Having a small business can be exciting, empowering, and profitable. It can also be frustrating and overwhelming, as small business owners have to handle all aspects of the business. Today we are sharing a few thoughts on keeping costs down for your small business:
Time is money, as they say. Because you may be handling all aspects of the business, you may begin to feel overwhelmed and actually become less efficient. Learn how to delegate tasks that you do not enjoy or that do not help you create a larger profit. If you have a spouse or children that are available and willing to help, you could have them assist you with various office and administrative tasks.
Create systems for your business. Order history, customer contact lists and follow up plan, inventory management systems and a calendar of events are very helpful. It may seem overwhelming but if you invest some time in an efficient task management system you will save so much in the long run. Create a proper business plan and treat your small or home based business as a business.
When you operate a small business, space is money as well. If you are in a business where you make and or sell products, it will be very important to have an organized area where you keep your inventory, process orders and ship them. If you do not keep things organized or do not keep an up to date inventory list, you will end up wasting time, losing money, orders and your sanity.
Depending on what type of products you plan to sell and ship and how big your home based business gets, you may end up being able to just ship items through your local post office. Many small businesses struggle with keeping shipping costs at bay, because their movements involve more than a package service will bring but less than what would fill a dedicated truck. In business, that’s known as “Less Than Truckload”, or LTL. LTL transportation companies have unique logistical strategies to help their customers get goods shipped in and out in a cost-effective way.
Contact different shipping companies and find out what their rates are and if they pick up in your area. Also ask if they provide free shipping supplies – some of them will. If they offer a daily pick up service in your area, that can save you a lot more time and money too.
Efficient record keeping is again very important to cut down costs of having a small business. This will allow you to follow up with customers, to easily access past orders in the case of any issues and to be ready to go when it comes time to file your annual taxes and reports.
You can create very detailed documents with various computer programs to suit your needs. Google Docs offers free spreadsheets, forms, presentations and a word processor now. There is no need to purchase expensive software to be able to create efficient records and business management documents.
As a small business owner, be sure that you are always working smarter, not harder. Get those systems in place and look for ways to save time and money every place that you can.
This is a guest post by Sara Stringer