[Today’s article was written by freelance writer and blogger, Zoe Maldonado.]
For any business, waste is a profit killer. This is especially true for small businesses. The easiest way to cut overhead is to reduce staff to a level that is needed to meet current needs of your market. When you have already done this and still need to find more savings, what can you do?
Here are four ideas that can help you save more money in overhead than you might imagine.
Cut Overhead in the Cloud
Many companies—small, medium, and large—have resisted the move to cloud computing. Perhaps this is due to the large investment they have already made in equipment and training for their current departments and personnel. However, when the need to cut costs arises, utilizing cloud technology is not only very cost effective; but businesses that invest in multi-tenant cloud platforms produce considerably less carbon than businesses maintaining similar computing resources in-house.
For example, computer hardware costs are cut substantially because storage devices and data backup systems do not need to be purchased or maintained on premises. You can cut the number of expensive desktop computers to a minimum, which can also be replaced with laptops or tablets. You can also save money by letting some employees work from home a few days a week.
Utilize Business Programs
Business programs such as financial software and customer service applications can be rented on an annual basis with predictable monthly pricing, making that cost a deductible business expense.
Information technology management positions can be cut or almost totally eliminated because many of those duties are covered by the company that maintains the cloud in which you participate.
Employees are more efficient because there is less down time for software upgrades and hardware maintenance.
Use One Wireless Networked Printer/Scanner/Fax Machine
You can eliminate the need for more than one printer, scanner, or fax machine. The entire company can share—seamlessly—just one machine to do all those things. Imagine the savings in hardware, ink, and maintenance costs. Imagine an office with no cables needed between your computers and one printing station. Even better, why not go paperless in the office?
Consolidate Internal Functions Wherever Possible
Wherever possible, consolidate vendors and services that you use to support your operation. Let all previous vendors know you will be selecting one company in each area to continue working with your company. Give them your business expectations for the short, medium, and long term future and for their best pricing on the products or services they have been providing for you. You can consolidate these types of vendors.
- Insurance providers
- Bank Accounts (if possible)
- Office Supply and other Material Vendors
These are just some of the ways that a small business can cut their overhead. Think outside the box and be creative. When times are tough in business it is time to switch to survival mode. Creativity is the only way to sail through the storm.
Zoe Maldonado is a freelance writer and blogger for TechBreach who enjoys writing about all things mobile and electronic and spending time with her very active twin boys.