35 Ways to Make More Money in Your Business Now!
Running a small business involves managing cash flow, from what comes in the door to what goes out. If your revenue at any point in time is not enough to cover your costs, this means you may not make money. Even worse, you may need to infuse cash into your business to stay afloat.
At all times, we need to be on top of our cash flow so that we are prepared for a storm, as cash often goes out before it comes in. Of course, we also need to know what to do in a drought, because this is when our business really needs money.
The unexpected slowdown in our world economy during the pandemic is essentially a crash course in cost management. Businesses were forced to learn how much cash inflow they required to cover their cash needs and whether they would have enough cash to cover operating costs and other obligations.
Profitable businesses negotiate, reduce, leverage, outsource, and eliminate spending that positively impacts their performance. Use this checklist to identify ways to save money and increase the profitability of your business.
- Reduce the cost of your office. If you have office space that is not essential to your business then now is the time to negotiate with your landlord. Inquire about whether you can downsize your space, reduce your rents, shorten the term of your lease, sublease, or share your space. The pandemic has proven that business can operate virtually, and the stigma of working from home has completely gone away. Going virtual also means less money spent on other costs such as visits to the coffee shop, the cost of parking expenses, and other transportation costs. You also gain a significant time by avoiding a commute.
- Renegotiate terms on any leased equipment. Whether it is a copy machine or vending machine, check with your service provider to see if you can make more money by lowering your payments.
- Lower your utility bills. Power down electronics, lights, and appliances when not in use. Install a smart thermostat to reduce heating and cooling. Use power strips. Motion sensor lights.
- Replace business lunches with coffee meetings. Team building and client get-togethers do not have to be centered around meals. Coffee gatherings tend to be more “stimulating” anyway, plus have you ever noticed that eating during a meeting can be a time waste?
- Sell unnecessary equipment or furnishings. Or, if you are feeling charitable, donate it and take the write-off. The latter may put more money into your pocket.
- Lower telephone expenditures. Switch to a less expensive mobile plan. Replace landline with a VoIP system. Skype, Zoom, What’s Ap, or other conference call services.
- Switch to cloud computing. This will also give you peace of mind that your files are secure and assessable from anywhere you are.
- Reduce travel expenses. Replace travel by using videoconferencing and online training platforms. Also, explore opportunities where your out of town clients and suppliers come to you through the hosting of a live event in your local market.
- Recycle and save. Reuse paper for notes. Set printer and copier default to print double-sided. Go paperless whenever possible. This saves trees, while also saving you money! More tips on how you can go green!
- Pause unnecessary memberships and subscriptions. Do you have memberships on autopay that maybe you forgot about? Evaluate your subscriptions and other service agreements to eliminate what you no longer use or need. Or, put them on hold until your cash flow improves.
- Negotiate supplier discounts. Make a few phone calls to determine if you are receiving the best price available. Also, sign up for emails to stay apprised of special promotions and coupon codes being offered by your major suppliers.
- Maximize the value of your team. Consider putting income-producing employees on an incentive program that provides them with higher earnings potential but commits you to a lower base if they do not perform. Reduce employee hours. Cut overtime. Hire trainable employees with less experience who can be trained. Start an intern program with your local university. Outsource non-essential functions. Use freelancers like Freelancer.com and Fiverr. Hire independent contractors. Switch to a four-day workweek. Do not be in denial about the need to layoff an employee during a business slowdown, or if you need to eliminate a position that becomes no longer necessary.
- Automate time-intensive tasks. Are you staying current with the technologies and innovations that impact your business? If not, you could be wasting thousands of dollars performing manual tasks that can now be automated.
- Lower inventory. Depending on your business you may have more inventory and supplies than you need right now. Hold off on ordering more but be mindful of the discounts you might be losing if you buy in smaller quantities.
- Re-evaluate insurance policies. Pay your premiums in full to lower the cost of premiums. Eliminate nonessential insurance. Check your policy limits. Are you over-insured?
- DIY Marketing & PR. Replace high ticket advertising and marketing costs with lower-priced solutions. Sponsor events for significantly less than what you are paying to advertise to the same audience. Consider shifting from paid marketing to e-marketing. Leverage social media. Depending on your skill sets you may need to work with marketing consulting. Choose a professional that values your money and who is willing to coach you on how to bring certain tasks in-house.
- Evaluate benefits. Offer employees incentives who decline health insurance coverage through the company. Consider adding a health & wellness program into your workplace to lower the health care costs of your employees and improve their overall lifestyle.
- Limit discretionary spending. This simply means if it is not going to increase your bottom line, you probably do not need it!
- Maximize tax write-offs. A good tax accountant is worth the added expense especially if they can save you on taxes!
- Reduce your pay. And, when business picks up (and it will), you can give yourself a raise!
- Pay your bills on time. This ensures you avoid late fees. Look into savings available for early payment as well.
- Collaborate with other businesses. Yes, trade or barter still exists! In the process, you will also be building a trusted network with other business owners. Joint ventures and referral programs are also a great way to leverage your relations with other businesses. Considering co-hosting events with non-competing businesses that market to the same type of clients.
- Price shop. Use online coupons. Sign up for introductory offers. Find lifetime membership offers - they do exist! Ask for discounts. Switch to generic brands.
- Research membership discounts. Affiliated programs through professional organizations and other memberships can save you money!
- Buy in bulk. It usually saves you money unless what you are buying expires before you can use it. If you are buying more than you will ever need, consider going into a bulk purchase with other business owners that you know.
- Fire unprofitable clients. We all know that not all clients are profitable. Re-evaluate the value of each of your customers, and what you can do to attract more of your profitable clients and less of your unprofitable ones.
- Reducing mailing costs. There are creative ways to reduce mailing costs, from how you package your items to the service provider you use. Maybe you can arrange to ship directly from your suppliers to your customers to save on mailing costs? Also, determine whether you could be avoiding mailing costs altogether by emailing invoices and other documents, or delivery packages yourself, which has the benefit of giving you face time with your client.
- Review expenses routinely. We lose sight of expenses if we are not studying them closely throughout the normal course of business.
- Develop expense policies. Avoid an unnecessary expense or an overspend before it occurs.
- Use an expense reporting application. This saves you time, and will keep you organized and on top of your spending! Here are five great options as featured in U.S. News!
- Outsource your weaknesses. If it is going to take you 10 hours to research a legal question and 1 hour for your attorney to research it, more than likely you are spending more money to do it yourself. And, if your research gives you the wrong results, the cost could be detrimental to your business!
- Sign up for loyalty programs. Who does not like perks, discounts, and freebies?
- Take advantage of credit card award programs. Many offer award travel and other perks but be sure you evaluate the annual fees. If cash flow is a concern right now, you may want to take advantage of an introductory, no-interest payment offer. Be mindful of your ability to pay off the balance when the interest starts to accrue!
- Manage your debt. When interest rates are low, you may want to finance more. However, if cash flow is plentiful you may want to consider paying off debt early if possible to avoid interest costs altogether.
- Utilize a business plan. From implementing new marketing strategies to setting new sales goals, being on top of your future keeps you moving in the right direction!
Are you looking for help to scale your business and improve your marketing? We created an amazing framework called MAPS, which allows small businesses like yours to rapidly scale without the stress and overwhelm that often accompanies success.
Our mission is to help you create a MINDFUL, ASSERTIVE, PROFITABLE, and SUSTAINABLE business that brings you joy and financial freedom.
By: Janet Semenova & Angela Rice