18 Money-Saving Tips and Ideas for Small Businesses
Running a small business is a stressful task that requires a lot of time and effort. Being an entrepreneur or small business owner has become particularly difficult in the past few years due to the pandemic. Luckily, there are ways to make it all easier. Hence, here are the 18 money-saving tips and ideas for small businesses.
#1 Reevaluate Maintenance Expenses
First and foremost, entrepreneurs need to reevaluate and potentially cut down on their maintenance expenses. In many cases, companies don’t actually need all the maintenance tasks they are performing or the services they are paying for. Sometimes businesses can just perform them less frequently while other times they can stop performing them altogether. The same goes for the maintenance services small business owners are paying for.
For instance, most businesses likely don’t need to have a cleaner coming over to the office every day. Instead, they can change this to a once or twice a week service. Business owners can even have their employees performing the cleaning to an extent themselves (e.g. emptying the trash). Once entrepreneurs identify which maintenance costs can be reduced this way, it will be much easier for them to recalculate their maintenance budget and use the money they saved in other areas of their business.
#2 Consider Transitioning to a Hybrid Setup
Many businesses were forced to shut down during the pandemic. Some went bankrupt while others simply couldn’t operate in any other way. However, some companies were able to transition to a hybrid or even a completely remote setup. Working with employees remotely allows small businesses to cut costs while also following all the new measures implemented during the pandemic, especially during the lockdown period.
Even after the situation became better and many companies could now have employees working in the office, quite a few businesses chose to let their employees continue working remotely. In many cases, it can be beneficial to only have employees coming over to the office for important meetings. In addition to that, small businesses can expand when working with employees remotely because professionals can now be hired from all over the world rather than only locally.
#3 Start Negotiating with Vendors
Because the economy is constantly changing (and often changing for the worse), renegotiating contracts with vendors is essential for small businesses to survive. Indeed, in many cases, vendors are willing to lower their prices to keep clients who can no longer pay what they used to pay. After all, it’s much better to keep a client who pays less instead of completely losing them when the financial situation in the country is so uncertain.
To start the negotiations, business owners need to think about what they’d like to pay instead of their current fees and then approach each vendor they work with separately. It’s important to remember that there is nothing scary about doing so because even if the negotiations are ultimately unsuccessful, entrepreneurs won’t lose anything from trying. If they are successful, then the company could potentially save thousands in expenses.
#4 Find Sponsors for Projects and Events
While it has become more difficult to organize or host events, the situation with the pandemic is still much better these days than it used to be which means many companies are starting to organize some events already. In addition to that, some businesses have chosen to organize hybrid events or even events that can be held completely online. Both types can reduce costs associated with event management, but there’s even more entrepreneurs can do.
Finding sponsors is a great way to reduce costs, get more exposure, and start long-term partnerships with other brands. Events are great for attracting new customers while engaging old ones, so it’s definitely important to host some events from time to time. When there are sponsors funding the event, it’s much easier to reduce costs this way. Likewise, different projects (marketing, artistic, etc.) can also get funded by sponsors or new partners businesses start working with.
#5 Go Paperless, Digital, and Green
Nowadays, many renowned brands are changing their ways of doing business to become more environmentally friendly. Moreover, some are actively supporting and funding causes aimed to make their industries less harmful to the planet. But it’s not just the fact that many businesses can get good press when they start going green – it’s also the fact that companies can save money if they decide to switch to alternative products or services and change their methods of production, marketing, distribution, and more.
One way to go green is going paperless. Instead of using tons of paper every year to print documents and all kinds of relevant materials, small businesses can prioritize digital documentation and only print things that are absolutely necessary. Luckily, businesses that are already working with their employees remotely won’t have to worry much about going paperless because most of their documentation and file exchange happens in the digital environment anyway.
#6 Try Non-Traditional, Low-Cost Advertising
Advertising and marketing costs can quickly add up for many businesses. This is why it can be the right move to try non-traditional, low-cost advertising tactics instead of sticking to the standard methods. The Internet has made advertising much easier and cheaper, so it won’t be a big problem to prioritize digital marketing which is often much cheaper. Word-of-mouth marketing can also be an interesting way to get people talking and spread the word about a business even if it is the new kid on the block.
It’s crucial to get high-quality backlinks. This can be done through guest blogging and you can hire a professional writer from the writing services reviews site Rated by Students to help you create content. As mentioned earlier, finding partners and sponsors is ideal for organizing events, but beyond that, this is also a great approach for advertising campaigns. These can be either partnerships with other brands or even with influencers who can represent the company.
#7 Adjust Your Schedule and Have Fewer Meetings
In some cases, the problem is not with the expenses themselves but rather the way a business operates. Some companies are simply so used to their inefficient business practices that they are unable to realize just how much better it would be to change these practices and find new solutions that will be more efficient. In particular, one thing many small businesses can benefit from is adjusting their schedule and having fewer meetings.
Meetings take up a lot of time when they are held too often. Moreover, having more meetings that discuss the same topics over and over again is counterproductive. This is why it’s much better to have fewer meetings while always focusing on all the crucial points in their entirety. Such an approach is particularly important for in-person meetings that are organized for remote teams. If there are fewer meetings, the company doesn’t have to spend as much as it used to on transportation costs.
#8 Manage Waste Smarter and Recycle
As explained earlier, cleaning costs can be reduced by having the cleaner come over only once or twice a week instead of on a daily basis. In addition to that, employees can empty their trash on their own. Similarly, small businesses need to think about how they can manage their waste smarter by recycling, repurposing, and so on. Everyone’s situation is different, but there are still some common practices all companies can implement to start managing waste much better.
For example, used papers that still have some white space can be reused as scrap paper. And even when the paper has been used completely, it can still be sorted separately and then submitted to relevant recycling services. The same goes for all the other waste. Likewise, it’s a good idea to let employees get inventive and creative with their office belongings to repurpose them themselves. This way, old items in the office are used longer in new ways and expenses can be reduced.
#9 Decide Which Office Expenses Can Be Cut
Speaking of office essentials, it’s also important to look at the current office expenses and see which ones can be cut or reduced. Office expenses can be quite tricky to manage because many businesses try to stock up on them to avoid suddenly running out of something particularly important. Unfortunately, having something in abundance can lead to employees being less conscious about how much they use those items. This, in turn, only increases expenses even more.
Consequently, reevaluating office expenses is of the highest importance when it comes to reducing costs and saving money. Business owners need to consult with their teams to get an accurate picture of what can be changed in terms of buying and using office supplies. Likewise, any payments made for utilities like the Internet should also be reevaluated. If there are alternatives (e.g. a cheaper Internet provider, cheaper local office supply brands), then it’s definitely worth switching to those.
#10 Rethink Your Distribution Process
Just like internal business practices, marketing, and other processes, distribution might also need some revamping. In some cases, the distribution process can be simplified, especially if a business is currently working with third-party companies to get its products or services to its customers. Rather than relying on those third-party companies, it may be much cheaper to reach customers directly. However, the success of this change still depends on the business and its current capabilities.
One thing small businesses can do to rethink their distribution process is assess whether they actually need to use warehouses throughout the shipping process. It may be an interesting approach to partner up with dropshippers or maybe even find a different solution for storage. Just like with other changes business owners make in their companies, rethinking the distribution process should also include negotiations with vendors to get the best terms and agreements.
#11 Review All Current Expenses, Both Big and Small
It’s true that reviewing expenses related to separate departments and processes of the company can already be effective for reducing expenses and saving money. However, it is even more important to review all current expenses, both big and small. This way, entrepreneurs and small business owners won’t miss out on opportunities to be smarter with budgeting and to change business operations for the better in the long run.
Indeed, even small changes can make a big difference. For instance, eliminating many small expenses can quickly add up saving companies a lot of money that they were unaware of wasting. On the other hand, cutting out reducing major expenses can also make a difference in the grand scheme of things. In particularly critical times, it might even be a good idea to get down to the bare minimum of spending to maximize ROI.
#12 Outsource All Kinds of Business Tasks and Activities
In part due to the pandemic and in part due to the increase of freelance professionals, outsourcing is being used more widely even by companies that never considered it before. Outsourcing all kinds of business tasks and activities might just be the right solution for companies that need to reduce costs and save money. Moreover, outsourcing can also give more time to in-house employees that can now be spent on more important activities within the company.
The best thing to do is start with basic tasks that are performed regularly and don’t require much expertise (e.g. filling out Excel sheets with data). Then, more complex tasks can also be partially or entirely outsourced. For example, you can hire an expert writer from the custom writing reviews site Top Writing Reviews to partially or completely create all the content for your marketing activities. You will still be in control of the marketing itself, but you will no longer have to spend time creating content for it.
#13 Search for Cheaper Shipping and Delivery Options
As mentioned before, it’s a great idea to reevaluate the distribution process and find ways to skip certain steps or maybe even completely overhaul the entire thing. In addition to that, it’s crucial to search for cheaper shipping and delivery options both when getting supplies and when distributing products to customers. It can be surprising just how much small businesses can save on shipping when they approach it smartly.
Like with changing small expenses, making small changes in shipping can make a huge impact. Just saving a few cents by switching to a different shipping option can eventually help the business save thousands. Of course, this is more of a long-term effect rather than an instant change, but it’s still a better choice than doing nothing while knowing that there are better shipping options available.
#14 Look for Cheap Alternatives and Buy in Bulk
In addition to better shipping and delivery options, it’s also worth looking for cheap alternatives in general as well as buying in bulk as often as possible. There are almost always cheaper renting options, cheaper office supplies, and so on. Entrepreneurs and small business owners need to do their research and find these alternatives if they want to start saving money. Settling for what they already have just because of being too lazy to put in the effort is definitely not the right approach to take.
Likewise, buying in bulk is often cheaper for several reasons. Firstly, many sellers offer cheaper prices for products when the customer is buying in bulk. Secondly, companies will have to pay for shipping and delivery fewer times if they make bigger purchases rarely instead of making multiple smaller purchases often. In some cases, buying in bulk is also possible locally which makes delivery expenses even smaller.
#15 Utilize Free, Open-Source Software and Tools
Depending on the industry, a company will need to use certain programs and applications to function properly. Some of these digital tools cannot be replaced in any way as they are simply essential to work in the field. However, there are certain programs that businesses can substitute with other software options that are free and open-source. This way, companies no longer have to pay software subscription fees or make one-off software purchases that may also add up.
Of course, before choosing an alternative program, it’s still important to do enough research to understand how this other application may differ in its functionality, interface, etc. If the software is used for particularly important processes (e.g. storing customer information), it’s crucial that the said program is safe and secure. Information leaks or hacker attacks can happen, so it’s best to make the right choices beforehand to try and avoid such situations.
#16 Work with Interns and Inexperienced Professionals
There’s a lot to be said about working with interns and inexperienced professionals. On one hand, such a practice has a bad reputation because such employees might not be able to handle critical situations, may not have a good enough level of expertise, and simply don’t have a lot of experience. On the other hand, hiring interns and inexperienced professionals can help save money by not having to pay higher salaries that more experienced professionals would want.
Besides, working with interns and inexperienced professionals doesn’t mean working with a bad team. In fact, many younger specialists in the field can help bring new, innovative ideas to the table and can help the company grow. Moreover, if these interns and inexperienced professionals stay with the company because they like working there, they will be loyal to it and will know how to work together as a team more successfully. As the business expands, they can also expect to get higher salaries eventually.
#17 Ask for Discounts and Special Deals
By negotiating with vendors, business owners and entrepreneurs can make better deals and agreements with them. But even beyond that, it’s a great idea to ask for discounts and special deals in different situations. Whether it’s an event being organized by the company or supplies that need to be purchased, there’s always a chance to get a discount or special deal if the matter is brought up in the first place.
Just like with negotiations, business owners won’t lose anything if they ask for a discount. If they get it, they can save money. If they don’t, they will now know which providers don’t give discounts. Even if the company claims to never give out discounts, it’s still worth trying to get one.
#18 Cut Irrelevant Expenses, But Don’t Fire Employees
Last but not least, small business owners and entrepreneurs need to remember one very important rule: it’s necessary to cut irrelevant expenses, but never fire employees. Employees are the soul of the company, so firing them is definitely not a solution to save money or reduce costs.
It’s much better to discuss the matter together with employees to explain the financial problems the company may be experiencing. Employees can come up with solutions to solve these matters, especially while being motivated to stay at the company. Moreover, it’s better to grow the business together with the employees and avoid high turnover rates.
All in all, being a business owner is not as easy as it may seem at first. To keep your small business afloat in these challenging times, use the money-saving tips above and find ways to cut expenses, budget smarter, etc.
Why Do I Need to Save Money for My Business?
Not every entrepreneur or small business owner may want to make the effort to save money for their business, but there are actually quite a few reasons why you’d want to do that. If your business is struggling financially, saving money is essential for its survival. If you’re doing great, saving money can help you invest more into your business and expand it further.
What Is the 30-Day Rule for Saving Money?
The 30-day rule states that if you want to buy something, you should first wait 30 days. Once they are up, if you still want the item, you can go ahead and buy it. If you don’t want it anymore, you will end up saving that money.
What Is the Most Profitable Way to Save Money?
It depends on the company and the kind of approach you adopt for your money-saving strategy. For instance, if you already have a big client base, it might be better to focus on returning customers and save money using the techniques best suited for such a situation.
What Are Some Cost-Cutting Ideas During Lockdown?
All the tips and techniques listed in this article can be used during lockdown to help you save money for your business. However, you can also use these tactics after the pandemic is over as they will be equally effective.
Author Bio –
Lafond Wanda is a professional content writer, copywriter, content strategist, and communications consultant. She started young with her writing career from being a high school writer to a university editor, and now she is a writer in professional writing platforms— her years of expertise have honed her skills to create compelling and results-driven content every single time.