5 Ways to Save Money in Your Small Business
Being a small business owner recently got a lot more difficult. Things are changing, taxes are increasing, and it behooves you to prepare.
Being a small business owner recently got a lot more difficult. Things are changing, taxes are increasing, and it behooves you to prepare. For example, if you employ 50 people or more full-time, you'll either have to provide them health coverage or face hefty penalties. While fines don't go into effect until 2014, this aspect of the Obamacare legislation has already caused many businesses - small and large - to rethink their workforce and lay people off or reduce their hours in order to reduce labor costs.
To offset and prepare for the additional costs facing small businesses, start implementing the following cost-saving tactics:
- Save on Supplies
Depending on the nature of your business, office supplies can be a major expense. If you aren't already, take a few minutes to shop online or in your hometown for deals on the items you use most. Or assign this task to one of your staff. Weigh the convenience factor against your cost-savings as some deals will be worth it and others won't. Also, consider your local office supply retailer - several times throughout the year many offer a range of supplies (including printer paper, batteries, and Post-it notes) essentially for free after a 100% cash back rebate. You need to sign up for that retailer's rewards program to be alerted to upcoming sales.
- Save on Equipment
When upgrading or replacing equipment, think used and think online. Amazon, eBay, and Craigslist are all great resources to buy gently used equipment at significant discounts. In fact, many items listed as "used" online are practically new.
- Cut Advertising Costs
Focus on your social media campaign to reduce advertising costs. Define your goals and measure the results on sites like Facebook and Twitter to make sure you're meeting those goals. Also, be sure to devote enough time to the effort - either your own or the time of one of your staff. Respond to questions quickly, and post engaging content to encourage feedback from your readers. It also helps to regularly hold promotions for free services or products as well.
- Maximize Tax Deductions
Work with a qualified accountant to make sure you don't miss any tax deductions for your small business. For example, if you employ fewer than 25 people and have wages of $50,000 or less, you can qualify for a payroll tax credit of up to 35% of the cost of health insurance for your staff. For a complete list of deductions and credits, consult the IRS website.
- Go Paperless
Receiving, sorting through, opening, and filing paper bills requires time that you could devote to money-making activities. Opt for online bill delivery to streamline the process. Also, by encouraging your customers to receive bills electronically, you'll save on the costs of paper and postage.
Saving money on business expenses is often less about doing one or two major things to slash your budget, and more about implementing a range of cost-cutting measures that together make a big difference. A significant part of the process is adjusting your outlook to find savings wherever and whenever you can. Within the current economic environment where many businesses are struggling, deals are to be had. It just takes a keen eye to not let any savings opportunity pass you by.
How do you save money on your small business?