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Cutting back at the office

Economic times are tough and when you’re a small business owner, little things can make a big difference in your finances. You want to keep customers and employees happy, and not cut too many things that can affect them. Here are some ways to trim the fat without creating a big impact on those important to you and your business. 
Cut office supplies… paper anyone? The amount of paper used in small businesses can be exorbitant, and often of little use. With the trend towards paperless work environments, this is a great cost cutting measure, and it in turn will reduce the expenses of copier toners and ink. Email. Have electronic agendas for meetings that employees can pull up themselves. You’ll save on postage, too. As far as other supplies go, just go easy on them. Don’t overbuy, and if your business truly is a small one, you probably don’t need to invest in those 1,000 ballpoint pens to just have them disappear over time.
Rethink advertising budget Are you paying for high dollar advertising? Is it working? Depending on your business, you can probably cut some costs right here. These days, fewer companies are paying the big bucks to advertise. For one, it’s costly. For two, word of mouth can be your best friend. Make sure you have an active social network and web page, and also offer discounts for referrals. Often when someone is looking for a certain business, they post on Facebook to their local friends.
Pay on time; get paid on time Check with your suppliers and see if they offer a discount on paying by a certain date. You can save some money here and you also improve relationships by showing your reliability.  Also, get paid yourself quickly. You can offer a discount as well, and though it may seem you’ll be losing money, it will benefit you to have the money in your bank account. You’ll be able to pay cash more readily and keep credit card interest rates to a minimum.
Rethink your inventory Do you need to purchase so much at once? Do you have inventory piling up in a storage room?  Buy only what you need and if you are a service business, like a contractor, make sure your customers can pay some upfront to help with the costs of supplies.
Don’t buy new stuff If you need something new, look at second hand or refurbished.  You don’t always need the newest and best, and you can save a lot of money by purchasing this way, and no one in your office, business or your customers are affected.
You’ve got a lot of responsibility being a business owner and two of those are keeping your finances out of the red and keeping everyone happy.  Try some of these tactics and you may be able to pull off both!
About the Author: Heather Legg is a freelance writer who covers topics relating to small business payroll and money saving tips.


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