When business owners think of increasing the bottom line, they are usually thinking of ways to increase revenue by selling more products. Obviously, increased sales are the primary way to grow your company. In a struggling economy, however, sometimes it is a more realistic goal to match or come close to last year’s sales production. When that is the case, it is still possible to increase the bottom line by finding ways to cut costs.
How to Increase the Bottom Line by Cutting Costs
For many businesses, 2012 will be that kind of a year. The goal will be to focus on doing everything possible to maintain previous sales volumes while finding ways to cut costs. During the last decade, there have been lots of innovative products and services that help to reduce expenses. Listed below are five of the many ways to cut costs that you may want to consider.
5 Small Business Innovations that are Saving Businesses Money
1. Lower Phone Costs with VoIP
VoIP is basically a phone service that differs from traditional phone services in the sense that calls are made via the Internet. Many small businesses are choosing this cheaper alternative because it can save them up to 60% over traditional telecom costs. If you are still using a land line, you need to look into the potential savings the VoIP can bring you.
2. Lower Your Credit Card Service Fees by Switching to an Online Payment Service
Say goodbye to monthly fees and statement fees that really add up each month. Depending on what kind of business you have, sometimes you can save a substantial amount of money by using an online payment service like PayPal instead of a traditional merchant credit card account. Sometimes these services have a higher “per transaction” cost though, so you need to sharpen your pencil and see what the total net difference will be.
3. Quit Buying New Printer Cartridges
If your business needs to do a lot of in-house printing, you should consider purchasing recycled printer cartridges, or you can even buy ink in bulk and refill your cartridges yourself. Printer ink is one of the very most expensive liquids on the planet. Most of the high cost of new print cartages is margin. There are now lots of refill locations in major cities and the savings is substantial.
4. Outsource When it Makes Sense
Some small businesses really should not allocate so much money to expensive full time employees when they can outsource for significantly less. There are lots of extremely talented and very competitive freelancers that can do as good or better of a job for much less money. Depending on what it is that you need done and how often you need it done, it might make financial sense to hire freelancers to work for you on a per project basis.
5. Use Video Conferencing to Limit the Cost of Driving and Flying
In a day in age when we have email, phone, chat and video conferencing, it is truly amazing how much money small businesses continue to waste on driving and flying to meetings with clients and vendors. One of the greatest innovations of the last decade is video conferencing. This incredible technology allows people to speak with each other face to face without ever having to travel anywhere. If you have not discovered the amazing miracle of video conferencing, you need to give it a try. It can save thousands of dollars per year in travel expenses.
This May be the Year You Should Look at Cutting Costs in Business
It is easy for business owners to get so caught up in the effort to increase sales that they keep using archaic business practices that waste so much money. Perhaps it is time for you to evaluate ways you can reduce expenses. They may be the key to increasing the bottom line this year.