I get it — money is tight. So, how does saving $250 a month sound? There are tons of ways business owners can save hundreds of dollars (or more) each month. Sadly, most people, including business owners, don’t make the effort to implement huge-but-easily accomplished savings.
This post will list 25 easy ways you can start saving $250 per month right now. While not all of these tips will save you hundreds of dollars in one shot, combining two or three of them definitely will.
1. Ditch the landline.
If you have a single-line system for your business, your costs likely start around $50/month. If you have multiple lines, you’re probably paying at least double that.
Scrap the landline and let your cell phones do double duty. Bonus: You can write off your business-associated phone costs, saving you even more money.
Related: 14 Ways to Save Money When Starting or Growing a Business
2. Share advertising costs with another business owner.
Cut your advertising costs in half by teaming up with the owner of a complementary business. This works especially well for co-sponsoring local or online events.
Another cost-saving option is to ask other business owners if they want to advertise via your website or social media. This can actually be a great bonus revenue stream!
3. Create your own forms rather than paying for them.
The vast majority of business forms you need (invoice, order forms, non-disclosure agreements, partnership contracts, etc. ) can be found online for free. Heck, it’s what my company does and we don’t charge anything.
Check out Entrepreneur’s collection of free business forms before you contact your lawyer or accountant to have a form drawn up.
Related: How to Start Saving Money Today
4. Buy second-hand equipment and furniture.
Why pay $500 for a new desk when you could get a gently-used one on Craigslist for $100? Same goes for printers, computers and other electronics.
Another great option is buying refurbished electronics from reputable electronics dealers.
5. Negotiate a cheaper credit card rate.
Paying credit card fees is one of the worst ways to spend your money. Look around to see what competing card companies are charging, and then try to negotiate a lower rate with your current card company.
Related: 8 Ways to Get the Most From a Business Credit Card
6. Raise your insurance deductible.
Take a look at how many times you’ve made a claim over the past few years. If you seldom make claims, consider raising your deductible to save on monthly premiums. Even moving from a $250 deductible to $500 can make a decent dent in your monthly insurance costs.
7. Outsource rather than hiring.
While the hourly cost of outsourcing may end up being equivalent (or even slightly higher) to hiring someone, you’ll save big in terms of pensions and benefits. Why not save that extra money, or use it to pay a highly-qualified consultant who could likely do a better job in less time? I’ve also found a full time programmer by first outsourcing.
Related: 5 Things Small Businesses Should Outsource
8. Check the accuracy of your mailing list.
If you do large-scale mailings, you could be wasting a ton of money if your address list is outdated or inaccurate. The US Postal Services offers a number of free and low-cost services to check your list before you mail.
9. Get your family to help out.
Instead of hiring outside help for administrative tasks like filing and bookkeeping, hire an immediate family member. You still get to claim the business expense. You keep the money in the family, and your lower income-earning. Family members won’t have to pay much tax on their earnings, either.
Related: 4 Reasons You Should Never Hire a Family Member
10. Always pay early to get the discount.
Take advantage of early payment discounts whenever possible. This can be particularly lucrative if a supplier is offering 2/10 net 30 (meaning 2 percent discount if paid within 10 days). This works out to an almost 37% return when annualized.
You’d be surprised at how many businesses are willing to barter goods and services. I find this is particularly true when it comes to advertising. If money is tight, offer your products or services in exchange for a free ad, mention or online sponsorship.
Related: Bartering Is Back in Style! These Startups Tell Us How
12. Go as paperless as possible.
Skip the paper and ink and use email whenever possible. There are tons of free apps that can help you make the transition: CamScanner, Evernote and Due.com are just a few.
13. Share office space (or go without).
Many companies are saving hundreds or thousands a month by going virtual, sharing office space or renting temporary meeting rooms. Use a site like ShareDesk to find local office space you can book on an as-needed basis. I personally use coworking space Bootup. It helps me to cut costs.
Related: 3 Reasons to Chuck Coworking and Get a Real Office
14. Try your hand at free PR.
Hiring a PR consultant can cost big bucks. Instead, use a service like Help a Reporter to get free PR. This service lets you respond to daily, emailed queries. These queries can land you in big-name publications like Time, The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times.
Related: What Startups Should Do Differently When It Comes to PR
15. Hire an intern.
Instead of hiring or outsourcing, consider an intern from a local college or university. While this can be a very labor-intensive process (finding, training, reporting, etc.), it can save you money in the long-run.
Here’s a great overview from the US Small Business Administration on how the whole process works.
16. Outsource the tough tasks.
It seems counterintuitive, but by outsourcing tasks it actually frees you up to spend more time on revenue-generating activities. Some of these tasks might be blogging, social media management or office administration.
Related: 5 Things Small Businesses Should Outsource
17. Stop using your credit cards.
Take it from someone who owns a company to accept credit card payments: don’t underestimate how fast it can saddle your business with debt. According to ValuePenguin, the average rate for a business credit card in 2017 is over 15 percent. If you’re tempted to carry a balance on your card, try switching to cash-only purchases.
Each month get pre-purchase gift cards for your necessities. This way you always know where you’re financial standing is and can avoid racking up charges on credit.
18. Bring a bagged lunch.
Spending a few bucks a day eating out may not seem like a lot, but it adds up. According to Time, bringing your own lunch can save you up to $2,500 per year.
19. Move from traditional to online advertising.
Are you still using old-school advertising strategies like magazine or newspaper ads? Switch to digital advertising strategies. With social media, email and content marketing, you could save a ton of money each month. Plus, digital marketing tends to be much more effective.
20. Ask for a reduction in your phone or internet bills.
Your phone and internet bills are not set in stone. Investigate what others are charging, then call your provider and ask for a discount. Most phone companies will look for savings in your current plan, if you simply call and ask if there’s a way to reduce your bill.
21. Use free tools whenever available.
In many cases, free tools can be just as effective as paid ones. Don’t pay for a tool unless you KNOW you need it and you can’t live without it!
Some free tools you should investigate are WordPress, MailChimp, Hootsuite and Canva.
22. Go open source for your ecommerce store.
Thinking of opening an e-commerce store? There are tons of great, free open source e-commerce platforms you can choose from.
This means no additional monthly fees for the privilege of selling your stuff! Look into BigCommerce, Zen Cart, WooCommerce or WP eCommerce.
23. Deduct your business-use-of home expenses.
If you run your business from home, claiming at-home business expenses can actually save you a ton of money over the year. Don’t forget to claim the business portion of your mortgage or rent, phone/internet and even utilities.
24. Go without the extras.
We all have little “extras” we spend money on every day (I’m thinking specialty coffees, in-app purchases, bottled water, etc.). Cutting out $5-$10 of daily unnecessary luxuries and impulse buys can save you $150-$300/month.
25. Become a marketing DIY’er.
Hiring a marketer can cost you a lot more than $250/month. If you have the time and interest, consider teaching yourself how to do your own marketing.
Here are some blog posts that will help:
The Beginner’s Guide To SEO
An Introduction To Content Marketing
10 Unique Online Marketing Methods That Most Business Owners Don’t Know About
How are you going to start saving $250/month? Think about this and then implement in your life.