By David Wither

5 Ways Your Small Business Can Save Money in 2017

  • If you’re a small business owner, you know how high costs can be when it comes to running your business. From the challenge of getting a small business loan, to the danger of failing because of cash flow problems, it’s a lot of pressure to run a small business successfully. Which is why it’s so important to save money any way you can: it counts for a lot in the long run.

    Whether it’s getting more customers for your online business, or getting the right deductions on your tax return, there are many surprising, easy ways your small business can save money. Here’s how:

    1 Get the right tax write offs

    Sure, taxes can be scary. But if you do them right, they can save you a lot of money--after all, most of your business expenses can be written off. Whether you’re working with an accountant or on your own, there are some great strategies. David Wither, writer for Selz, recommends: home improvements (the percentage of the part of your house where your business is located), mileage tracked while driving around for business, services related to your business (software or cell phone, for example), health insurance, and any equipment you buy.

    When it comes to this last part--the equipment you buy--remember that you can write these items off immediately (using the Section 179 deduction) or choose to deduct them over time. For more information on Section 179 and how it works, check out this article.

    2 Use smart technology

    There are lots of ways you can use technology to amplify your customer base. According to Entrepreneur.com, some smart ways to do this include automating complex processes such as accounting and invoicing, moving your IT infrastructure to the cloud (instead of spending too much money on computing), using free apps and tools instead of paid ones, and investing in green technology. It’s also a good idea to get creative--for example, using AI for sales instead of paying a whole team of employees.

    Remember: you can always save a lot on social media, too. Signing up for your company’s Twitter or Facebook page? Well, that doesn’t cost anything at all, so especially if you’re just starting out, you can focus on creating content and posting it as much as possible.

    3 Work with other small businesses

    Another great idea for saving some money is splitting costs with other small businesses. For example, if you’re paying to advertise or promote your product, you can team up with another business and pay for it together. Usually, small businesses serve local customers--so engaging with this audience is a very crucial tool for expanding your customer base. For this same reason, it’s a good idea to collaborate with sponsors as well, because both of your businesses will benefit from the advertising.

    For more information on how to find the right external business partner, and how to work together once you’ve found one, read this article from The Telegraph.

    4 Be smart about office supplies

    It’s exciting to start a small business--but some of that excitement can quickly disappear if all your costs are going toward new office furniture and costs that add up like ink cartridges. According to Entrepreneur.com, you can save on plenty of office supplies and expenses: buying recycled printer cartridges, filling out free forms available online instead of buying them, getting free software through sites like Download.com, and buying used equipment from nationwide chains, auctions, and newspaper classifieds.

    It’s all about doing your research. Check out these great tips from The Balance on how to save with reward savings cards, online shopping, and even free stores.

    5 Save on insurance

    Small business insurance can be extraordinarily expensive--but unfortunately, it’s required for any business, because there’s so much risk involved in running one. So how can you save money on it?

    It’s all about knowing, first of all, what insurance is required: if you have employees, you most certainly need workers’ compensation, unemployment, and sometimes even disability insurance, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. You’ll also want to decide what additional insurance is best for you--it’s going to be vastly different for a shipping business than a restaurant--and you’ll also want to look for discount opportunities, especially for small businesses.

    Feeling a bit lost? Another option is hiring an agent to do the work for you, which can be worth the investment if they’ve got good reviews. And even though it’s a bit of extra work, make sure to review and update your insurance every year--just because it was a good deal this time around doesn’t mean that it will be in the future.

    As you can see, there are many ways for small businesses to save money. However much of a challenge it can be to succeed, these tips are sure to help you out.

    How does your small business save money? What tips do you have?