How to reduce business costs

Lower the amount of money you pay for everyday expenses like telecommunications, payment processing, payroll and electricity.

It’s inevitable that your business costs will increase as your business grows. But there are steps you can take to lower the amount of money you pay for everyday expenses like telecommunications, payment processing, payroll and electricity.

Make this the year your business saves some money. Consider these opportunities to lower operating costs.

Think about outsourcing

Small businesses often outsource their payroll, accounting and distribution.

Outsourcing payroll

It’s tempting to try to manage company payroll yourself. But payroll processing has so many moving parts — remitting source deductions on time, calculating your employer contribution, issuing T4s, signing cheques — that can quickly add up to more time than you may think. And, if you make a mistake or file a return late, you run the risk of incurring a financial penalty.

There’s also the stress of managing payroll while trying to run your own business. If you outsource it, you’ll have more time for profit-related activities.

So, consider using a payroll solutions supplier. These specialized administrators will handle every aspect of your business payroll while giving you up-to-date reports and anytime access to your payroll information.

Look overseas

Your business may want to look at strategically hiring staff in foreign countries to complete tasks that your internal staff currently do. The advantages of doing so include:

  • Paying lower wages – less than your internal staff yet relative to the wages of the chosen country.
  • Reallocating funds – money that’s saved on payroll could be used to reinvest in assets, refurbish premises, or research new markets.
  • Improved performance – while your internal staff will have more time to focus on their core roles, overseas staff can be specialists in certain fields at a fraction of the cost. Your business can potentially become more efficient.

Cut your expenses

Typical expenses that all businesses need to manage are phone, Internet, power, wages, and general office expenses. Here are some of the ways you can reduce these.

Reduce communications costs

Mobile phone and Internet data plans for you and your staff can quickly add up to a lot of money. Thankfully, competition in the telecommunications marketplace is fierce as suppliers are eager to win or keep your business. Often, a telephone call to your supplier to request a review of your account is all it takes to find cost savings.

If you aren’t comfortable making that call or are just too busy to do it, firms such as Cut My Costs will negotiate lower rates on your behalf. Once authorized by you, these agents will review your business or personal telecom bill and start a collaborative dialogue with your telecom provider.

Decrease your energy usage

Industry experts say that energy costs are one of the biggest business expenses. Anything your business can do to become more eco-friendly may help to reduce costs and improve your bottom line.

Taking measures such as retrofitting lighting, turning off idle machinery, programming thermostats and buying green energy are a few helpful actions to consider. It’s best to conduct an energy audit of your business – contact your hydro supplier to request one.

It’s always a good idea to perform an annual review of your operations to spot opportunities for improved cost savings and efficiencies.

Importing

Is it worth importing your businesses raw materials? If you can’t lower the costs of goods that you sell by purchasing from an alternative supplier in your own country, research how much those same goods would cost when bought from overseas.

There are a number of considerations you’ll have to think about before you decide to import, such as added costs like tariffs, customs duties and storage. Exchange rate fluctuations will affect your bottom line, and finding a reliable supplier may not be so easy.

Find out about association membership discounts

Associations often organize group discounts for their membership. With hundreds or thousands of members, an association can negotiate volume discounts with suppliers to secure rates that are beyond the buying power of individual businesses.

Savings categories include our merchant accounts, telecommunications, banking, health plans, emergency automotive, travel, and shipping.

You could join an association representing your industry, school, profession, geographic region or your interests. Consider joining your local board of trade, or chamber of commerce, to access significant member benefits.

See our list of professional alliances.

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