Whether a decades-old family business or a new company, plenty of small businesses continue doing things the way they’ve always been done. But it pays to reevaluate your budget and expenses on a regular basis, because you could find a few line items you can either save money on or eliminate altogether.
A Wall Street Journal forum recently discussed areas in which small businesses tend to waste money, including:
- Spending on projects that were not well thought out
- Office space
- Over-purchasing inventory
- Keeping bad hires
These are important areas to evaluate to make sure your dollars are working hard for you and your business. But there are also several simple ways in which you can save.
Consider the following 4 items that may be costing your business too much:
- Memberships and subscriptions: Every few months, take stock of your memberships and subscriptions and determine whether they are worth maintaining. For example, are you getting trade magazines every month that no one reads? Or, do you subscribe to online stock photography sites that no one uses now that you have original photography? Think of it this way: Eliminating just one $30-per-month subscription is a savings of $360 per year.
The same goes for professional organizations. While it’s a good idea to stay connected with one or two, it may not be the best use of your money to pay for memberships in every group in town ― especially if they offer overlapping services and you aren’t able to remain active in all of them.
- Office supplies, furniture and equipment: Basic office equipment, such as computers, a copier and office furniture are all items that cost quite a bit. One way to save on these expensive items is to consider buying them secondhand. Some office supply stores and online sites specialize in selling gently used desks, cubicles, chairs and more.
Also, don’t forget to review your budget for everyday supplies to make sure you are not overbuying certain items. You can cut down on delivery expenses by choosing a supplier that either does not charge shipping or offers low flat-rate shipping for the year. Many online suppliers offer free shipping with a minimum order — sometimes as low as $75. Check out this article on About.com for more ideas.
- Phone and Internet: Obviously, you can’t get rid of your phone or Internet service, but there may be ways you can save money on these necessities. For example, some providers offer discounts if you choose to bundle your phone, mobile and Internet in one package deal. Also, review your bill every few months to make sure you’re actually using all the services in your plan and that there are no errant fees or charges. A smartphone with all the bells and whistles for just one person can cost more than $100 a month in charges — and that’s not counting the cost of the phone! Evaluate who needs a company cell phone in your business and what services they require.
- Credit card fees: If your business credit card charges an annual fee, make sure you’re getting your money’s worth through travel and other rewards or cash back options. If not, consider switching to a card that does not charge an annual fee.
For more cost-saving ideas, check out 10 tips from the U.S. Small Business Administration. By making a few simple changes, you’ll be able to save your business money and boost your bottom line.