By Sarah Davis,
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Small businesses are the bread and butter of society. They are what keep communities vibrant and exciting and what keeps the economy going. They are so critical to every community they operate in, and yet they are vulnerable. Small businesses do not have a very high success rate, with many closing down before they ever really get their feet off the ground.

It’s tough when you first start out, especially if you don’t have a significant upfront investment. That is why lowering your overhead costs and finding a way to operate as efficiently as possible is a must.

Reduce Your Utilities

One of the best things that you can do to reduce your running costs and your overhead is to lower your utility bills. There are a few ways to do this:

Start By Switching to the Right Utilities Provider

It can be very difficult to really know the right utility provider, the right plan, and all of the ins and outs of your options. That is why to cut up to 45% of your utility bills you will want to get in touch with Utility Bidder, who you can hire to explore all your utility options based on your energy consumption. It is the best way to choose the right combination of utility providers and is a great way to get your business to start saving money now. Switching providers – and being ready to switch every so many years – is how you can continue to get the best deals regardless of how your business changes.

Make Your Business More Efficient

The second way to reduce your utilities is to invest in simple solutions that make your business more energy efficient. The right lightbulbs, the right appliances, even the right sink head attachments can all work to minimize your energy and water use. If you can, always try to get a smart system installed as well. This way, you can automate many energy-saving tasks. For example, you can have your system turn off your entire office or store at certain times of the day. You can automate and optimize heating and cooling. The result is a more comfortable atmosphere and a reduction in your energy bills.

Set up Automation

Efficiency is an excellent way to reduce your overhead costs. After all, time is money. If you can reduce the amount of time that things take, then you automatically start saving money.

Automation, of course, can do so much more than just this. It can also work to reduce unnecessary spending as well. Every penny saved is a penny earned, especially when that penny can be reinvested or used elsewhere.

There is no point and no gain to wasting money when a simple setup can help you avoid the issue entirely.

It is a myth to assume that small businesses cannot afford automation as well. Sure, you won’t be able to include robotic automation in your business model. Those have high upfront costs and are only useful in cases of large production volumes.

What you can set up, however, is digital automation. The right management programs, particularly if they integrate together, can allow you to set up automated tasks, as well as reporting. This can make payroll easier. It can make inventory easier. It can make customer service easier. Not only that, but if you can set up automation like this, you can also offer personalization. Personalization is a great way to win over loyal customers and to grow your community, and expand with a solid foundation.

What you will need and the programs you will need to do it will differ vastly depending on your field and your business model, but once you find the right ones, automation will be simple.

Collaborate to Reduce Costs

There are so many interesting and innovative ways to reduce your operating costs, your waste costs, and more by collaborating with others. One of the first and possibly best ways to reduce your costs is to band together with other small businesses so that you can collectively save by buying together in bulk. This way, you can get the basic essentials that you need in bulk, and get those discounts that typically only medium or large businesses could afford.

There are many ways to do this, including through companies that make it easy to order together so you can get those discounts from the manufacturer and then have the products shipped separately to each business involved. You can also make individual partnerships. For example, say you have a lot of coffee ground waste. There are new and innovative businesses that are taking coffee ground waste and transforming it into a new product. You can potentially partner with them and earn a small amount on your waste instead of having to pay for the disposal.

You can also collaborate to increase your revenue, so be creative and get in touch with businesses near you to figure out ways to expand your revenue streams and your customer base together.

Audit and Change Suppliers

The world is constantly in flux. It’s a difficult thing to handle, sometimes, but it is true. If you find a great supplier at a great rate, there is no promise it will be like that forever. In fact, it is guaranteed to change. Prices will either go up or the quality will change. That is why it is imperative that you regularly audit through your suppliers (and utility providers, and everyone else you do business with) to make sure that the price and the quality in question are all still acceptable.

It’s also a good idea to shop around. Even if you don’t actually intend to change suppliers, you could potentially get a better deal by making them aware of a competitor. To keep you, they may be willing to give you a discount or a better deal that works best for both of you.

Read on Finimpact

You won’t have this bargaining power or the options without looking and auditing. Do both, and your business will always be working with the best people and even the best tools.

Sarah Davis
Sarah Davis
Sarah Davis is a business executive specializing in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, and international law. She achieved her MBA from Cornell University after completing a legal undergraduate at UC Berkley. Sarah runs her own business consultancy firm in tandem with working alongside the FinImpact team.

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