March 2009

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Find cost savings for your business

March, 2009

In these tough economic times, businesses that discover innovative ways to trim costs — while continuing to satisfy customers or clients — have a much better chance of weathering the storm. Here are a few cost-cutting ideas to consider in your business.

  • Renegotiate the lease, or move. In a depressed market, your landlord may not have the luxury of charging high rents. Consider dusting off your negotiating hat and reworking the business lease. Alternatively, you might transplant the company to a different locale. These days many business parks are desperate to fill vacancies. Find them — especially if the new location is closer to your customers — and your new digs may result in lower costs and higher profits.
  • Scrutinize the company car. When the market was humming along, you might have been convinced that the business really needed that luxury sedan. Take another look. Gas, insurance, and lease payments for a company vehicle may not contribute to your bottom line.
  • Revamp the schedule. By closing the front door of your business one day a week and asking staff to work longer shifts on the other days, you can often save utility costs and other overhead expenses. Ask your employees for help. They may suggest the perfect cost-saving alternative to the standard workweek, especially if it means saving the business and their jobs.
  • Postpone large purchases. Lean times may require putting off big expenditures. New manufacturing equipment, computer network upgrades, hot new delivery vehicles — these may need to be postponed till revenues improve.
  • Buy in bulk. Office supplies, raw materials, and other types of inventory can all be purchased in large quantities. To generate additional bulk purchase discounts, consider renegotiating existing supplier contracts.
  • Use that computer. Free or inexpensive online services can help with a variety of operational tasks, from advertising to bill payment to legal assistance. Computers can also be used to generate basic business cards and brochures. Sit down with your staff and brainstorm ways to drive down costs by taking advantage of existing computers.
  • Examine existing technology. Do you really need an inter-office phone system when all your employees have cell phones? Can you replace desktop computers with laptops that consume less energy? What's the monthly cost of that copier service contract? Is it necessary?

To make it through difficult times, businesses need to examine costs and reduce wasteful spending. Take cost-cutting measures now to help your company weather the current economic downturn.

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