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Keeping your expenses under control is one of the crucial aspects of a successful business.
A small business that is just starting off is bound to incur various expenses. Setting up an office, market research, legal issues – these are all things that you’re going to have to invest in. This can be really overwhelming in the beginning before you start generating any significant income, so you need to do whatever you can to reduce your expenses. In this post, I’m going to talk about five unique ways you can significantly minimize your business costs, so you can start focusing your funds on more important things.
If you still rely on landlines for communication, it might be time to upgrade to a VoIP plan. Landline calls are expensive, especially long-distance ones and you can get the same service for free (or at least significantly cheaper) on the Internet.
There are many VoIP providers to choose from: Skype, Mitel MiCloud Office or Vonage, to name a few. Direct VoIP is completely free regardless of the provider, but most providers will charge a small sum for VoIP-to-landline calls.
And finally, VoIP offers more features than traditional landline systems – features like call waiting, forwarding and last number redial. This is extremely useful for customer service or any other department that has to handle a large volume of phone calls.
Technology can increase efficiency and reduce costs for small businesses in several different ways. Internet marketing is a great example. Social media websites are free to use, and you are free to market your business as much as you need to. Analytics software can help you dissect the results of your marketing campaign yourself, and see how you can improve it without having to pay an expert.
Keeping your files and documents in the Cloud is another way technology can help you. This not only saves space, it enables your employees to access relevant information from any device and speeds up their workflow.
Time is a resource that many would argue is more valuable than money. The better you learn to manage your working hours, the more efficient you’ll be at utilizing your available staff. If your employees get paid by the hour, use an app like Clockify to figure out their timesheets and get a better idea of how much you need to pay them.
Set reasonable deadlines for projects, and stick to them. Employees are far less likely to waste time when they know they have a limited amount of it.
Reduce Office Space
Renting an office can be expensive, and often unnecessary. Many small businesses are cutting down on office space costs by allowing their employees to work from home. The actual need for an office largely depends on the type of work your employees engage in, and with the advancement of technology working from home is becoming more and more of a possibility.
Using a communication app like Slack and project management software is often enough to keep your work-from-home employees organized and up-to-date, and keep the workflow transparent.
Minimize Paper Use
Printing excess paper can quickly add up to an extensive cost that can easily be avoided. We live in the digital age, and almost everything that used to require paper now has a virtual alternative that works just as well.
Invoices can be created digitally and sent to clients via e-mail. Set up your fax so that you receive incoming documents to your e-mail address instead of printing them out automatically. If you have to use paper, invest in a printer that can print on both sides. Not only is this a huge money saver, but it also serves to protect the environment.
Running a business can be expensive, so anything you can do to cut down on costs is desirable. Using VoIP instead of landlines can help, as can better time management and letting your employees work from home.
Just remember that there isn’t one big step that you can take to save money, but rather a lot of small ones that are quite significant when they add up. Frugality is often what separates a successful business from a failed startup, so the better you learn to manage your finances, the more your business will thrive in the long run.
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