Most of us have some expenses that are hurting us more than they’re helping us. The truth is, even the shrewdest business owners have some dead weight in their budgets.
But the problem is, most of us pay the bills we have without really examining them. We keep on truckin’, swiping our company debit cards or receiving autopay statements without realizing we could be spending less. This means it’s highly likely we’re paying for additional services or fees that we don’t even need.
I propose that it’s time to tap the brakes, look at your spending objectively, and see if you can recover money by cutting costs. Here are some common expenditures that you may either be able to re-negotiate or live without.
Now this is not an expense to cut altogether! It’s a non-negotiable. However, the fine print is most certainly negotiable. Contact a local agent if you don’t have one already, and work together to figure out exactly what coverage you need – and what you don’t need. Then, ask your agent to shop policy prices among providers.
Chances are, you’re being charged recurring fees for software or application subscriptions. See if there is a free version of any of these services. Obviously the free version won’t be identical to what you use currently, but perhaps you can do without the alternative or find a workaround that won’t slow your efficiency enough to matter.
When was the last time you reviewed your phone, cable, or internet bills? Prices for these services are rarely fixed. Call your providers to negotiate for the services you need and to have the rest removed from your monthly statements.
Are you getting the best deals available for overhead costs like office maintenance and cleaning? Heck, does the size and location of your office even make sense for your needs? You can pocket more cash if you opt for a smaller, less flashy, or more convenient office space.
Purchasing supplies in bulk usually results in a price cut per item, so whether it’s paper or coffee, buy in larger quantities. Also wait for sales so you can stock up on items you know you’ll use later. Some websites allow you to request email alerts when certain products go on sale, which helps ensure you’re paying the best price.
Once a quarter or so, it’s a good idea to look – literally – line by line through your expenses. See if you’re truly getting the ROI you desire for what you’re paying for, and eliminate the fluff you don’t need. Some areas to pay special attention to:
Look at each cost related to advertising. These expenditures include paid print, online or social media ads, website hosting fees, signage, and more. Examine the ROI for each marketing purchase, and re-strategize to hone in on the avenues that result in the most conversions.
Look at your contracts with all current vendors. See if there is room to negotiate terms, like a reduced monthly fee for an extended contract, or a “bundling” option where you lump several services or products together for a set fee. Everything is negotiable, and you don’t know until you ask! An alternative is to shop for a less expensive vendor altogether.
The process of cutting expenses – calling to negotiate bills, unsubscribing from services, shopping for deals – may not be fun, but trust me. You’ll be thrilled when you see how much cash you can recoup by cutting your costs.
If you want another set of eyes to look at your expenses and determine what’s wise, give me a call. I love seeing clients spend (and save!) wisely.