It is important for every business owner big or small to look for ways to save money. During the last recession, many employees lost their jobs, credit dried up for small businesses and many businesses were forced to close. It’s always smart to utilize different ways to save money and save it for your business during a time of hardship.
The following are some ideas that will save your small business money. Since energy costs are a large portion of small business expenses, we will begin with those.
Ideas to Save Energy –
If you have a commercial building, one of the best ways to save money is to install fiberglass insulation. That will keep your conditioned space cool in summer and warm in winter. Fiberglass insulation is economical.
Seal all seams in your building with silicone caulk. Important spots to seal have openings that allow outside air and include around window and door frames and at the corners of the building.
You can buy small foam pieces that insulate behind your light switches and electrical plugs.
Ensure that all windows and doors stay closed as much as possible when the air conditioning or heating systems are in use.
If you are in a cold climate, you may need storm windows and doors to help save energy in the winter.
All of these ideas keep the conditioned air in and do not allow the outside air entry, saving money on energy bills.
Ideas to Be Energy Efficient –
Set the temperature to 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and 72 degrees in the summer. Our bodies adapt to cooler temperatures in the winter and warmer in the summer. This little difference in temperature setting will save money but keep everyone comfortable. There is nothing wrong with wearing a sweater at the office.
Turn off or reduce the air conditioning or heating when there is no-one working in the office. You will have to think about sensitive machinery, electronics or your water pipes as to how little heating you can get away with in the winter. An automatic thermostat can set the office to be just the right temperature when everyone arrives in the morning.
The same goes for computers and other electronics that do not need to be on when no-one is working. Many businesses leave unneeded computers powered on when no-one is there.
If you have cheaper electricity costs in your area, consider if it is more economical to lower the furnace just a bit more and allow employees to use individual space heaters in their cubicles or work areas.
Consider a Switch Away from Traditional Advertising –
If in your industry customers find suppliers mostly on the internet these days, then it may not be cost effective any longer to pay for traditional advertising, like television, radio or print. Consider a strong website presence, a blog and other SEO techniques to drive your company to the first page of the Google search.
Consider Bartering –
Symbiotic bartering can help the bottom line of two cash-strapped companies at the same time.
Consider Telecommuting –
You can save space and even more energy outlay if you allow employees to telecommute, where appropriate and reasonable.
Reduce Maintenance Costs –
One school district reduced maintenance costs by having each staff member, despite their rank, throw out their own trash can and wipe their own desk at the end of the work day. Then, maybe the cleaning crew only needs to visit you once a week.
Purchase Used Equipment
Downsize Space –
Do you really need a full-sized retail location or would a kiosk do?
Save on Insurance –
Besides getting more bids, another cost-cutting idea for insurance expenses is to simply increase your deductibles.
Find a Better Interest Rate on Business Credit Cards –
The average business credit card rate is now around 15 percent. See if you can use a zero-interest, balance transfer card and pay off any balance within the 12 to 18 month trial period.
Pay Employees to Provide Cost-Saving Ideas –
Your employees likely have great ways to eliminate waste and extra expense. Why not pay them a portion of the cost savings for the first year of use of their best ideas?
All of these cost-saving ideas are far better options than having to resort to letting great employees go.