27 Simple Ways to Cut Your Business Costs

27 Cost-Cutting Tips for Small Businesses and Startups

Saving money as a small business can be tricky, especially for startups when money might be tight. Here are some money-saving tips to help you trim costs and increase efficiency:

In this list, we will cover:

  • Nearly-universal tips
  • Office and home business-related tips
  • For those outside the U.S.

No matter your industry or location, you can apply most of this advice and tailor it to your needs.

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1. Go green

Greening your space saves money. The more energy-efficient your space is, the lower your utility costs will be. Consider using LED bulbs, visit Energy Star for more information.

2. Use open source and cloud computing

Instead of expensive office software and servers, switch to open source or cloud vendors, like Google, at a fraction of the cost.

3. Use generic brand goods

Buy generic (or own-brand) goods for your business. The product is the same, even if the packaging isn’t as pretty.

4. Sponsor community events

Join with another business to sponsor events. It shares resources, lowers costs, and generates more press coverage.

5. Barter with other businesses

Consider bartering goods or services with other businesses. Make sure the trade benefits both parties.

6. Cut down on meetings

Reduce the number of meetings to save money. Evaluate the cost and benefits, and send information ahead of time for feedback.

7. Hire capable employees with little work experience

Consider hiring employees with little work experience. They often have lower salary expectations and can bring fresh perspectives.

8. Allow employees fewer hours

Offer part-time or reduced work weeks to employees who want or need them. It saves on full-time wages without losing valuable team members.

9. Retain your best employees

Keep your high-performing employees by understanding their goals and providing opportunities for growth.

10. Consider outsourcing or contracting

Outsource smaller tasks or contract work when needed. It saves on hiring costs while getting the job done.

11. Review operating expenses

Review your operating expenses regularly. Look for opportunities to save on simple things like coffee, maintenance, and supplies.

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12. Set a budget, forecast your sales, and review regularly

Create an expense budget and sales forecast for better financial insight. Regularly review your spending and sales to make adjustments.

13. DIY marketing and PR

Learn marketing and PR strategies for your industry and promote your business yourself. Hiring a PR firm can be expensive.

14. Minimize inventory and supply chain costs

Reduce costs by optimizing your inventory and supply chain. Avoid holding excess inventory or running out of stock.

15. “When in doubt, go without”

Think twice before making unnecessary purchases. Use what you have until you’re certain you need something else.

16. Join a trade association

Access industry research and potential deals for bulk discounts or lower insurance rates.

17. Stay on top of accounts payable and financial statements

Promptly pay bills to avoid late fees. Monitor your accounts receivable to maintain cash flow.

18. Ask for a discount

Ask vendors for promotional offers or rates. Sometimes simply asking can save you money.

19. Invest in new technology

Use technology to automate tasks and increase efficiency. Identify areas where new technology can save time and money.

20. Go paperless, as much as possible

Reduce paper usage and invest in tablets or digital solutions. Print only when necessary.

21. Recycle

Recycle items like printer cartridges, cans, and bottles. Some items can even earn you money or be tax write-offs.

22. Buy used office equipment and furniture

Purchase used office equipment and furniture to cut costs. Look for deals on platforms like Craigslist, eBay, or at yard sales.

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23. Consider a shorter lease

Opt for shorter duration leases for flexibility and cost savings. Upgrade as your cash flow supports it.

24. Share an office or use a coworking option

Share office space with another business or consider coworking spaces. Save on rent and other associated costs.

25. Remember your tax write-offs, especially if you’re a home business

Keep track of tax deductions and consult a professional. Plan ahead and take advantage of write-offs.

Outside the U.S.

For readers outside the U.S., here are a few country-specific money-saving tips:

26. Train travel

If you frequently travel by train in the UK, purchase discounted bulk tickets and inquire about partial refunds for delays.

27. Use price comparison websites

Use price comparison websites to find the cheapest options for business travel and other expenses.

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