The early weeks and months of a startup are a tenuous time. With so much of the future uncertain, every moment seems to carry the added weight and pressure of building toward sustainability and success. Mistakes can often be amplified because they occur at such a volatile time, making savvy management of a small organization even more vital. One of the ways businesses can get into hot water fast is when they burn through their available startup funds faster than anticipated—or, at least, so fast that they haven't built up the revenues to keep pace. Most startups and burgeoning small businesses are eager for actionable means of saving money now, not over the course of the next six months. Fortunately, there are some effective strategies worth employing. Here's 4 Ways to Save Money in Your Business that can help cut your expenses almost instantly.
4 Ways to Save Money in Your Business
1. Go paperlessWhether it's in regards to billing, issuing receipts, corresponding with vendors, distributing pamphlets, etc.—the less paper you use, the more you'll save. Paper consumption can add up quickly, and while it's not like etching memos into sheets of solid gold, it's by no means a trivial expense.
Those costs are even more significant if you’re printing and mailing correspondence and other materials, meaning you're paying for postage, ink and envelopes as well. Avoid using paper at all costs, and you'll see your operational spending slimmed down.
2. Buy cleaning supplies in bulk
Even if you don't regularly host customers in your office, you still have standards to maintain. Cleaning supplies can be a pain to purchase, but they're important to creating a safe, healthy workspace. And since you can't avoid spending to stock your business with these supplies, at least cut down the cost by purchasing these items in bulk. The up-front price tag may be a little surprising, but the more you buy at once, the greater your savings will be over time.
You can also apply this buy-in-bulk mentality to a range of supplies and products you plan to regularly use. Just make sure you aren't stockpiling so much that you need to secure additional storage—that cost can wipe out all of your savings.
3. Lease your office equipment
Buying isn't always cheaper, especially if you're a cash-strapped startup. In the early years, it may be wiser to lease certain equipment instead of buying them. In many cases, leasing also gives you access to free or discounted maintenance, which protects you if a mechanical failure develops. You can always revisit equipment ownership and decide to buy down the line, but if you want to keep overhead small, leasing is probably the way to go.
4. Outsource some of your tasks
Not every startup and small business can afford to hire specialized staff to fill every role. Smaller organizations are often better off outsourcing some of these tasks to better-qualified organizations. While it's an extra expense, it may pale in comparison to the time and resources wasted trying to do the service in-house. A great example of valuable outsourcing is human resources and payroll processing. Certain Internet-based work may also be worth outsourcing, freeing up your time to focus on running your company.
Every time you're able to save money and cut your expenses, you extend your business's ability to keep operating. Time is often an essential resource—and one all too limited for most startup businesses. Saving money can buy you time, and when you're working in those infantile stages trying to build a clientele and revenues, every little bit counts.