When the economy is in the shape it is in, everyone looks at finding ways to save money. It’s a proven fact that when the economy is good, expenditure expands to use resources – that’s when you buy a fancy laptop even if the old one is fine.
When the economy is bad expenditure contracts to fit available resources – you get your bashed up old mobile phone repaired instead of buying a new one. Now all this is pretty obvious but lets look at some time tested methods of saving money, not just for now but even after the economy picks up – maybe you could then buy a new laptop and a phone.
- You need insurance, but how much do you need? It’s easy to get carried away when flush with cash and over insure yourself. Reexamine your insurance needs and bring down the premiums.
- You need to advertise. But look at all the free and low cost options before spending the big bucks. Word of mouth is still the best and most trusted form of advertising and is free. Maximize on that. Use email marketing – it’s the cheapest way to communicate with a large number of people. Why not start an e-newsletter? Have you thought about using YouTube to promote your business – its free?
- Do you really need all the office space you have, or could you either give some of it up or sublet it? Think about reorganizing your office layout – you may be able to save a lot of space.
- Think about switching to free open source software. It’s as good as the expensive stuff and is compatible with most other software so you won’t have any issues in using it. Refill printer cartridges. There are inexpensive web hosting companies that offer great service. Are you paying too much?
- How many phone lines do you have? If the phones are there they will be used. Usually you can reduce the number of phones without affecting operational efficiency.
- Examine your electricity usage. Does your air conditioning and heating have to be so high? Make sure that you are using energy efficient bulbs. Re arrange the office to make maximum use of natural light – place tables near windows etc. – and cut your electricity consumption.
- Plan your travelling as much in advance as possible so you can get the cheapest tickets. At your destination use discount car rentals.
- When travelling with colleagues, why not share a hotel room?
- Can you outsource some of your non core work? The savings and improved results can be quite dramatic. If you are not in a position to outsource, think about using part times workers and freelancers. Do you need a full time accountant if the work can be done in a couple of hours each day by a freelancer working from home?
- Stop entertaining. Flashing your credit card no longer impresses people. You will create a better impression if you talk about how cutting costs is helping you redeploy resources. If you have a customer with you and its lunch time take him to a fast food outlet – not a fancy restaurant. Tell him that this is how you are holding your price line and not charging him more.
Think of all the ways you and your family try to save money at home. You will be surprised at how many of these things translate into office savings as well.Linda Belan Your Outsource Solutions, LLC