5 Ways to be Frugal as a Small Business Owner

If you own a small business, you know how important it is to save money. There are so many parts of your business that subtract from the bottom-line, sometimes it is hard to keep track.  Finding ways to be frugal can be a daunting task, but many times there are places where you can find significant savings in places you might never have imagined.  Here are 10 ways to find significant savings for your small business.

Go paperless as much as possible

Going paperless is not just a wise PR move to appease your green customers and employees. It can actually save your bank account as much as the environment. You could start by doing some simple things, like creating an area near your printer for used paper scraps.  Instead of throwing this away someone may use this paper for less formal messages or internal messages. You can save on paper and postage costs by sending your invoices electronically.  Services like QuickBooks’ offer integrated invoicing process.

Consider bundling services

Bundling services is always an option that can save you more than you think in the long run. Businesses want to get as much business from you as possible. You may want to consider social media automation tools to help your business out.

Shop your commercial insurance policies periodically

Checking around every year or every other year is a good idea to ensure you are getting the absolute best coverage and competitive rates.  You should be careful switching workers compensation carriers too frequently.  Switch carriers every year just because one carrier gives you a small discount can ruin your long term relationship with a carrier.  Long term relationships do matter in the insurance industry, especially when you have a year when you have either a lot of claims or an extremely large claim.  If you are in your first year with a carrier when this occurs, it is very likely to result in the carrier raising your rate or dropping you from coverage altogether.

Switch Banks

There are many reasons to consider switching banks and cost savings should be just one of them.  Depending upon how many services you use at your bank this may be easier for some small business owners than others. If you have your POS processing through your bank and you are a location who has a lot of transactions this can be a fee that adds up very quickly.  This is a very competitive industry and there are many businesses aside from banks that offer this service now and many are very good at it.  If you have loans on your property, vehicles or equipment there can be substantial savings on even just a half a percentage point on those loans.  Similar to your insurance agent, it is smart to value long-term relationships with your bank, but do not feel the need to stay with one bank if they are not providing the best services to you and your customers.

Consider switching to online advertising

Advertising can be a very expensive endeavor for small businesses and traditional sources of media are not as successful as they were in the past.  Promoting your business online can give you the opportunity to get in front of very specific niche audiences that are closer to the buying process.  This can help you get a much better bang for your advertising buck.

Hire smart but inexperienced employees

Sometimes hiring the right person is far less important than hiring the person who is the right fit.  That person does not always have a tremendous amount of experience in your industry or much experience at all.  Taking a chance on someone with less experience is a way to offer a lower salary and if done correctly you may be able to get a person who has more drive to succeed than someone who has been in the industry for a while.

Hire Interns

Interns can be a great way to get a lot of valuable work done for your company for little or no cost to your business.  Finding the right fit is crucial. Some interns, if they are not self-motivated, can be more work than they are worth.  Others can be valuable assets to your company and a place to find people ready to step in and contribute to your organization after they graduate.  The most effective way to keep an intern motivated is to assign a mentor to that person and make sure they are one checking in with that person, but also that they are giving the intern enough freedom that they feel like a trusted member of the organization.

Buy in bulk

For everyday use office products, it is extremely beneficial for your business to buy these products in bulk.  Many businesses get a business membership with a big box retailer like Costco or BJ’s. There are also businesses out there that are more niche specific to office supplies. Especially if you are a part of a large nationwide organization, this might be a good way to save even more than at a discount retailer. The one drawback to these organizations is that orders usually need to be placed in advance and shipped to you. If that is the case it is a good idea to have a backup plan in place for situations where you need the materials immediately. In particular, Costco has an excellent return policy, so you have limited risk if you buy from them.

Buy second hand equipment

Many products today are built to last a long time. Refurbished computers can cost as much as 50% less than their brand new competitors yet they can last just as long as those products. Especially for high priced items like printers, scanners, computer servers, etc. buying second hand or refurbished products can save your business immensely.

Sublease your unused office space

Do you have a large office space?  Is some of it going unused?  Do you know another business owner who is thinking about expanding?  If you can find a business with whom you trust, there may be a way for the two businesses to help each other out with space issues. In most cases, you will want to ensure the facility is closed off from your business as to not expose sensitive business and client data.  Sharing workspaces can be an excellent way to help your bottom line while helping out a partner.  You never know when that favor may come back to help your business immensely in the future.

Mitchell Sharp is a Marketing Associate for WorkersCompensationShop.com. Mitchell has extensive knowledge of workers’ compensation and cyber liability. His passion is in using his knowledge of commercial insurance, social media and content marketing to benefit the small business community.

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