How to Save on Utility and Overhead Costs for Small Business

Small Business Cost

Blog posts and news articles are multiplying across the internet, preaching various ways in which small businesses can survive these difficult times. Instead, we’ve compiled some tips and tricks from industry professionals to help you cut your overheads. Keep reading to learn 7 money-saving tips from successful small business owners.

1. Forget traditional advertising

Legacy advertising such as print, radio and TV have become increasingly unprofitable. In any case, small businesses can easily increase their profit margins massively by curating their online presence across multiple platforms and actively engaging with their customer base. Marissa K. Haynes of Wealth Management Group recommends PR over advertising. PR is more interactive and responsive and delivers organic placements in media outlets. This tip should only be implemented once locked down restrictions are significantly reduced. A well-executed event can pull in both current and prospective customers. Many enterprises depend on in person events, from seminars, galas, dinners and conference to expand and consolidate their customer bases. Of course, large events are expensive. A great way around this is to partner up with a sponsor, in exchange for advertising their brand in some form or another. Just be sure that the sponsor is consistent with your brand’s ethos and image.

2. Outsourcing is a great idea

You need employees to get work done, but this is expensive. Entrepreneurs find that salaries and office space makes up a good chunk of their budget. Georgette Pascale, owner of PR Firm Pascale Communications, chooses to keep her full-time staff to a minimum. She outsources work to independent contractors instead.

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Similarly, Deborah Sweeney, CEO of My Corporate Business Services, hires consultants as needed. Not only does she pay these consultants at a lower rate, she benefits her business by bringing in multiple, diverse experts.

3. Examine your fixed costs and look for savings!

The variable costs of your business (like stock) will change as your business grows or shrinks. Savings on those variables costs is important but savings on fixed costs will see long term benefits no matter what the future holds. Examine your fixed costs like utilities, rent and insurance and shop around to make sure you are getting the best deal. BizCover is a company that does online insurance quotes from multiple companies at the same time. Make sure your business has the right mix of cost to cover!

4. Negotiate with your vendors.

Even though your vendors may have always charged you at a certain rate, they might be able to offer you the same service for a lower price Like you, they want to stay in business, and they’re probably struggling in the current economic climate. Many prefer to offer lower instead of losing a regular customer. Ian Aronovich, of GovernmentAuctions.org was able to negotiate better prices on his office supplies and phone plan. There’s no harm in trying and in a best case scenario you can shave hundreds off your monthly bills.

5. Why not barter?

You don’t need to give up if your cash supply gets low. You can still secure what you need by other means. Pascale suggests bartering. She once used this technique by exchanging her PR services for work by an interior design firm when she needed to redesign her office. The worst that can happen when you try and barter is rejection. Very often you’ll get a positive response.

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6. Keep your head in the clouds.

A marketing consultant will suggest cloud-based solutions before you get the time to ask, and small business owners recommend the same. Boyd, of MeetingWave.com, uses cloud-based services to host data instead of buying costly and bulky hardware. Bibby Gignilliat, founder of San Francisco-based Parties That Cook, likes cloud-based software “such as Salesforce, PayCycle and Staffmate where we pay per annual user, rather than needing to purchase and maintain expensive software in-house.”

7. Embrace the work from home trend.

Many businesses are unable to switch completely to a work-from-home model. Pascale founded an all-virtual agency six years ago. Keeping things virtual meant that Pascale avoided paying rent and associated bills. Because of this, Pascale could focus on producing top-quality work with minimum overheads. The COVID-19 situation has pushed many businesses to a telecommuting model. With some minor tweaking, many small businesses will be able to keep at least part of their business on working-from-home.

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