5 Easy Ways for Small Businesses to Cut Costs

Every penny counts, so get lean and mean. 

Every small business owner knows that costs are easier to
control than revenue—and that’s especially important for startups, who can run
up quite a bill while they’re waiting for things to take off. Here are a few
ways you can boost profits and power through lean times, no matter what niche
you serve.

1. Think used

Depending on the type of business you operate, you might be
able to incorporate used items into your office or store to save money. Light
fixtures, furniture, art, desks, computers and more can all be had for
significantly less than retail if you do some Craigslist hunting. Don’t be
afraid to repurpose industrial equipment that local companies might want to throw
away, as it comes cheap and you get that cool ‘industrial’ design
to your business. Be sure to test used electronics before purchasing—but a
little extra time can save you a lot of money, particularly in the beginning
when it matters most.

2. Move to the

How much are you spending on printing out and distributing
office memos? How often do you upgrade your version of Office or the Adobe
Master Collection
? Google offers great ways for companies to share ideas and
create documents for free with their Google Docs collection. Adobe and many of
software distributors offer low cost cloud-based services that require a very
low monthly fee which can save you from having to spend hundreds on upgrades
every year. Cloud storage solutions are also becoming more affordable and
reliable; Google Drive, Drop Box and Microsoft all have
great solutions which are all cheaper than buying multiple hard drives.

3. Be energy efficient

You don’t need to be moving into a new space to enjoy the
savings from implementing energy efficient devices into your office. Start by
considering new lighting solutions like CFL’s LED’s or even energy efficient
tungsten bulbs. Unblock windows and utilize skylights if available. Not only do
windows help save on lighting costs all that natural light can help make your
employees happier. Instead of turning on the heater for the whole office,
invest in some energy efficient electric heaters
for the areas where it gets coldest. Hook up all electronics to smart power
strips that automatically shut off all power once the day is over and everyone
is gone.

4. Shop around

Let your office supply vendors know that you will be
shopping around to find the best deals and prices on the products you use the
most. Then do it. Online retailers like Amazon and Wal-Mart
offer great prices on bulk items and often will ship free to your store or
office. If you really like your vendors, offer them the option to price match or
to offer you other services to make up the difference in cost. Do this with
your internet, cable/satellite, and phone services yearly to ensure you’re
receiving the best rates available in your area.

5. Rethink your location

Are you absolutely sure your location is best suited to your
needs? Restaurants and some stores might be hard-pressed to move elsewhere, but
you should still consider the cost benefits especially if you have a loyal
clientele willing to go to another location. While you’re at it, you should
consider allowing as many of your employees as possible to telecommute. By
doing this and utilizing free Google services like Google Voice/Talk, Docs and
Drive you can reduce the amount of space you need in an office, how much energy
you have to pay for, and how much you have to spend on electronics.

Aimee Watts is a staff
writer for
Mobile Moo. She has spent
ten years telecommuting full-time, and loves spreading tips and advice for
fellow work-at-home parents. She loves gadgets, new ideas, and skiing with her
two favorite people: her husband and teenage son. They live in Evergreen,