Running a small business carries with it many obvious expenses such as paying your employees, sourcing your products, and paying rent on the building that you operate out of. That said, there are many other smaller expenses that can sneak up on you, and really add up if you allow them to go unchecked. Let’s take a look at five ways that you can manage these less obvious small business expenses, and run your business more efficiently as a result.
Paper Shredding The Smart Way
Regardless of the kind of business you run, you likely have documents that need to be shredded. In some cases, just doing it yourself is the most cost-effective method, however, this isn’t always the case.
If you operate out of a larger office with multiple departments, leaving paper shredding in the hands of your employees themselves can be a bad idea for a multitude of reasons. Instead, you can hire a professional paper shredding company to handle the task for you.
While this may seem like an added cost up front, remember that you’re saving on the need to purchase and replace paper shredders, and your liability insurance may be less since you’re leaving this critical security task in the hands of professionals.
Lower Your Taxes
Being realistic, the taxes you pay in association with your business are really just another expense. And like most of your expenses, can be mitigated if you’re smart about it. The key to lowering your taxes is to first understand them, but unfortunately, tax laws can be incredibly complex.
To really get a handle on the situation, and bring down your taxes owed as a result, you’ll want to hire someone who’s an expert in business tax codes. These individuals and firms specialize in helping you pay as little in taxes as legally possible. This can be through finding new expenses that can be deducted, or by finding specific rules, regulations, and loopholes that apply to your business.
Review Your Insurance Policies
When you take out an insurance policy for your business, it is based on a very specific set of circumstances and criteria. As with most things in life, these circumstances change over the months and years, meaning that what defined your policy when you purchased it, may no longer apply. By evaluating your policy regularly, and especially when it comes time to renew it, you can in many cases negotiate lower rates.
For example, let’s say you’re renting out property that you own, and have purchased landlord insurance at a specific rate. If your latest renters have damaged your property, lowering its value, you should be able to use that as leverage to get a lower rate when you renew your contract with your insurance company.
Little Expenses Add Up
Sure the big expense in your business may be the ones that get the most attention, but don’t overlook the little ones, they are the ones that will add up, and drain capital that could be used more productively. Take a look at all of your little expenses, and see how you can work to lower them. The capital that you save can then be used to take your business to the next level.
Avoid Using Credit
Most businesses use credit one way or another when needed, but this can be a very nasty hidden expense that can come back to bite you. As you know, when you purchase something using credit, you are ultimately paying more than you normally would thank interest. And while some interest rates may seem reasonable, ultimately you’re really just paying more than you should.
Avoiding credit isn’t always easy, but it is best to try and limit the use of credit to things that are absolutely essential that you just can’t afford at the time. The best strategy here is to plan your budget wisely, and operate your business within your means, letting it grow organically. Sure, emergencies may arise, or even big opportunities that demand the use of credit, but just be aware that credit is always an extra expense on your part.
Outsource Cloud Computing
One expense that can really get out of control is your office computer network. This is especially if you’re running your own server, and backing up your own data. The reason this is can become such a huge expense is because of how fast equipment becomes outdated these days. This promotes the need to constantly replace obsolete technology, and of course, there will be installation fees on top of it all.
To mitigate this cost, consider outsourcing your network computing needs to a third party instead of trying to do it in-house. This is called cloud computing, and it has a variety of benefits, including ultra-secure data storage, and the ability for your employees to access the cloud from anywhere there is an Internet connection, improving productivity.