When you think about it, business is a cost game. Costs are what separate the firms that make it from those that don’t. And when it comes to costs, we’re used to hearing all the same tired advice. Shop around for better utility bills. Search for the best prices on office equipment online. Get better services from your suppliers. Here’s the thing: we’re all already doing those things. And they haven’t helped drive our costs down to where we would like them to be. So what’s the next step? The next step is to get creative and inventive with your costs. Driving them down doesn’t have to be a tedious procedure. It can be something creative, just like many other things in your business. Here are some ideas for how your business can save money you haven’t heard before.
Use Shared Workspaces
Shared workspaces are the kind of thing you find in places with burgeoning startup communities. They’re especially popular in cities like London, Boston, and Portland. Essentially, shared workspaces are just big offices that you share with other businesses. It sounds like it should be a disaster. But for startups, they’re ideal. Most startups are just operated from laptops and smartphones. So they’re no need to pay for individual offices with fixed equipment. Then there’s also the fact that it’s a great way for entrepreneurs to meet new people and network. Shared offices are places crammed with expertise and talent. They’re the sort of places you actually get to have interesting chats around the water fountain. Here, deals are made. Oh, and before I forget, they’re a lot cheaper to rent than your standard, cookie-cutter office.
Manage Your Inventory
Inventory management is a killer for many startups. They simply don’t have the systems in place to manage their stock. And we end up hearing disaster stories about people not being able to get into their homes because they’ve become a warehouse. When it comes to inventory, the statistics are truly shocking. For instance, about 46 percent of SMEs don’t bother to track inventory or are still using paper. And because of that, businesses in the US have $1.43 worth of product in their inventory for every $1 they make in sales.
It’s clear things have got to change in this space. And they are doing. If you’ve been keeping up with business trends recently, you can probably guess what’s coming next. It’s now possible to outsource inventory management to a third party company, like many other things. External firms, dedicated to managing inventory set stock levels, obsolescence and reorder frequency. And you? You just get on with your job.
Use Online Printers
Most small businesses run a humble laser printer. And while it’s good for the odd, internal print job, it’s not capable of producing quality prints. Right now, many small businesses approach the big box stores. But if you do this, you’re going to pay a significant markup. Fortunately, there are many online printers, like GotPrint, for instance. These printers charge a fraction of the price you’d pay on the high street.