Small business owners must make every business dollar stretch in order to stay afloat. The Small Business Administration reports that half of all small businesses fail in the first five years. This is a humbling statistic and one that new businesses try to fight by increasing revenue and growing customers rapidly in the first few years.
Rather than focusing all their time on ways to make more money, small business owners should also consider ways to save it. Here are 10 ways you can save money for your small business:
- Used office equipment. When you need a replacement desk or fax machine, don’t go straight to a retailer of new office equipment. Search for suppliers of used office equipment, or do a search on auction sites in your area.
- Utilities. Analyze all of your utility bills and look for places to cut back costs. Perhaps there are fringe services you can drop that were offered free for a trial period but are now part of your bill. Consider grouping utilities like land-line phones and Internet with one company to get a discount.
- Social media marketing. Signing up for social media accounts is an inexpensive way to reach out to your customer base on sites they already frequent. If you are lost when it comes to setting up and maintaining social media profiles, there are freelance contractors that will do the work for you.
- Remote work options. Give employees the option to work at home and you will save money on overhead and utilities. With email and phone communication, allowing employees to work remotely is a seamless way to reduce your own costs and give your workers the perk of flexibility.
- Technology contractors. Rather than hiring full-time employees to handle technology issues, call in telecom consultants or IT freelancers when you need them. If you hold a lot of conferences or off-site meetings, it may also be wise to retain an audio visual technician on a contract basis.
- Local partnerships. Find ways to pair up with complementary businesses in your area for referral programs and cross advertising. Ideally, you want to partner with a company that has the same target demographic but is non-competitive.
- Wellness programs. Though it might be an upfront cost, instituting wellness initiatives that focus on healthy eating, weight loss, and smoking cessation will actually save your small business money in the long run. An estimated $227 billion is lost in productivity every year in the U.S. as a result of sick employees. Head that off with workplace programs that promote health.
- Loyalty programs. Whether you have a product or service to sell, the cost of keeping current customers is lower than recruiting new ones. Come up with affordable ways to show consumers that you value their continued patronage through discounts, freebies, and recognition.
- Networking. For a small fee, you can join the local Chamber of Commerce or other groups associated with your industry. The in-person connections that you make will help you build bridges for revenue down the road.
- Break time. Make sure that as a small business owner, you schedule your own time off. Taking a vacation, even for a few hours, from your responsibilities will invigorate you and increase productivity when you return.
If you want your small business to make it past the five-year mark, and beyond, be creative and vigilant when it comes to operating costs. Instead of always being in a “make money” mindset, look for everyday cost-saving options. Even small savings add up over time and will improve the outlook of your small business.