Starting a small business is no easy feat. It can be frustrating seeing all the planning and strategy meetings made into a movie montage. If only starting a small business was pointing and smiling at plans, rubbing one’s temples while pouring over a budget sheet and laughing with a coworker when the dog steals someone else’s toolbelt.
As a small business owner, you know that there is plenty of blood, sweat and tears that go into a business. Once you get it off the ground and running, you’re always looking to maximize your profits. As a small business, you offer the hominess and comfort that the big-box stores can’t offer but at the same time, there is no corporate. You are corporate, the manager and CEO.
When it comes to maximizing your profits, what steps can you take to ensure you’re getting the most out of your business? Of course, you can just say “sell more product” or “have people buy more stuff” but you can also cut down on your expenses. Here are five great tips.
Quick, check your pulse. If you have one, that means you are eligible for a Google account that comes with 15 GB of free space. That includes emails, documents, photos, spreadsheets and whatever else.
It’s much cheaper than paying for Microsoft Office for an entire year and you can also share things much easier. Giving access to documents to certain people means that anyone can edit them instead of constantly emailing them back and forth.
In addition, look for open-source software like WordPress where you can design a website instead of paying for website design. It may require a bit of a learning curve but many of the tools are quite easy to use.
Going green is a win-win; not only will you help our environment, but you’ll also be saving yourself money. Make sure you turn off all electricity before leaving for the night and unplug any big electronics that aren’t in use, avoiding the nasty vampire energy.
Make sure your windows and doors are sealed properly so you’re not wasting any precious energy trying to heat the office space. If you can, invest in a smart thermostat to control your office and make the most of your energy options.
Reuse office products and do your best to reduce how much waste you produce.
No, you shouldn’t go to Goodwill to look for a new computer or office desk, but there’s no reason why you can’t purchase second-hand for some items. It’s always tempting to go for the latest and greatest, but constantly going in that direction can be costly.
Look for used furniture or second-tier items if you don’t have to use it often. If you’re a smoothie shop, you’ll probably need the best blenders around but you don’t need the best coffee maker for your employees.
Also, you don’t have to purchase everything you may need. These days, there are plenty of options to rent big office items or equipment. Depending on your industry you can even rent trucks for bigger projects instead of buying them.
If your business doesn’t have an online presence, it’s time to hop online. If your business doesn’t have a social media presence, then you should triple your urgency.
Try to think of someone without some form of social media. At any point, there are millions of people scrolling through their feeds. A great way to get in front of them is by making a social media page for your business.
Making a page is a whopping zero dollars and promoting your page is much cheaper than traditional advertising. You’ll be able to put your business in front of the eyes of many while saving a bundle.
Grab that Comb
You might have been casting a cursory glance at your financial statements, bank statements or credit card reports. Now’s the time to pull out the comb and dig deep.
Just like tracking what you eat while on a diet, you’ll want to track exactly what you’re spending your money on. Of course, you need to pay utilities, rent, office supplies, etc. but what can you live without. Do you need to cater lunch once a week? Do you need to be paying X amount of dollars for software you rarely use?
Could you cut a whole day from your work week and let your employees work from home? Every dollar counts, especially in small business, and you want to make sure you’re maximizing that dollar.