When it comes to managing a small or medium-sized business, using the right tools and tips to stay on budget and increase efficiency is vital to staying financially afloat.
Here are six simple tips that will allow small-business owners to not just break even, but to actually save a few bucks; money that can be reinvested in their business.
1. Go paperless.
Large U.S. corporations typically spend up to 70 cents to $1 to print, collate and mail every bill and statement, bringing the annual cost for banks, utility providers and other service providers to send paper mail to more than $30 billion. Though smaller businesses don't have the same budget that larger companies do, the paper costs for smaller-scale operations add up, as well.
You can lower a wide range of costs by moving all of your account documents online, which will allow you to manage them on either your desktop, mobile or tablet devices. Plus, consider eliminating paper mail for your customers and instead send mail electronically.
This will not only cut costs for you, but it has immeasurable impacts on the environment and on your level of daily efficiency.
2. Manage employee spending.
Set guidelines and limits on how much your employees can spend on various company costs or business credit cards. Closely monitor their monthly spending reports to ensure they're not misusing or abusing company card privileges.
3. Take advantage of online stores.
Online auction and e-commerce sites, such as eBay, Yahoo! Auctions and Amazon.com, are great places to start when it comes to selling merchandise online. This will allow you to hold off on paying a web designer or developer to produce an e-commerce site, which could cost you big bucks if you're not careful.
4. Don't buy equipment - lease it.
Renting equipment is oftentimes much cheaper than buying it. You won't only save money in the initial costs when it comes to making the purchase, but you'll also save money in maintenance (repairs and upgrades can often cost you a small fortune).
5. Market your customer testimonials.
Spread the word about positive feedback you've received from your customers. Whether you're talking about it briefly in passing or in a formal presentation, consumers love to hear about services that other people like, which could lead to more business for you.
6. Bundle your services.
When it comes to paying for utilities, go with the bundled options that most service providers offer-it could save you up to hundreds of dollars a year. For example, many cable and Internet companies will offer a combined cable, internet and phone package for a better deal than if you bought each service separately.
Photo credit: savvysugar.com
Sarah Kaufman is the managing editor of the Manilla Blog and money-saving contributor from Manilla.com, the award-winning, free and secure service that lets consumers and small-business owners manage their bills and accounts in one place. Manilla has free, 4+ star customer-rated mobile apps for the iPhone and Android so that you can manage your accounts on the go. For more information about how to stretch your company's wallet, visit the Manilla Blog.