If you’re running a home business, you’ve got a lot on your plate. And if you want to make money at it, you probably have to run it lean: less overhead, more income. Since you rely on its revenue for financial support, you’re always worried about business costs and looking for ways to reduce them.
No business owner wants to search for new ways to save money continually. Instead, you’d rather focus on growing your business and making customers happy.
Save yourself some time (and money) by using these tips for cutting costs in your home business.
1) Take Measures to Save on Energy
One of the simplest ways to cut costs is by watching your electricity use. From installing window coverings to using energy-efficient light bulbs, there are lots of energy-saving tips that can help you reduce costs in your home office.
Keep an eye on the thermostat— during the winter, your heating bill will be high, and during the summer, it’s your air conditioner that will cost you. Be conscious of turning off the lights and equipment if they aren’t in use.
2) Go Paperless
It’s time to go green! Save a few trees and eliminate paper use, or at least significantly reduce it. Sometimes printing is unavoidable, but try to use it only when it’s necessary. If you are printing, cut your paper use in half by opting for double-sided documents in place of single-sided.
Not only do you have to take into account the cost of the paper you’re using, but you should think about ink (it’s expensive). By printing less, you won’t have to worry as much about keeping pricey ink and toner in stock and putting wear and tear on your printer.
Look for ways to automate simple processes to save yourself time. It sounds intimidating, but automating your business doesn’t mean you need to build and program complicated robots. There are lots of easy things that you can automate for free— invoices, business finances, and social media posts, among others.
Time is money! The more you automate, the less time you have to spend on mundane tasks and the more time you can spend focusing on the big stuff.
4) Eliminate Discretionary Expenses
You need to have functional space and equipment, but you don’t need to have the latest-and-greatest of everything. Buy only what’s necessary and look for the most affordable option by purchasing off-brand and necessary items. Instead of paying a higher price for fun multi-colored sticky notes, go with the plain yellow.
Rather than splurging on Scotch tape, get the cheaper no-name brand. The two-in-one treadmill desk seems cool, but a standard desk will suit your business needs. The bottom line is if you don’t need it, don’t buy it.
5) Buy Used Equipment
Buying new is almost always more expensive than secondhand. After just one use, it goes from “new” to “used” and its value depreciates quickly. You can often find equipment that is gently used for a great price.
Just make sure you’ve tested the product and know that it works well before buying it. As a bonus, you can rest easy knowing that you saved equipment from going to the landfill and hurting our environment!
6) Take Advantage of Tax Deductions
Be sure to make use of all the tax deductions offered for a home business. Even though your business is home-based, there are still lots of small costs that go into it. An advantage of using your home as your place of business is that you can write off some of your regular home expenses as business expenditures.
This applies to anything from postage stamps to cleaning supplies to homeowner’s insurance. It may not seem like a lot, but a penny saved is a penny earned!
7) Use an Affordable Payment Processing Service
You probably accept more than paper money and checks, so chances are you’re using some credit card processing service. There are various points to consider when choosing a payment processing company.
Make sure the service is compatible with your point of sale system and accepts all major credit cards while still maintaining low monthly fees.
8) Prevent Losses
After a while, the equipment and furniture in your office will manifest some wear and tear. Take care of your equipment and do regular maintenance and cleaning to avoid larger issues down the road. You may feel like you’re throwing away money on these checkups, but if your printer breaks down even once, it can be expensive to fix.
By performing regular upkeep and taking precautionary measures, you can avoid paying for costly repairs and your equipment will last a lot longer.
9) Keep an Eye Out for Small Business Discounts
Especially when you’re first starting, getting your home office ready and stocked with supplies and furniture can cost you an arm and a leg. Luckily, there are plenty of companies who offer equipment, supplies, furniture, and services at a reduced price for small businesses. If you travel for work, there are even small business programs for car rentals that can save you up to 20% off the bill.
Most companies that offer discounts do so through rewards programs or memberships, which are usually free to join and have minimal requirements for maintaining membership. Some programs do have monthly or yearly fees, to perform an assessment and look at which ones will save you more money than you pay.
10) Make Good Use of Your Time
In any business, the most valuable form of currency is time. Prioritize tasks and plan out your days in a way that makes sense. Keep a calendar or schedule handy and write down your appointments and everything you need to get done. If you need to drive across town for a meeting, try to schedule other appointments in the same area that day, so you don’t waste time (and money) driving back and forth.
Find out if vendors offer free shipping, so you don’t need to spend the morning picking up supplies. This will help your business run more efficiently and keep you on top of things throughout the day.
11) Rest Easy
Keeping your business up and running can be expensive. By implementing these tips, you can rest easy knowing that you’re saving money in your home business. These are simple ways that anyone can use to cut costs so you can focus your efforts on your customers and not stressing about finances.