101 ways to Reduce Expenses and Increase Profit for Small Businesses

EDIT – This article was written some time back and I wanted to publish an e-book for small business on “101 ways to Reduce Expenses and Increase Profit for Small Businesses” but I decided to went ahead and publish it on our blog instead as writing a book was taking way too long.

1. Reduce the telephone expenses or we can even disconnect the office landline connection and if you are a small company, allow your employees to make calls from their mobiles and at the end of the month, the company can reimburse them.

2. Check out VoIP. – Start using VoIP services, even if you are having offline business, still try to use VOIP based phones which are much cheaper in long run. Some of the Voice options are Skype, Google Voice and Yahoo voice.

3. Avoid Fax machine – you can avoid the fax machine because sending a fax over a landline frequently deserves long distance charges, and through receiving the fax message involves expenses on paper and printer ink. You can services like http://faxzero.com/ and http://www.myfax.com/free/

4. Re-examine the phone plan – Most of the time, companies don’t realizes how much they are paying for phone plans, paying for features which they are not using. Check the current plans and move the once which are cheaper.

5. Reduce the number of phone calls – Avoid making calls unless it is necessary, a good way to do this is to reduce the number of intercom connections in office. Most often only one person is good enough to manage all the incoming calls.

6. Purchase recycled printer cartridges Cost of Printer cartridges can add really fast, so if you are heavy user, buy a laser printer. Also while printing, use the low quality 75 DPI and low quality settings to save ink. Most of the time, you will never notice the difference.

7. Chose Physical Safety options – Don’t hire the complete security solutions being sold in the market, most often you won’t need them, instead check online web forums and find which security solutions like IP-based surveillance cameras will suit your need and hire some local contractor to get it installed.

8. Adopt alarm monitoring contracts – We can also save money on alarm system monitoring by getting into a contract with a monitoring company which is compatible to VoIP.

9. Snail mail –We can use only snail mail when it is absolutely required since the postage charges will go in increasing mode and also we cannot expect a reliable and speedy service from post offices as the mails will not reach the destination in time. Instead we can save money by paying our bills online and there is no possibility of incurring late fees.

10. Go Paperless – Paper and ink cartridges costs a lot of money and adds up fat, and the more you use printers, the more rapidly they will wear out and need replacement. A good strategy is to give each employee 20 sheets per month or may be keep the sheets in a shared place and keep record of who is taking how many printouts, people will automatically stop taking unnecessary printouts.

11 Recycle stuff– Be creative and recycle items, take help of your employees to make suggestions on you can do it.

12 Sell older electronics on eBay – eBay even with its shortcomings is still the place to sell unused items, so if you are not using some electronics, sell it on eBay rather than just throwing it, there are buyers for anything on eBay.

13 Reduce the travel costs– Avoid traveling at company expenses unless it is really necessary. Small businesses barely have any travel budget so this can get really be costly affair. Ideally you should ask clients to pay for your travel if you are traveling to meet them as well as to pay for hotel costs. Most of the time, they will be fine with it, those who says No, ask them to pay 50% at least.

14 Use technology to avoid travel– Many companies like Cisco offers virtualization products and platform like webex which you can use for remote meetings and conferencing to save money and time.

15 Be innovative with office leaves– Be innovative and you can ask your employees to work for four days a week when they don’t have enough work or can give them optional leaves or something similar.

16 Curtail the cell call bills – During travelling abroad it should be seen that proper decision is to be taken whether the incoming calls should be answered or not. By doing so we can save the cell call charges to great extent as the roaming charges are costlier than the local calls.

17 If possible, offer part-time jobs – You can always hire college interns and students to do part time jobs instead of hiring full-time employees. You can offer the part-time jobs/internship for four to six months as interns to take some time to learn the business.

18 Look for offers and bulk booking – If you ever purchasing something for office or employees, look for bulk deals and offers, Internet is full of such aggregating sites. You can also talk to the companies and negotiate for bulk order and purchase.

19 Share resources with other SMB – Find other businesses and try to share temporary human resources and or physical resources. Be innovative, for example, you can share legal or documentation templates rather then paying few hundred dollars to download them from some online site.

20 Use natural sunlight and keep the windows open – Buy low energy-consuming devices and try to use sun light as much as possible. You will be surprised how much you will be able to save with natural sunlight and with open windows.

21 Use two-sided printing – While printing, use double-sided printing, even if your printer don’t support it, flip the paper and you can take printout on both sides.

22 Regulate/Upgrade the office electronics– We can save more money by upgrading the air conditioning systems by using programmable thermostats to automatically regulate temperatures when there are no employees working in the office. You can also use central cooling which means there is a single on/off button for cooling.

23 Go for free Cloud softwares. Almost everything nowadays is based on SaaS and pay as you go model, and companies like Google have provided almost everything for free. So use such services like Google Docs, Google Drive, Google Apps etc

24 Go to green Technology– Energy-efficient technology will save us money over the life period of our computers, phone systems and other technical tools. There are a lot tax benefits to green technology, as well.

25 Position staffing levels to cope with normal work levels. It is significant to hire just the requisite number of employees. During peaks, hire provisional staff rather than increasing costly over-time.

26 Think of smaller ISP-. You will be surprised how cheap and generous local ISP can be as far as bandwidth is concerned, so if possible see you can get a cheaper Internet connection through smaller ISP.

27 Find an inexpensive business phone service. If the telephone facility is absolutely necessary to run the business we can go for a hosted PBX system, like Virtual PBX. It is not like a standard PBX and so there is no hardware or software to purchase or keep up, so expenses start low and keep on low.

28 Toggle from a merchant account to an online payment -We can put an end to statement fees and monthly fees. These services, on the other hand, have a higher cost per transaction and so we can do some number crunching to observe if making a switch will really save us money.

29 Search for inexpensive web hosting. We have to check out the list of cheap Web space or study the reviews of hosts at Web Hosting Unleashed on the internet to see which supplier have saved businesses money.

30 Lighten up. Shadowy walls need more power to make the same amount of light.If possible, we can repaint our walls or lighten up our office space with wall lynching to decrease the quantity of energy we use.

31 Timer installation– We can fit timers on outdoor lighting systems in such a way that they only function from sunset to sunrise.

32 Do the business online. We have no necessity to do all of our sales calls require to be in person. There are Internet-based technologies like Web conferencing and tools like Microsoft Office Live Meeting which allow us to make online presentations to the clients.

33 Share printers in the company-. If we buy and preserve multiple printers at our office, we can save money by installing up a network that permits employees to share the printers.

34 Condense the variable expenses. Inconsistent expenses modify depending on our utilization of a good or service.

35 Control the unnecessary establishment expenses. The monthly establishment expenses should be controlled and brought to the bearer minimum.

36 Hire a freelancer Hire freelancers, consultants or contractors to work for us from home so as to minimize the staff. This will save us from paying huge salary to the employees and the power consumption bills.

37 Sublet the office space – By subletting our office space we can avoid any additional bills and contracts that will come with having our own office.

38 Encourage the employees to save a portion of their pre-tax salary for medical costs– The employees can use their supple spending accounts for this purpose. This system helps the staff plus the company and it decreases their entire medical expenditures, and in turn saves our company’s insurance money.

39 Hire college apprentices or interns for credit– An internship program is a victorious state of affairs for our business. By this we can acquire brilliant, youthful and determined workers to do our dirty work for modest or no pay.

40 Take benefit of member rewards. We can take advantage of our rewards points by double reduction on programs for a lot of our office and electronics procurements. By doing so we can obtain points from our credit card supplier in addition to leading stores

41 Plan distribution or mailings. We can plan our delivery, mailings or release to have maximum take benefit of mass dealings.

42 Make Bulk Purchase -. We can obtain purchase orders at buy and sell shows and we can, purchase wholesale or even verify the local offerings on Craigslist to save big money on office requisites.

43 Meters installation – We can install meters to track energy use.

44 Pay money for second-hand equipment. We can purchase the second-hand equipment for our company which minimizes the capital costs.

45 Mobile phone contracts – If the employees call customers on their mobile numbers from a landline, we can try cheaper alternatives like having an agreement with a mobile phone company which make calls cheaper from another mobile.

46 Move out – If he consumers do not visit our office, we do not require maintaining a glamorous office on expensive premises and we must attempt to locate the inexpensive accommodation.

47 Make use of online coupons. We can search over the Internet for coupons and promotion codes hardware, software and electronic equipment so as to minimize the costs.

48 Cut down on the amount of paper – We can change our documents to computer files by scanning them.

49 Generate an e-newsletter– It will be inexpensive to sell the products to the earlier acquired clients rather than generating a new direct-marketing security.

50 Make use of YouTube. YouTube is an immense free way for us to obtain the word out on our business.

51 Some trips are unavoidable. We can select budget airlines and smaller hotels which are at ease and certainly just as well-organized.

52 Communicate on online forums and message boards We can interrelate with budding customers and clients at free of cost to minimize the costs.

53 Review the marketing costs. Reviewing the costs will assist us to come across how much we should be spending.

54 Be a guest speaker. We can talk at the public meeting or educate a business course to arrive at new budding clients.

55 Adhere to trade associations. By joining the trade associations we will obtain particular information about industry, counsel, sales prospects and other member assistance.

56 Reduce the mailing catalog. Direct Marketing Association provides this checklist of cost-cutting ideas. We can investigate our mail with that of other small trades to take benefit of discounts obtainable to large mailers; and stockpile mail to construct up larger volumes.

57 Send the mail early .If we send mail early in the day we can generally anticipate to obtain one to two-day delivery for the price of a supreme stamp.

58 Shop around for an all night courier. Overnight delivery rates for the foremost couriers are very active and if we wait for day we can save the costs.

59 Take undue credit over advertising. We can add publicity material in mailings like bills and creep announcements or vouchers into newsletters and other promotional efforts.

60 Re-examine the insurance coverage and policy costs. For this we can ask our supplier about a reliable and safe  which can be inexpensive

61 Maintain detailed records. The more we acquaint with our company’s fiscal situation, the greater possibility we have at success in reducing costs .

62 Think outsourcing the HR and payroll to an external provider. By outsourcing the benefits of HR Payroll and administrative responsibilities we can save our time and money.

63 Think about raising the deductibles – We must review our risk against cash flow advantages by appraising our insurance deductibles.

64 Send free e-cards and save on postage – Send Free greetings and e-Cards online rather than sending them by postage.

 

65 Pool Purchasing Power– Find other small-business proprietors and team up with them to save money on provisions and other goods.

66 Ask for a discount. We just have to take the proposal to ask. For discount and we may even ask for a wholesale rate. If we get even a small discount, we are still saving money.

67 Compare insurance policies The most significant step is to discover and compare insurance policies. We should always be looking for the most excellent rates out there, especially at renewal time.

68 Avoid late payment charges Actively paying the bills in time we can save our business a good amount of money every year.

69 Activating alerts on payments We can schedule alerts that will inform us when bills are due and by no means miss a payment again.

70 Use Time Tracking tools to avoid wasting time – Use desktop and web-based tools like rescuetime to track time usage in the company. Here is the list of Time Tracking software for your reference.

71 Use Social media to promote your Company Don’t hire PR firms but use Social Media to advertise your company and product for Free. Use Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook as well as social media tools to have better visibility.

72 Use a blog and update it regularly – If you are running an online business, having and regularly updated blog is a must. With some small SEO and helpful content, you never have to hire any marketing consultant.

73 Bartering – Use classified sites like Craigslist.org to find people with whom you can exchange something.

74 Use Discount and Coupon sites – Internet is flooded with discount and coupon sites, use sites like retailmenot.com for every purchase to get discount.

75 Try to get good deals on local classified sites – Staples offers 10% discount on office purchases, try to get deals with such companies to have discounts on office supplies.

76 Change working hours We can try staggering the hours and have an office presence early in the morning and deep into the night.

77 Offer unpaid leave. It is significant to keep a healthy work-life balance. If we do not desire to lose precious staff, we can work out a compromise which permits both of us to benefit.

78 Don’t hire Trainers from Companies but find freelance Contractors-. Instead of hiring executives from some training institute, find some freelance contractors, they will deliver more as most of them are trying to build their career in this.

79 Employ a time attendance system – The time attendance system is very identical to a punch-out clock, which will assist us zero in on workers who are not utilizing office hours productively.

80 Hiring Employees – When we plan to hire somebody, we can hire staff inexpensively by trying out local job centers, unemployment agency, and free newspapers.

81 Hire College Interns – You can hire college Interns working with you for 20 hours a week  They can do a lot of trivial stuff as well as you can use them to test processes in your organization.

82 Use Craigslist to get Contractors – Instead of using yellow pages and google search, you can use craigslist to find local contractors as the prices offered by them are relatively cheap.

83 Use of daylight – We can optimize the usage of natural light by opening up the interior layout to permit daylight into all offices. If feasible, we can turn off lights near windows.

84 Collect the utility bills – We must split electricity bill and fuel bills.  So that we can fix a target on the largest energy consumer or the largest bill for energy protection events.

85 Install CFL bulbs – If we replace incandescent lights with compact fluorescent lights we can save about 50 percent on our lighting expenses.

86 Installation of sensors– We can employ dimmer, movement sensors, or occupancy sensors to automatically switch off lighting when not in use to reduce energy use and expenses.

87 Usage of task lighting– By this way, as a replacement for  brightly lighting the  complete room, we can focus the light to directly illuminate work areas.

88 Unused laptop and phone chargers We must make sure that our employees do not leave their phone or laptop chargers plugged in when they are not charging which uses a substantial amount of electricity.

89 Turn off computer and monitors – We must train our staff to switch off their monitors every time they leave their desks for lunch or coffee breaks. This practice is predictable to save nearly $50 per year, per computer.

90 Change over to energy-saving models of equipment. We can purchase a new copier with low standby characteristic or printers and fax machines with power management characteristics.

91 If you have a vending machine in your office, ask the vendor to switch off the advertising lights.

92 We must have a capable professional to carry out an energy review. We can even request for an off-peak usage discount from our utility company.

93 We must clean or change furnace filters monthly during summer season. Accumulation of dirt can lower the effectiveness and increase energy consumption.

94 Installation of thermostat We must install a smart thermostat in our office which will save us 10 to 30 percent on annual heating and cooling expenses.

95 Do not allow personal calls Don’t encourage personal calls from the office phone since unnecessary calls may divert employees and decrease their productivity.

96 Usage of e-mail– As far as possible, we must give preference to e-mail over telephonic conversation for everyday communication since it is fast, practical and free of cost.

97 Wi-Fi –Swich off the Wi-Fi during night and in holidays. Most of the broadband connections have bandwidth limit after which the cable companies charges you lot of money, switching off the wi-fi will make sure you are not having unauthorized downloads. It is also a good idea to use a firewall and proxy..

98 Review of lease. If for some reason, the proprietor does not desire to or cannot meet all the repairs we have to find out how much he is willing to reduce the rent. Thereby we can save some expenses.

99 All-in-one- We must purchase a machine which has the features of a scanner, printer, fax machine, and copier built into one compact device, saving us space and money.

100 Upgrade the software only if necessary – Most of the time, upgrades for the software are free but if they are not, they don’t buy it unless you really need it. In fact use open source software as much as possible

101 Last but not the least, Teach your employees the importance of saving. It is easier to save money then to make money.

  • Ann Shirley

    These are all very helpful tips for cutting down on expenses. My business has been without a landline phone for years. With cell phones, social media, and e-mail there’s just no need for it. My business does a lot of online mailing, but we do have quite a few packages to send out. We always look towards money saving postage solutions to make sure our shipping costs are as low as possible.

  • Bill Kelly

    Excellent article. You may wan to look into this as well:

    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/bill-kelly/75/72a/bb4/

  • Alossia

    Thanks for this useful post! I’ve bookmarked for future reference. Another site that I also recommend that you haven’t included in your post is http://www.dreame.biz.

  • mje kuch khas nahi lge ye points ye sub main already k rahi hou plz share something diffrent

  • jainam

    I really appreciate the efforts of the author, but sorry to tell you that I found most of them are repeated, it’s actually only 10 points , and rest is round n round story making. overall good efforts and helpful for basic level.

  • If some law firm reduces the phone calls then how can firm connect to the clients?

  • Peter Cabrera

    Using social media for advertisement is not the only way ,the more important thing is getting the potential customers.

  • IlanZecharia

    Thanks for a deep and detailed/understandable overview. I now added a camera and now stream it through internet and to see it online from any part of the world :). I’m thinking to add my cam also here to set it accessible for everyone who wants to see it – http://www.viralcameras.com/0/posts/13-bar-cafe/ . Actually i did installation of my cam and it worked. And now I have another problem – I want to record the data somewhere on the usb/computer or any device where after some time I can view the video. Actually it is needed to control my cafe and personnel so i can see at the end of the day what was going on there. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.

  • Ryan

    Going paperless, that one made me laugh because I can’t believe how many organizations still use a fax machine! In order to run leaner we started hyper focusing on value to our customers. We teamed up with a great company, https://biltapp.com/ , to offer our customers the best user assembly videos possible. Customer satisfaction went up (so did our ratings), and returns went down. And we did all of this by spending money in the right ways. I’m not saying you shouldn’t cut costs, but realize that a business is a living thing and needs to be nurtured and not treated only as numbers on a spreadsheet. Hope this helps, great article!

  • DonThayer

    You can also shave like 3%+ off many of your regular business expenses just by using the right credit cards to pay for them.

    The business card reward calculator at http://www.creditcardtuneup.com/business-cards/ can find good business cards and card combinations for your average monthly expenses. It also calculates the % you’d save off your expenses with different card options.

  • Matej Budril

    You can save time and money during your travel. Use http://www.klikcup.com
    Some of their great blogs https://www.klikcup.com/en/blog/best-places-for-burger-in-zagreb