How to Cut Down On Some of Your Key Business Costs

calculator-calculation-insurance-finance-53621For many small businesses, the best way to increase profitability is to look for ways to cut expenses. Every dollar you save is another dollar in profits and as long as you maintain quality, efforts toward cost cutting can be an effective way to provide financial relief to your business. 

You might not be able to get rid of many of these expenses altogether, but there is a good chance that you could cut your costs considerably by managing small business expenses more effectively. The following are a few of the major expenses that can impact small businesses and some of the ways they can be reduced.

Rent

Rent is usually one of the biggest expenses for a small business. If you are renting space, you need to make sure the location is serving you well. Think about whether you need all of the space you have. If not, move to a smaller, more affordable location. If your business does not depend on traffic, you could consider moving to a place that is away from busy commercial areas. 

Marketing

If you want to get more leads, attract new customers and build brand recognition, you are going to have to pay for marketing. With that said, you might be able to find ways to save money on marketing. Try to focus on the marketing channels that offer the best ROI. Investigate the types of marketing that offer a good return in your industry or talk to local business owners to find out what works well for them.

Equipment 

Depending on your business, you might need all sorts of equipment. If you are looking at an expensive piece of equipment, you might want to consider buying it used. As long as the used equipment is in good condition, it can be a way to save a lot of money on an otherwise expensive purchase.

You should also invest in preventative maintenance for any expensive equipment you have. The maintenance might cost money over time, but it can extend the life of the equipment and help you avoid expensive repairs.

Utilities

Utilities can be another major cost for some businesses. You have to cover costs like electricity, water, internet, phones and gas. One way to cut these costs is to set rules around how some of these utilities are used. Make sure resources like electricity and water are not being used wastefully. You could also consider buying more efficient appliances and equipment. Some of these pieces might cost more upfront, but they could save your business money over time.

Employee Compensation

Labor is the highest cost for many businesses. You definitely want to have a good team of employees around you, but you also want to make sure you are not spending too much on labor. Evaluate your payroll to make sure you really need all of the employees you have. In some cases, you might only need a part-time employee where you currently have a full-time worker. Making some of these adjustments can make a huge difference for your company’s bottom line.

As another option, you could also consider hiring a virtual assistant to handle some of the work that would go to one of your employees. This is usually more affordable than keeping an employee on the payroll and virtual assistants can help with a wide range of tasks.

Take the time to look at every expense to see if there is a way you could cut costs. You might not be able to find huge savings on everything, but every dollar counts when you are running a small business.

How to Start a Small Business When You’re a Parent with a Disability

Woman Coffee ShopImage courtesy of Pixabay

Are you ready to jump into a new venture? Being a parent is serious business in and of itself, but when you’re a mom or dad with a disability, getting a small business up and running can be a daunting task. Here is how to set yourself up for success.

 

Flexibility and Balance

 

Parenting is a demanding job, and parents with disabilities face unique challenges. How do you balance your career, your home life, and tending your personal needs in a way that is both satisfying and responsible? Being a small business owner can be the perfect solution. As The New York Times points out, becoming an entrepreneur allows people with disabilities to find independence, income, and flexibility. You can even work from home! As Angie’s List notes, though, you’ll need to make sure your home office is set up for “maximum productivity.” The site suggests eliminating distractions as much as possible (don’t put your desk in the kids’ playroom), illuminating it with natural light, and keeping ergonomic design in mind when selecting furniture. Be sure you choose pieces that accommodate your disability and will keep you comfortable throughout the workday.

 

Through owning your own business, you can achieve your financial and professional goals while scheduling comfortably around your capabilities, your family, personal needs, and other obligations.

 

What’s Your Niche?

 

The first thing you need to do is come up with the right business idea for you. Make sure to research trends and which startup ideas have the potential to make money.

 

Sometimes, great ideas pop into our minds without effort, and some are birthed through a process of sifting, sorting, and conceptualizing. If you aren’t sure of your direction, one suggestion is to look at your strengths, weaknesses, and lifestyle, and then start from there. Perhaps you can identify an issue your business can solve or a service you can provide. Make some notes to see if you find a trend. Then, narrow down your ideas until you find that happy place where there are customers AND a service or product you’d like to produce. That’s called your niche.

 

Do Some Brainstorming

 

Once you solidify the direction for your new venture, you can lay some groundwork. Starting your own small business is easier than it sounds. One of the first things you need to do is choose a name for your new venture. Many people get bogged down selecting a business name, but Inc. points out your time is better spent making money, so pick a name and jump in!  Some experts suggest thinking in terms of something that tells people what you do, which will make your brand readily recognizable. Some experts suggest you use a business-naming tool. A well-chosen brand gives your business credibility and provides an emotional connection with your target audience. It gives your customers and employees something to believe in and generates loyalty.

 

Connect with the Government

 

Once you decide on a name, you may need to connect with the government. If you will employ other people or will partner with someone else, you will need an Employee Identification Number (EIN). Some locations also require you to register your business name, and some require a business license. Check in with your county or city government for guidelines.

 

Evaluate Your Finances

 

As they say, it takes money to make money. You need to take a realistic look at your financial situation to see if you have enough funds or if you will need to apply for loans or grants for your new venture. Some professionals recommend overestimating your need, since many new businesses run out of funding before they can start turning a profit. A small business loan is a practical solution, and there are some wonderful grants and funding opportunities from various organizations specifically oriented toward people with disabilities.

 

Independence Can Be Yours!

 

Starting a new business can be the effective and smart solution for parents with disabilities, so lay a great foundation to ensure your success. Through your own business venture, you can pursue flexibility and independence for a balanced and fulfilling life. If you’re doubting yourself, go here and be inspired! There’s a vibrant, passionate community waiting for you with open arms.