The current austere climate has made it imperative for small businesses to tighten their purse strings, If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are a few ways you can save money in your business: Find Low-Cost Alternatives to Traditional Advertising Traditional advertising like print and TV often is a massive expense. Thanks to the arrival of social media on the scene, the onus of advertising has shifted to the Internet. Public relations are also a cheaper option to advertising. Getting featured in credible print or online publications can go a long way in cementing your position in your industry. Using smart SEO and social media marketing techniques also comes in handy for promoting your company at a fraction of your original advertising cost. Guerrilla marketing is also a handy tool for promotion and has off late caught the fancy of many small businesses. Plan Your Taxes Being a business owner is vastly different from being an employee where you get your income with the taxes already deducted. If you do not set aside money to pay your taxes, you are liable to get slapped with a hefty tax bill and penalties at the end of the year. An online savings account is an effective way to save money for making quarterly tax payments to the government. Knowing the kinds of tax breaks and deductions you can make will save you a lot of money. Hire an efficient accountant to do your taxes, if you are unable to do them yourself, and advice you on how you can save money. Go Paperless You must have heard it a thousand times before, but it merits repeating. It is easier, faster and more efficient to organize digital files than store paper files. It takes up less square footage and saves you money. Printing less will also put a dent in your costs. Shift your mailing campaign to email. Keep Virtual Employees While this may not be applicable in every business scenario, outsourcing does help cut on employee cost significantly. Keeping things virtual allows for you to operate remotely while also saving on the cost of investing in an office space and equipment. Without ongoing operating costs, the business owner can effectively focus on producing work with minimum overhead. Keeping fulltime employee costs down can greatly help push your overall costs down and increase profitability. Keep Your Vendors Happy You can save a lot of money if your vendor believes that you are loyal to him. If you have a long standing relationship with a vendor, chances are you will be able to negotiate a lower price. If you are just starting out, establish a good relationship with your vendors. Make sure that the vendor always has only one point of contact in the office; it could be you or one of your employees. Hire a Smart, Young Team Every business needs experienced individuals to ensure quality work keeps happening. But if you are starting out, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to invest in smart, inexperienced graduates who are desirous of learning the ropes. Their entry-level salaries are far lower than those of experienced professionals and they bring a fresh energy to the proceedings with their openness to learn. Use the Cloud Many small business owners recommend using cloud-based services for accounting, project management etc. to increase efficiency and keep a check on costs. This will help you avoid long cumbersome paper trails while saving you a lot of money on hardware. There are a multitude of such systems available on open source to make sure your business runs with minimal managerial expenses. Get Interns One of the best things about a slow economy is that every kid hoping to land a steady job on graduation is volunteering for internships. Hire a bunch of interns every year. Instead of delegating too much work to them give them responsibilities that are directly reportable to you. Most of your social media marketing can be handled by such interns. Manage Employee Spending When issuing credit cards to employees make sure you have pre-set limits and alerts to monitor your monthly spending. This can help curb employees from overspending on their company card while saving the business owner money. Create Marketing Partnerships Barter is not dead yet. Partner with other start-ups to cut costs and increase cross-promotional opportunities. Partners in similar industries can support each other in terms of promotion, branding as well as lead generation. Tweak Your Service/Product for Your Audience Knowing what your customers prefer, how they respond to it, and how much they will spend on it will help you design your product or service with minimal redundant expenses. This will not only save you money initially, but also on a regular basis as your product or service rolls out. Buy in Bulk Collateral like printer cartridges, paper, letterheads etc. should be purchased in bulk. This helps the vendor give you the best rates. Analyze ongoing expenses and pinpoint the ones purchased from middle-men suppliers and try getting to the wholesale dealer next time. Ultimately it is the small things that add up in saving your business a huge sum. Whether you are a start-up or an existing business, the economic environment requires you to do whatever in your power to look for ways to save money. The old adage, a penny saved is a penny earned, never rang truer. So, implement these small but efficient cost-saving measures in your business to stay afloat in these turbulent times. 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