When you own and operate a business you will have multiple expenses coming from several directions. It can be overwhelming, and a lot of companies will have accounting and billing people in place, but their focus is on their job, not necessarily saving money.
They make sure the bills get paid, but saving a few dollars here and there isn’t their main concern. As a business owner you need to sometimes think of ways to cut costs, because when you are able to do this in several areas, multiplied over the course of a year, the savings can be massive.
These savings are often large enough to allocate the money into additional marketing to help speed up growth, but they also can help a struggling business stay above water during difficult times. Whether you are trying to stay alive as a business or just save money to use in a different area of your business, use these tips.
Purchase paper goods in bulk.
Paper towels, napkins, toilet paper and printing paper can all add up to a large expense, and that expense is much greater if you are buying in small quantities. You are going to eventually need them, so why not buy in large enough quantities that it ends up saving your company money?
“If you are going to go through 1,000 reams of paper why buy
them 20 at a time for $10 when you can buy the entire year’s worth for $4 each.
That is $6,000 in savings ($500 a month!) that could be used to help grow your
business,” offers Tad Thomas of Thomas
Law Offices. “Paper goods have some of the deepest discounts available when
buying in bulk, so take full advantage.”
Buy generic labels.
If you use a thermal printer to make your shipping labels then you go through a lot of labels. The manufacturers tell you that you must use their brand labels, which is done to get you to buy their over-priced versions, as it’s how they make money.
You don’t have to use the name brand ones, I promise you that. They say that not using official ones will void the warranty, but how will they know? There is no difference aside from the price. “Take a minute and look on Amazon for shipping labels next time you are in need,” says Andrew Tran of Therapy Blanket. “Not only can you buy in huge bulk quantities, but the costs can be cut my almost 80% when you avoid the brand name versions and instead go with the generic ones.”
Read the reviews to find a good option. You will often see people raving about how amazing they are at a small fraction of the cost.
Purchase your ink and toner at discount depots.
Printer ink and toner can be a huge expense, so look for companies that make no-brand versions. These discount depot online superstores sell in such large bulk that they are able to operate on small margins. When you go to a big box store like Best Buy or Target for ink you are going to pay a huge premium.
“I’m able to get ink cartridges for $22 online that are close to $140 at the store,” says Ignacio Soria of CANN & Co. “They have the same quality and fit, minus the brand-name label.” When it comes down to it, if you are printing labels or invoices and burning through ink this is a way to save thousands of dollars with little to no effort. Once you find a great cheap alternative stock up and help eliminate that expense in the future.
Pit insurance agents against each other.
If you offer health insurance as part of your benefits package you should try to see if you can get a better rate. “The health insurance industry is so competitive now and agents are begging for new business,” suggests Chris Moberg of IKEA mattress review site Slumber Search. “They are going to do whatever they can to get you on their book of business, and you can often save money without doing any work.”
Simply hand them your current policy and see what they come back with. It will take no effort on your end. Let them do all the work and bring you an offer you can’t refuse. Imagine if you could cut your healthcare by a couple thousand dollars a month?
You never know until you ask. Have several agents working against each other and let them know you are ready to jump if they give you a large enough savings.
Ask your credit card merchant for a lower rate.
If you process a high volume of credit card payments every month ask them to drop your rate or eliminate your per-transaction cost. For example, Stripe’s standard rate is 2.9% of the transaction plus 30 cents.
“If you are doing large volume, see if they will eliminate that extra per transaction cost,” says Darryl Howard of Blogger Tips. “A company that is processing 5,000 orders a day would save $1,500 a day if they were able to negotiate the elimination of the per-transaction fee. That is $45,000 a month.” Just like with health insurance, these companies want your business and will fight to get corporate to give a lower offer.
All you have to do is ask. They would rather make less money from you than no money at all, which is what will happen if you walk to another company. They want to keep you happy. You can also negotiate lower rates based on your industry and risk-level. For example, a website selling men’s supplements is going to have a
Audit your shipping costs.
If you are shipping a lot of volume and using standard rates you are most definitely paying too much. All major carriers, from USPS to UPS and FedEx have rates for businesses that do decent volume.
“Even 20 to 30 cents per package in savings can equal thousands of dollars over the course of a year,” says Pedro Del Nero of Vaporizer Vendor. “It may sound like small potatoes, but when you really think about how often you ship, this is a huge savings.”
Again, all you have to do is ask. You should be able to connect with a local rep fairly easy. If they get the impression you might switch to another shipping company they will bring a more attractive rate to you in an attempt to keep you as a customer.
Outsource your web design needs.
A lot of companies are finding it more affordable to outsource their web design needs to an agency, rather than employee in-house staff. Not only can the cost be reduced this way, but by outsourcing you get access to a larger design team that is constantly working on new platforms and up-to-date on all of the latest design trends.
You can head to the Perth Web Design website for an example of not only a very creative website, but an agency that specializes in designs and trends suitable for a wide range of industries. Often times an entire agency will provide you with more resources at a much more affordable price point that hiring a full on-site team.