A very dear friend of mine was on breaking point when it comes to the future of their business. I was employed to go to him to help to give a few suggestions on how he was to run more efficiently. Whilst I have a little experience when it comes to running a business, I do have some great experience when it comes to saving money. I used to run an ebay business which helped pay the bills from my spare room and being frugal is the key to success on ebay with such low profit margins.
The biggest charge a business can have is the premises from which it runs – bring that in to the home and you can not only save money on the outgoing bills, but also offset a proportion of the house bills on your company accounts.
Use fluorescent lights to brighten things up and lower your electric bill. Sure those spotlights make a dramatic effect on your office but they won’t have that same effect when you see your electric bill at the end of the month.
Unplug all your equipment when not in use. Machines that are not turned on but are still plugged still consume energy. Unplug whenever possible.
Look for the Energy Star label when buying equipment. These are energy-efficient machines that will give you a lot of savings.
Use the draft mode of your printer to print in-house documents. Use scratch paper too. Save the nice printing and fresh paper for presentations and documents for clients.
Monitor the photocopier. Save on copies and encourage everyone to just use email, cloud programs or post-its.
Check your phone bill. There might be several errors that you are missing or there might be some features that you are not using. Ask your supplier how you can lower your phone bill by removing these features.
If your company sends a lot of post, like mine did it is worth looking into a franking machine. You can either rent or buy one. A franking machine will print the equivalent of a stamp, weigh your letters accurately and apply the correct amount that you need to pay for. First and second class mails are heavily discounted. Aside from that, you get the convenience of topping up your credits 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No more rushing to the post office to get extra credits. It is worth comparing prices to get the best deal from the market at the time. When I got my franking machine I used a company that gave me the best offers on the market.
Marketing and Advertising
Take advantage of all your outgoing materials and documents. If you have a franking machine, you can use it to print your company logo or slogan on the envelope. Now your letter is an advertising tool.
Print an ad or promotion on your invoices, customer order forms, etc. Instead of sending a separate mail for your ads, send them with your other outgoing documents. You can also include coupons and other materials in your customers’ orders.
Ask around for referrals. You might be surprised who your friends know. You might get a good deal because of this. You can also ask them for names and contact details of potential customers. The bigger your reach is, the higher your sales potential is.
Ask your happy customers to spread the word. If you have a satisfied customer, ask him or her to bring a friend. If the friend purchases, give an incentive to your customer. You will not only transform your customer into a loyal/repeat customer, you will also gain a new one. Then just wait for the word to spread.
Make these changes in your office and you will surely make an impact on your bottom line.