Every business wants to increase their bottom line. Increasing revenue is one way to accomplish this goal, but cutting back on expenses is another effective way to reach this goal. Office expenses can easily put a dent in your profits. Here are six ways to save money on them.
1. Evaluate Your Office Technology
What type of technology are you using in your office? Is it outdated? Are there free or less expensive options available?
If you pay for an office instant messaging service, you might consider switching to Skype accounts. Take a look at underused or redundant software that may be either consolidated or eliminated completely.
2. Stock Office Supplies Thoughtfully
Shop smarter when buying your office supplies. Buying in bulk may help you take advantage of discounts, but think carefully about whether you really need 60 packages of folders (or such a large amount of any product you buy in bulk).
To better manage your , set up a consistent purchase schedule. A purchasing schedule will help you combine multiple purchases and get a better deal on shipping. It will also give you a chance to research discounts on products you need.
Keep inventory of your supplies, and estimate how much you'll need of each item. This way, you can ensure you have enough stock until your next purchase and you're never over-stocked. Consider storing all of your supplies in one central location instead of being scattered across the office. This will make it easier to keep track of your inventory.
Buying just enough stock will save you money in the long run and keep you from having to store more than you need.
3. Reevaluate Discretionary Spending
Nearly every business has discretionary spending, and in many cases, some of these expenses can be reduced or eliminated.
Take a look at these expenses and pinpoint areas where you can cut back or eliminate costs. If you have an office TV, you might consider cutting cable and using a free video streaming instead. Maybe you have magazine subscriptions for clients waiting in the waiting room. If these magazines never get used, this is another area you can cut back in.
4. Consider Bartering for Services and Products
If your schedule allows, consider trading your products or services for another company's offerings. While may not be the way to handle every client, it is an option if there's something your company needs.
When bartering, make sure that you're getting a fair value for what you're offering. Consider the cost of giving it away for free or what you would make if you sold the service or product. The deal must be worth your while.
5. Shift Your Financial Focus
Start by making credit comparisons. If you use credit cards to purchase office supplies, take the time to compare interest rates if you carry a balance every month. If you pay your balances in full, it's better to look for a card that doesn't have an annual fee and offers a longer grace period.
Also, avoid cash advances. Credit card companies often charge an upfront fee, which can cost as much as 2% of the advance. Interest on advances accrues immediately.
6. Go Digital
Do you still store hard copies of everything in your office? If so, you might consider going digital. Doing so will save you money on paper and ink – and filing cabinets. Going this route may ultimately save you more than any other tip on this list.
Copies of documents can now be stored on USB drives and the cloud for easy access on-the-go. Digital data can also be backed up for added security and safety.
Of course, not every document can be digitized. You will need to keep hard copies of some essential documents, such as insurance documents, employee records, safety reports and other critical business documents.
Most other documents can be digitized, which will save you money on ink, paper and wear on your office equipment.