So cash flow is a little tight, eh?
True Story: When I was a younger man, my girlfriend had a boss that was so cheap that she had to re-roll the adding machine tape (unprinted side out) and reuse it.
Here are a few clever ideas to help you trim a little bit more without the moral weight (and insurance increase) of setting anyone free.
- OUTSOURCE: Bring in freelancers or contractors for short-term jobs. You won't have to pay a full-time salary with benefits. Added benefit: freeing up billable time for your team.
- INVOICE BY EMAIL: Consider sending your invoices digitally. This is huge! It saves stuffing time, postage, stationary & your expensive custom envelopes.
- PRINT 2 SIDED IN IN BLACK & WHITE: In 2015, it’s also the responsible thing to do. Most printers have a setting to make this easy. Save money & save the planet.
- NEGOTIATE LOWER CREDIT CARD APR: Many small business owners use credit cards for working capital, minor purchases or travel expenses. If you're paying a high annual percentage rate, try to negotiate a lower rate with your provider.
- NEGOTIATE ADDITIONAL DISCOUNTS FROM VENDORS: Chances are, this is the first thing that you have done. Have you thought about using a company credit card to pay the vendors sooner in return for an extra 3% discount? They may be thrilled. Choose a credit card that earns travel points. Now your flights are free just for doing smart business.
- BUY USED EQUIPMENT: Used equipment can be just as useful as new equipment, but even at a few months old, these products will come at a significantly lower price. Think forklifts, MFP printers, phone systems & office furniture.
- GPS & MAPPING SOFTWARE FOR YOUR TRUCKS: It is much cheaper than you think. You plug in the addresses and the software will find the shortest or fastest route. You can also see the location & idle of each vehicle in real time. Yes. Seriously.
- SKYPE or FACETIME: Travel costs are reduced and digital meetings are acceptable and pretty cool.
- HIRE INTERNS: They get valuable experience (and a reference) and you enjoy low-cost labor. However, interns will require training on your software & procedures. Keep this in mind when weighing costs vs benefits.
- LET EMPLOYEES WORK AWAY FROM THE OFFICE: This is a stretch for many business owners but technology allows it seamlessly today. On a scale of employee happiness, this is off the charts. Just one day per week will show cost savings on your electricity & water bill.