It is the goal of any (sane) hardworking entrepreneur to get the most amount of profit at all times. Granted, you have a kick-ass service or a life-changing product, but if you’re business is losing money faster than it can make more moola, that is not good. And that is an understatement.
It’s time to look at five key areas in your business where you might need to put a cork in to stop your hard-earned money from leaking out.
It pays to do your research before you start putting items in your shopping cart, virtual or otherwise. Look for good deals online. Check reviews. Get online coupons. Be open to trying different stores or sites. Change is good if it will lead to wiser spending habits.
Scout prices between different stores or sites. You might be buying your monthly supply of ink for $10 more. That’s $120 you could have saved in a year.
Don’t be afraid to buy in bulk, especially items that you regularly use, such as printer paper. Not only are items cheaper when bought in bulk, but you’ll also save on shipping costs.
Check your supply cabinet regularly and you may just find silent culprits inside. Do you absolutely need three big boxes of post-its? Save money by going digital. There are several note-taking apps that make life easier (and cheaper) such as Evernote and One Note.
Speaking of supplies — please mind the power supply. Always turn off the computer and unplug it before leaving the office. Laptops and desktops consume wattage even on standby mode, and the cumulative costs take up about 5 to 10% of your yearly energy costs.
Is your office space big enough? Too big, even? Earn some extra money by leasing desk space. Who knows, you may broaden your business network (or maybe even your personal one) by sharing your work space with other professionals.
Considering the nature of your business, where is your business located? Assess if you need to bring your business downtown, or would it still work in an area with cheaper rental costs? Say, rent a space in Long Island City, instead of 5th Ave.
Or better yet, ask yourself, do you even need to rent office space? If your business can operate with your employees working from home, not only will you save money on rent, but with electric and supply costs as well.
Give them the chance to prove that they can effectively close business deals in their pajamas and you’ll be known as a cool company forever (that has saved so much money).
It’s always a good idea to evaluate your processes in the office.
Cut back on unproductive meetings. These meetings run anywhere between 2 to 4 hours — time that could have been spent getting new clients or embellishing your marketing campaign. Instead, send important company-wide announcements and reminders via e-mail.
When it comes to attending seminars, do you really need to send the whole marketing team out? Consider sending the team lead and have him or her cascade the seminar’s main points to the whole team. Save on money but not on the learnings.
Check each department’s processes. Improper accounting methods can easily cause you thousands of dollars. Find out if there are duplicities in how your employees conduct work and educate them on how this can be avoided.
Set systems that work best for your company, and adjust accordingly when the need comes.
Remember the days when you had to buy time on television or purchase newspaper or magazine space to get your product or service out there? Of course, these options are still available for the bigwigs, but for your startup, it may not be the best choice.
You can effectively promote your business using free social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, to name a few. Increase your network, build your brand’s image, and create an effective support system for your clientele for zero dollars.
Before you buy that insanely expensive editing software, check out free resources first. You can create nice shareable graphics and video materials for your social media pages using free image creating tools such as Pablo, Canva, or Skitch if you’re using Mac.
Awesome things can be created with free tools, especially if such are being utilized by the right hands. Which leads us to our next point.
Your workforce can make or break your business, hence it is of utmost importance that you select the best people. Make routine performance assessments. Check your people’s skills and performance. Do they come on time? Are they reliable? If time at work is not used productively, that equates to serious dough going out the door.
Talk to employees who are not meeting goals one-on-one and offer to find ways to help them out. After you’ve done all that you could and results are still not favorable, you can always decide to find better people.
But if you have the best possible people based on their work ethic and performance, don’t skimp on them! Value your employees well and give them the salary they deserve. You’ll save money in the long run.
Find more affordable help without sacrificing quality performance by outsourcing jobs. Fielding calls, assisting customers, scheduling appointments — these could all be done outside the office for way cheaper. Discourteous receptionists can drive away old and new clients, so make sure that you hire the right people to be your business’ frontliners.