According to the Small Business Administration, roughly half of small business fold about five years after opening their doors. Although any number of factors can contribute to a company going under, often it’s poor money management that is the culprit. As an owner, you’ll strive to find ways to stretch dollars to ensure that you’re staying within your budget and being as profitable as possible. Here are a few easy ways to get started.
Negotiating is Key
Sure, you probably negotiated on some of your biggest costs, such as rent, but have you tried negotiating prices for the small things you use every day? Office essentials like pens and coffee are purchased frequently throughout the year, so even a 5% discount can start to add up and save you real money. If you’re loyal to your office supply vendor, see if they’re willing to work with you on a price. Many companies are willing to offer discounts rather than see a faithful customer move to their competitor.
Stock Up and Save
Buy your essentials in large quantities, and watch the price per unit go down. Bulk items can offer substantial savings over their smaller counterparts, so you’re saving money in the long run. If you’ve got the space to store the excess inventory and the money upfront to buy it in bulk, your wallet will thank you down the road.
Does your company require expensive equipment to do business efficiently? If you’re unable to foot the bill for these costs upfront, look into a lease-to-own option. One Park Financial offers equipment leasing as well as other financing options for small business owners to help them grow and expand their business.
Hire an Expert Consultant
Hiring a consultant is a great way to get targeted, expert advice for your business without having to deal with additional personnel costs, like training, overhead, and benefits. Consultants can hone in on the guidance you need for your company, and once their work is done, the contract ends. You get exactly what you need without any additional costs.
Consider an Intern
Many can work for a low wage to gain experience for their résumé, or they might even work for college credit. Their responsibilities can be basic, like filing and typing documents, which can allow you and your employees to focus on other things. However, don’t discount their insight into smaller, targeted projects. The right intern is often fresh and motivated, and can bring an energy and insight that your company might be lacking.
Barter and Trade Your Way to the Top
If you are able to barter items that are no longer of use to you, you could benefit greatly. But don’t just stop at bartering with physical goods. Consider using your time and expertise as a trade. Need some construction help to remodel your office? A trade where you provide advertising and marketing expertise for that company could result in a substantial discount off the bottom line.
Put Social Media to Work for You
Social media is a fast and easy way to advertise your company to thousands of customers with just a few keystrokes. Doing giveaways, contests and discounts will increase your followers and allow you to get your message out to them in between these events. Study up on SEO as well, and use this to your advantage when it comes to online marketing.
Network, Network, Network
Finding other small business allies is a great way to get insider information. They will often have experience with local vendors and government, and can guide you through potential hazards. The saved costs in both time and money are well worth it, so explore meetings and groups in your area with other entrepreneurs.
Once you’ve found a good network, put it to use! Consider a partnership with a complementary company. Sponsoring an event together is a great way to get both company’s names out there for half the costs. This type of partnership would also work well when buying in bulk – split the bill and the costs while keeping the savings!
Track Your Expenses
This may sound like a given, but be sure to track even the smallest expenditures. Sneaky spending habits can catch up to you if you’re not constantly looking at your budget and accounting for money leaks.
By incorporating these sm all ideas into your everyday life, you'll see your savings grow. Put that money back into your business for double the value, and you'll continue to be profitable and successful in the long run.