As the economy continues to limp along, frugality has quickly become the status quo- among consumers and business alike. According to a recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), weak sales remain a top small business concern, and this comes in the midst of inflationary pressures and chronic economic uncertainty. Most small business owners can identify with these issues; knowing where and when to conserve resources and reduce costs in your small business can make the difference between survival and failure these challening economic times.
The following are three, relatively easy ways to save money in your business that you may not be aware of.
If your business relies on having the latest technology and devices, then just keeping your business equipped can put a big strain on your operating budget. Aside from the likes of eBay and Craigslist, there are many sites that exclusively buy and sell used electronic goods or offer buy-back programs for electronic devices. Some examples include: TechForward, DigiCircle, or Gazelle
If you need an outside location for your business, then you may have many frugal options to choose from. For office space and/or other office-related services, you could rent a shared office space, join a co-working community, or make use of a business center. For other kinds of commercial properties, entering into a sublease may offer a short-term economical solution. Finally, if you run a retail concept, then you may want to consider opening up a kiosk, a pop-up location, or a mobile unit.
There are many, inexpensive products that can help you lower your business’ electricity, gas, and water bills, such as CFL light bulbs, thermostats, motion sensors, electronic timers, and faucet aerators. Make an investment in Energy Star certified equipment when devices need to be upgraded or replaced. The savings you’ll reap from a reduced electricity bill will make the purchase pay for itself. Moreover, under section 179 of the IRS tax code, you can write off the full cost of most equipment purchases up to $500,000. You could also consider your production cycle to see where you can reduce waste or turn that waste into a usable product.
In short, a little effort can go a long way towards not only preserving your resources, but your profit margins as well.
This guest post is by Adam Gottlieb, a small business owner, freelance writer, and small business consultant with over ten years experience helping small and home-based businesses improve their image, increase sales and better manage their resources (both the animate and inanimate ones). He is currently the owner and senior editor of the The Frugal Entrepreneur Small Business Blog providing frugal business tips, tools, and resources to small and home-based business owners.
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