a provider such as Voicenation can field calls after hours so that people will always be able to reach a live body. You can give a service explicit instructions about how to handle after-hours calls and whether there are certain types of calls that merit emergency attention from a staff member.
Stop Paying too Much for Your Phone and Internet
Phone lines and internet connections are among the most commonly inflated expenses. Businesses may get good pricing when they first start working with a provider. Once those promotional rates expire, however, they can end up spending an exorbitant amount on these basic services.
One problem is that people pay for services that they don’t really need. For example, you may be paying for more phone lines than you really need. Voice Over IP may be a good alternative to traditional landlines, and they offer all of the same functionality.
Get in touch with your current provider and tell them that you’re considering switching. Sometimes just asking for a lower rate can get you one. They may also be willing to upgrade your internet speed to keep you as a customer. If you can’t make any headway, you should make a switch to another provider.
As a small business owner, you should look for savings wherever you can. Being smart about your spending can greatly enhance profitability.