How Small Businesses Can Save on Various Smaller Costs
Here are some suggestions that may allow your business to save when it comes to buying supplies and paying for various services. Many businesses focus only on big-ticket costs such as salaries and overhead, but the savings garnered from smaller items of cost can also add to a business's cost effectiveness.
Stationery and SuppliesBuy lesser-known brands of paper, pens, and other supplies. (Exceptions to this rule would include law firms and certain other professional firms in which the quality of stationery is key to business image.) Instruct staff to spend the time and look for "special deals" on expensive items such as print cartridges. Purchase supplies in bulk whenever possible.
Equipment ServicingSome service contracts may not be necessary. Examine whether you are paying for unnecessary equipment service contracts. Depending on the age and dependability of the machine in question, it may make more sense to pay out-of-pocket for repairs.
Shipping and MailingEmployees may be routinely using a higher-cost service than is necessary. Check to make sure employees are using the most efficient services — e.g., using overnight service when U.S. mail or e-mail might be used. Provide employees with guidelines, and check to make sure the guidelines are being followed. Also, ask your carrier every so often whether you are entitled to a discount or a better rate.
Internet Service ProvidersCheck to make sure that the ISP you are using is the most efficient one for your business. Further, find out whether a discount is available for paying fees yearly.
TIP: Even in a smaller organization, it is usually more efficient to make one staff member responsible for purchasing services and supplies and asking for bids, if such centralization is feasible.