The start of a new year is a great time to reassess your business, scrutinizing everything from organizational structure to personnel policies to advertising. Putting company costs under a microscope can also pay huge dividends throughout the year if expense-cutting measures are implemented judiciously and consistently. Here are a few ideas for reducing costs and fortifying your bottom line.
- Buy in bulk. For some items, such as printer ink and other office supplies that your staff regularly consumes, buy in quantity. By renegotiating supplier contracts, you may be able to generate additional discounts.
- Trim travel costs. For some business activities, travel is unavoidable. There’s nothing like a face-to-face meeting to clinch a deal or size up a vendor. When you or your staff must travel, check for discounted fares, opt for a smaller rental car, or stay at a hotel that’s closer to the work site. Consider taking some of the work home to reduce travel time.
- Review insurance policies. It doesn’t hurt to reassess your insurance needs on a regular basis. Circumstances and insurance companies change. The policy you bought five years ago may not be competitive today. Your company may be carrying coverage you don’t need. Discuss existing arrangements with your agent. You may be eligible for trade association discounts or an umbrella policy.
- Examine the lease. Do the terms of your lease still make sense? Landlords like to keep good tenants, so don your negotiating hat and look for ways to revise lease terms to make them more favorable to your company. If you own a building but don’t use the entire space, consider subletting to another business to generate additional revenue.
- Take stock of existing technology. An expensive inter-office phone system may have become an expensive luxury, especially if all your employees use cell phones. Laptop computers expend significantly less energy than desktop models, so using laptops may make fiscal sense in the long run.
- Turn out the lights. Utilities are often one of the largest expenses on a company’s profit and loss statement. Install motion sensor lights to reduce costs. And solicit staff suggestions for additional savings.