Business expenses seems as inevitable as death and taxes. But take heart! There are many ways to turn red ink into black. Here are five things you can do today to cut costs and increase your profits:
1. Cut costs by eliminating expensive systems and servers
Take advantage of open source software, the best of which rival the reliability and quality of proprietary software. You get similar, if not more powerful and flexible, capabilities at free or extremely affordable cost. Plus, open-source software upgrades and plug-ins are just as free or inexpensive.
Save money on servers by storing on the cloud, which is networked online storage, with programs such as Dropbox. Secure, inexpensive, and accessible outside the office, cloud storage keeps information safe from any computer crashes and is useful for a workforce on the move.
Thanks to today’s powerful mobile technology, you can free your employees or yourself from the physical office. Institute a flexible schedule and telecommuting options. Rotate schedules or have a 4-day, 40-hour workweek. Not only will you save money on physical office space, you may save money on salary. Many employees are willing to take a pay cut for the flexibility of working from home and saving money themselves on commuting and gas, food, and childcare.
3. Buy second-hand
Unfortunately, many businesses are forced to shut down, downsize, or move. Fortunately for you, they may have moving or closing sales. Get a bargain on quality office furniture and equipment. Ebay is another smart way to buy cheap and cut costs. Closed businesses may still have some physical signage and advertising. Check signs and ads, and ask your phone company to redirect disconnected numbers to your own business.
4. Barter and partner
Your expertise and work product are worth something to other businesses. Instead of paying in cash, pay in time and product. Trade your PR skills, for example, for professional web design services. Plus, you’ll build new and stronger relationships with other businesses. Partner with allies to share marketing or even work space. Try co-working arrangements where you share offices, resources and staff with other companies. Save money while broadening your reach and your network.
5. Say good-bye to paper
Make the move to administrative management software and web programs, which can handle everything from record-keeping to invoicing to accounting with ease. Especially useful are programs that let you do admin tasks such as managing vacation time, purchasing expenses, and evaluations, such as, TurbineHQ.com. Not only will you spend less on supplies but you’ll save time by having everything you need in one place. After all, time spent on avoidable paperwork is time lost to the business.