First Steps To Save Your Business Money in the Long Term
When you’re starting a business, there are many things you need to get set up and the cost can add up quickly. With a limited budget, every little bit of your savings counts, especially for recurring operational expenses, a small reduction in overhead can add up to a good chunk of change down the road.
Here are a few first steps to set up your business to ensure that you’re operating efficiently and saving money:
The advance of cloud-based computing means you don’t have to invest a large sum of money in software when you’re just getting started.
With the increasing popularity of the “freemium” model offered by many SaaS (software as a service) companies, you can sign up for a free plan or free trial to determine if a software is right for your business before subscribing to the paid plan.
You can also keep the cost down by tracking your usage and adjusting your subscription accordingly so you don’t pay extra for features you don’t need.
2. Phone Line and Conferencing Tools
Gone are the days when you’re stuck with the local phone company and have to pay an arm and a leg for a landline. Your best bet is to use VoIP, which works just like a phone line but transmits data via your internet connection. Since you’d most likely have a high-speed internet connection anyway, you’re not only consolidating your bills but also increasing efficiency and saving money.
VoIP can help you reduce overhead in the long run because:
- You don’t need to install new phone lines as your company grows.
- Your employees can install the VoIP software on their mobile phones as a dedicated “work” line. Some companies even do away with installing phones in the office and simply piggyback on employees’ mobile devices.
- You get all the fixings you can expect from a landline and more: voicemail, caller ID, conferencing (including video conferencing), messaging and call forwarding, as well as unlimited long-distance calling — without paying any extra fees.
- Many of these services also support functions such as screen sharing or hosting presentations for a large audience (e.g. webinar) for a small fee, which makes communicating and collaborating with clients, customers or team members in remote locations very cost-effective.
3. Office Equipment
When you’re starting out, you can consider renting an office in a co-working space (e.g. WeWork) — this allows you to save a lot of overhead because your rent will most likely cover the use of office equipment that you’d normally have to lease or purchase.
If you handle sensitive information and need to have printouts made in your office, you may still need to invest in a printer. Printers are rather inexpensive these days. However, the recurring purchase of ink cartridges can add up quickly. There are a few ways to lower the cost of ink:
- Shop for a printer with a low cost per page
- Print only the materials you need — you don’t need to print out a 40-page document if the only page you need is the last one for a signature
- Tweak your printer setting to save ink by setting “draft mode” as default
- Use remanufactured ink cartridges instead of brand name cartridges
You can also fill out and process paperwork, bills and forms online as much as possible. This will not only save you paper, ink and postage but also streamline your bookkeeping and cut down the time you spend on organizing paperwork in the long term.