Tax & admin · 4 May 2020

Cut your business expenses using these simple cost-hacking tips

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Content expert, Uday Tank discusses the ways small businesses can cut their expenses using simple methods…

If you ask an average business owner what they think the biggest threat to their business funds is, many of the responses you’d get would point in the direction of scams and frauds. It is quite typical of business owners to think that the only threat to their business cash flow can only come from external sources.

But is that really true?

If there is anything history has taught us, it is that scams and frauds are not the only ways businesses lose money. In fact, some of the actual threats to business funds come in the form of wasteful expenses and unbridled costs.

So instead of worrying only about how your business can beat the threats from conmen, it is also important to start looking inward for ways on how to lessen some of your business costs.

But you need not scour the internet for tips on how to get this done because we’ve already conducted a research to that effect for you. And here’s what we’ve come up with.

Paperwork

Did you know that in the US only, companies spend more than $120 billion a year on printed forms, most of which are outdated within three months? Not to mention that an average employee spends a lot of time searching for printed documents lurking in filing cabinets, with each lost document costing $350 to $700 in employee time.

As much as the costs of paperwork might appear not too expensive at first, they add up pretty quickly, talk of the costs of paper, ink, machine maintenance, shelves or filing cabinets to keep documents, pins, document folders, desk tools, and other office equipment. The chances are that if you replace all on-desk paperwork with digital tools, you’d not only be saving yourself thousands of dollars come the year-end, but you’ll also be improving employee efficiency by eradicating time wastage.

For starters, you can use online signature services to sign contracts, get your documents uploaded to the cloud, send information via email, and hold meetings via Skype or Slack.

Too often, copies are made for things like meetings and presentations when the participants would actually prefer to view the documents online. Online documents are also editable, too, so people can view them during and after the meeting.

Out-of-town conferences

Yes, we get it; your business needs conferences to thrive. Your employees need to attend events and go to seminars. But did you know that all of those come at a price? Talk of the accommodation costs, feeding, transport, and other logistics to cater for. Of course, you knew!

So why not cut down this cost by replacing these expensive out-of-town events with cost-effective web conference software that allows you to hold face-to-face conversations with anyone from all corners of the world?

That is not to say that you should completely eliminate travelling from your business costs because there may be times when you need to travel to strike some deals. But the idea here is to limit how much you spend on meetings and conferences and restricting travelling to high-priority situations only.

Getting your supplies from the top dogs in the industry

No one is going to give you an accolade for buying your office supplies from the biggest brand in the industry. So you need to stop doing that thing you do, where you only buy your business supplies from the big brands in your industry.

For a fact, most of these big brands sell to small businesses in the same way they sell to the top guys, and as such, they offer you no customized service. However, if you buy from smaller local options, you can get a customized service that fits your immediate business need and budget.

So for a business looking to hack down its expenses by a few thousand, switching from a well-renowned supplier to a relatively new or lesser-known supplier can be a smart move.

Insurance

I won’t come here to tell you not to insure your business. In fact, if you haven’t before now, you should look to do that after reading this post. Be it car insurance, liability insurance, or building insurance, it is important for a business owner to safeguard the lives of their business properties.

However, it is important to know that not all insurance companies are made equal, which means there is a great chance that the insurance company you’re currently using isn’t offering you the best deal.

To hack down on your insurance cost, you should regularly review your agreements to determine whether another company could offer you a better deal.

Just this practice alone – of switching from one insurance provider to another – can save you thousands of dollars every year, while still offering you the exact same benefits.

Use freelancers instead of hiring staff

Have you been using staff for your small jobs? If so, then you may want to switch to using freelancers. And by small jobs, I mean temporary projects that are not really an ongoing part of your business process.

For instance, instead of hiring a full-time graphic designer or content writer for your monthly advert campaigns, you can opt for freelancers, and pay them based on the number of jobs they do. But avoid going for the cheapest ones.

Wasting money on office space

Yes, every business needs a place to call home. But is the size of your business home a perfect match for your business operation? If not, then you may want to consider switching to a more apt location that costs you less.

For instance, if your business is not the type that receives client frequently, then you may want to consider moving to a lower rent in a less prime location.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Uday Tank's background in science and journalism gives him a broad base from which to approach the various topics about which he writes.

Business development