Business cost cutting is
a tough thing to do, but necessity for many small businesses. Finding
ways to cut costs and keep the quality of your business does not have
to be a stressful experience. Many at-home businesses already have less
costs than other businesses, but cutting costs can be accomplished.
Save on Paper and Ink
all your records to electronic. Many of them likely are anyway, but for
anything you print yourself: keep records in your email box, in a
spreadsheet, in an online data backup account, or wherever you feel
most comfortable. Backup this data daily onto a flash drive meant
solely for this purpose. If you must, you can print these records when
they are needed, rather than keeping a stack of papers. It will prevent
clutter as well.
Offer incentives to clients who do their business with you electronically. Email invoices through PayPal, because clients do not need a PayPal account to pay you. If you've already invested in accounting software, you can email invoices with it as well.
Instead of printing and faxing or mailing, ask clients to scan any documents requiring their signature, and email them back to you. This way, you'll have what you need on file, but it remains in electronic form until a paper copy is needed.
Save on Software
Instead of purchasing a load of brand new software to handle your business needs, consider using open source equivalents. Open source software is completely free and maintained by volunteers. If you already purchased commercial software, save yourself money on the upgrades and convert to open source.
- Microsoft Office: OpenOffice
- Microsoft Expression Web / Adobe Dreamweaver: NVU Web Designer
- Adobe Photoshop: GimpShop
- QuickBooks: Microsoft Small Business Accounting 2008 has a free version.
If you must use commercial software for any reason, shop around. Look for discount or loyalty programs. Search online coupon databases to find deals, and sign up for online cash back programs to help reduce the overall cost.
Save on Business Equipment
Cut any computer equipment you don't need. Sell it used to help other small businesses get their start. For anything you need to purchase or replace, use discount stores such as Geeks.com and TigerDirect.com. Follow the same principles mentioned above for saving money on software.
Save on Advertising and Marketing
Find ways to advertise and market your business for free. Turn to free advertising outlets and social marketing. For any promotional materials, shop around. Consider using a service such as VistaPrint because they offer freebies all the time.
Save on Shipping
Evaluate the company you're currently using, and see if there are any discounts or specials you qualify for. Don't be afraid to consider other companies, and shop around until you get a better deal.
Don't let the recession stop your business from growing. Taking steps to cut business costs will increase your profit margin, and allow you to run specials and discounts to entice customers to choose your business over another.