Keep Up to Date on These 7 Money-Saving Tips for Your BusinessAlice Witherow, Director of Marketing & Business Development DocuSend, powered by MTI
Technology continues to change at a fast pace, so it’s in your best interest to take a couple of hours out of your week at least once a year and look at your SMB expenses. Services or products that you didn’t dream about even a year ago might now be available, and it just makes good business sense to stay current with what’s out there to help you reduce operating costs.
1. Review your internet and phone plans. You might be able to switch to VoIP for your phone service or get a better deal on internet. Start by looking at your existing service and then go online to see what other providers are offering. Once you’ve rounded up some good deals, you can contact your existing provider to see what they’ll do to keep you as a customer. Competition is fierce, so most likely they’ll toss you a bone to keep your business. If you have a second phone line for faxes, review your fax activity and consider eliminating that line.
2. Look at your health care policies. Switching to higher deductible plans might save both you and your employees some money. If you’re a member of your local business chamber, you might be able to work with them to provide more cost-effective health care plans. There’s savings in numbers.
3. Check out your utility bills and look at how you can reduce electricity and gas usage. Installing automatic light switches means that the lights go off when no one is in the room. No sense leaving lights on in a conference room or bathroom if no one is in there. And just as you might have a programmable thermostat at home, it makes sense to have one at your business. Or consider a utility broker where you can lock in lower rates.
4. Consider cloud-based services for IT-related functions as well as for services such as accounting software. Not only will you save money, you just might increase security and not have to worry about data failures. An efficient accounting system is worth its weight in gold and even more so when you find apps that streamline cumbersome tasks.
5. Evaluate your insurance policies to make sure you have not only the right type of coverage, but also the right amount. Policies can run the gamut from insurance on buildings and equipment to liability, cybersecurity and key-person insurance. You may be able to consolidate policies to save money. Or look into increasing deductibles to lower the cost.
6. Assess your retirement plans and consider automating or outsourcing those tasks. Automation means you’re saving a valuable resource: time – time to do other things within your business and with your staff. And automating can also save you money when you factor in the cost you’re spending on labor and materials. Outsourcing is also a good tool when your staff doesn’t have the expertise to manage a task or project.
7. Evaluate your manual processes and consider automating or outsourcing those tasks. Automation means you’re saving a valuable resource: time – time to do other things within your business and with your staff. And automating can also save you money when you factor in the cost you’re spending on labor and materials. Outsourcing is also a good tool when your staff doesn’t have the expertise to manage a task or project.
If your time is limited, one of the best resources to accomplish the review of your expenses listed above (1-6) is to use a Third Party Administrator (TPA) or a broker. TPAs will typically handle administrative duties for companies that don’t have the expertise or resources to manage them internally. A broker is a dealer who buys or sells goods and assets and may represent multiple companies. You will find that these subject matter experts can do the comparison shopping for you and make recommendations without you having to spend hours doing the research yourself.
Odds are, whichever route you take for your annual operating expense review – conducting it yourself or outsourcing it – you’ll most likely come out ahead financially. You’ll not only save money and maybe get better services for your dollar, but you’ll also have peace of mind, knowing that your business is running efficiently and you’re covered in all the right areas. Now just get it done! It’s worth your time and effort.