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15 Practical Ways To Reduce Business Costs

15 Practical Ways To Reduce Business Costs

As a business owner you can’t stop for searching new ways to reduce business costs and gain more profits. Otherwise, your business will never thrive. By implementing these 15 simple strategies within a year, you’d be able to save thousands of dollars in net profit!

1. Take advantage of the freelance workforce

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    A recent study predicts 40% of the U.S.’s workforce will go freelance by 2020. Why not start taking advantage of a temporary team from day one and avoid paying huge overheads and adding up costs like sick leaves, training, vacations, insurance, and so on? Having a flexible team working on a per-project/task basis will significantly reduce your business operating costs, improve overall key performance indicators, and will allow you to focus on more important tasks while minor things are getting solved by your dedicated virtual assistant. Nowadays, you can basically outsource anything, from handling emails and managing your FB business page to complete website design and full-cycle development projects. Besides, hiring a specialist abroad may cost you less than hiring someone with the same skill set back at home.

    Most popular freelance marketplaces:

    All types of projects

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    Micro jobs and small, simple tasks

    Design

    Coding and web development

    2. Start an internship program

    Sometimes, having a remote worker is not an option as you need help onsite—say, sorting out that huge pile of papers on your desk. Get in touch with a local college and offer to establish mutually beneficial relationships—you get a free workforce; they get a cool company to send students to. Win-win. Alternatively, you can post an advert online at sites like Urban Interns and check out all the rising stars eager to work with you for a shining resume credential and real hands-on experience. Moreover, there are high chances of discovering true talents to hire afterwards as part-time or full-time assistants who already know how to things get done at your company.

    3. Use energy-efficient appliances

    Utility bills eating up a huge chunk of your income? First of all, opt for compact fluorescent light bulbs. They cost more than the usual bulbs, however they function longer, thus saving you a pretty penny in the long run. Secondly, consider switching to energy-efficient appliances, particularly those with the Energy Star label. Again, they do cost more, but you can cut down the expenses with numerous government-sponsored rebates, along with making your biz eligible for green energy tax credits. If you need professional advice on making your company more energy efficient, just ring up your power company and request a free energy audit. An inspector should come to analyze your workplace and suggest further ways to reduce energy consumption.

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    4. Keep a virtual office

    If most of your team works remote and you don’t have an ongoing need to gather at one place, why should you bother to pay huge rent for the office space? Business meetings can be held at any venue, co-working space, or conference hall. However, you still like to keep things looking professional and earn your credits, right? And occasionally you do need to fax something or print a bunch of promotional materials. If that is it, most virtual offices provide you with temporary printing solutions at a flat rate; VoIP phones with a personal voice message box; corporate mailing address; a dedicated receptionist handling your calls and a bunch of other cool perks that tend to cost a tiny fortune when implemented at a regular office.

    5. Barter

    So you run a small writing business. Have you ever though of offering your professional editing services to have a marketing campaign developed for you in return? Bartering is no longer difficult with a number of B2B barter sites like U-Exchange and TradeBank gaining huge popularity among small and middle sized business owners. Set up an account and start exchanging services you need! Besides, it’s an excellent way to grow your business connections and score potential customers or partners.

    6. Go paperless

    Do you really think you need those copies printed for everyone? Now look at your monthly printing costs and think again. Still opting for paper bills and invoices? That’s stone age with so many online payment and invoices systems available at reduced costs. Retain your clients with email marketing and ditch mailing coupons and advertorials by snail mail to cut down the costs even more!

    7. Re-examine your phone plan and ditch your land line

    Are you sure you have the best cellphone plan currently available on the market? How long has it been since you last checked the prices? If you signed up for your plan more than two years ago, it’s definitely not the best option available on the market today. If you need to make international phone calls frequently, use Skype or Line, an app that has lower prices. Moreover, swapping your land line for VoIP or a virtual phone line will save you a big bucks at the end of the day.

    8. Don’t be shy to ask for a discount

    Take the nerve and ask the retailers directly whether they can give you a discount as a small business owner. Surprisingly, most will say yes if you are shopping for big ticket items. Alternatively, sneak around for coupons and special deals, sign up to retailers’ newsletters to be the first to know when certain items come on sale, plus get a few money-saving apps installed on your phone to receive instant alerts.

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    9. Invest in self-education

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      If you feel reluctant about paying yet another one-time consultants to solve the problem for you, spend less on self-education. Or pay nothing and gain lacking knowledge at one of these 25 killer educational websites. There’s no better investment than education and in the long-run, spending time and effort on learning something new will pay off later on!

      10. Buy used equipment and furniture

      Shopping in thrift shops and bargain sales is no longer shameful. It’s trendy. Loads of businesses prefer to equip their offices with shabby vintage stuff costing pennies instead of luxury designer goods (that often look pretty much the same). Businesses claim to save up to 60% costs merely buying used office equipment like computers, faxes and printers. Scroll through Craigslist, check out your local paper classified and online auctions like eBay to get everything you need at least two times cheaper.

      11. Cut back on paid software

      Nowadays there’s an open-source free alternative to nearly any product at the tech market. Unless a specific software is absolutely crucial for keeping your business running smooth, get rid of it! Microsoft Office can be replaced with Open Office or Google Drive; Basecamp has a free, similar-looking alternative Trello and you can create beautiful online and PDF designs with free photo-editing tools like Canva or Picmonkey instead of using Photoshop. Which leads as to the next point…

      12. Conduct timely technology and services audits

      How many paid apps and subscriptions do you currently have? And how many are you actually using? Bet these two numbers differ quite a bit. If you have not used a certain technology or service for the last 90 days, it’s time to cancel your subscription and stop paying for things you obviously do not need. Make it a rule to review all the paid products you have every two months. Moreover, before getting yet another piece of paid software, visit Download.com and try hundreds of software products for free through trial downloads, limited versions, and freeware to make sure that it’s indeed a product you need.

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      13. Eliminate finance charges

      A lot of businesses lose thousands dollars annually on ridiculous things like high membership fees on business credit cards, late loan payments and credit-card processing fees. By simply staying on top of bills and paying them exactly when they are due, you will save your business a great amount of money each year. Yes, keeping up with the bills can be complicated, so try to automate as many financial processes as possible by implementing online payment systems and setting up special alerts when bills are due. Also, pay a visit to your bank and ask what better credit card options they can offer you as a business owner.

      14. Opt for online advertising

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        Does your business have a Facebook page and Twitter and Pinterest accounts? Do you have a website properly optimized for mobile search? In 2015 if your business is not online, it practically does not exist! Compared to traditional marketing and advertising, promoting your biz online allows you to get faster results with less money spent. Start small by adding a blog to your website, offer expert advice, reach out to new media and bloggers with thrilling stories you can share, invest some time and money in social media marketing, and optimize your website properly to get a huge amount of targeted traffic and new customers.

        15. Use the power of co-opetition

        Team up with fellow business owners to collaborate and share expenses when buying new supplies in bulk. Moreover, you can group even further and jointly promote a sidewalk sale, share mailing lists and distribution channels with businesses offering complementary goods or services that may interest your customers. Also, you can exchange advertising spaces on your websites, share each other’s coupons and special deals (for a small fee or percentage from each sale made) and occasionally appear at each other’s business blogs to boost your rankings and attract a new audience to your websites.

        Featured photo credit: ShellyS via flickr.com

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        Elena Prokopets

        Freelance Writer

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        Published on July 4, 2018

        Top 10 Recommendations on Money Management Apps

        Top 10 Recommendations on Money Management Apps

        Don’t want to overspend your budget, swipe your credit card too many times, and feel like a financial mess? Instead of beating yourself up for the bad financial decisions you’ve ever made, create a new plan!

        The solution is simple, save more and spend less. But, we all know it’s easier said than done.

        One problem is finding quality apps that save you time and money, and aren’t just hype.

        Luckily, there’re many great money management apps available at your fingertips. Here are 10 reliable money management apps that can help you save money, and crush debt.

        1. Personal Capital

          When was the last time you’ve tracked your net worth? Probably months ago or maybe never. Personal Capital allows you to easily track your net worth and plan for retirement.

          Here are some of its main features:

          • Sync many investment accounts, and expenses (mortgage, credit cards, etc.) in one place
          • Discover hidden fees and how much they’re affecting your retirement plan
          • Wealth management for investors requiring a long-term strategy

          With Personal you’re free to track your expenses and net worth.

          Available for: iOS and Android

          2. Mint

            If your smartphone could only install a few apps, Mint would be one of them. Why? Because Mint tracks all your balances and bills in one place.

            Here are some of its main features:

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            • Effortlessly track all your bills and balances in one dashboard
            • Categorized expenses to understand where you spend your money
            • Uncover hidden fees, and determine your investment style with sophisticated retirement tools.

            Feel at ease with managing your money by a reputable company that isn’t going anywhere.

            Available for: iOS and Android

            3. YNAB

              Everyone needs a budget, there’s no way around it. YNAB (You Need A Budget) is an easy to use app that will change the way you think about money. Their motto is to “give every dollar a job”, and you’ll quickly discover why.

              Here are some of its main features:

              • Easily sync all bank accounts in one place
              • Visually see your debt paying progress with eye-catching charts and notifications
              • Customized categories setting saving goals

              The best part about YNAB is the community that comes along with it. You can hop on the YNAB forum to receive support, listen to the YNAB Podcast or stay tuned for their weekly videos.

              Available for: iOS and Android

              4. Wealthfront

                Albert Einstein once said “compound interest is the eight wonder in the world”, and for a very good reason. The problem is, most people are scared or unwilling to learn the basics of investing. This is why Wealthfront is the perfect solution for the hands-off investors.

                Here are some of its main features:

                • Variety of investment account options including IRA, Roth IRA, and more
                • Your portfolio composed of 7 different asset classes
                • Automatically rebalanced portfolio
                • Daily tax loss harvesting

                Wealthfront is perfect for people requiring investment guidance, or prefer a hands-off solution.

                Available for: iOS and Android

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                5. Clarity Money

                  If you’re staying on top of your budget but want to take your finances to the next level, Clarity Money can help you. Clarity Money helps you stay under budget and build a personalized savings plan.

                  Here are some of its main features:

                  • Easily cancel subscriptions with one click
                  • Synchronize bank accounts fast
                  • Transfer money effortlessly between different accounts

                  Clarity Money isn’t an app that does it all. But, it does make transferring money and canceling subscriptions fast and efficient.

                  Available for: iOS and Android

                  6. Acorns

                    What if there was a way to quickly gain confidence in investing your money, without too much risk? There is, and Acorns is your solution. With Acorns’s technology, you’re able to make investments as small as $5.

                    Here are some of its main features:

                    • Automatic contribution option
                    • Customized portfolio tailored to your needs
                    • Low management fees ranging from $1-$2 per month

                    Stop wasting dollars on expensive coffee. Instead, invest them towards a brighter financial future.

                    Available for: iOS and Android

                    7. Albert

                      Do you budget by only subtracting your expenses from your income? If so, how would you discover any overpayments or extra money you could save? This is where Albert shines, and it does it all free.

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                      Here are some of its main features:

                      • Receive notifications for overpayments, hidden fees, and low balances
                      • An Automatic budget that’s built around your spending and income
                      • Easily track debt and set new financial goals

                      While Albert does offer a paid option, most of its core features are FREE. So, what better option to save?

                      Available for: iOS

                      8. Prism

                        Have you recently forgot to pay a bill because life got in the way? Prism automatically tracks your bills and syncs your bank accounts in one place.

                        Here are some of its main features:

                        • View all your account balances in one glance
                        • Bill due dates are automatically pulled and tracked
                        • Receive early reminders for upcoming bills

                        If your budget is on “fleek” but can’t seem to stay on top of your bills, Prism is your go-to app.

                        Available for: iOS, Android, Windows, Amazon

                        9. Mvelopes

                          Remember hearing about people using envelopes to budget their money? Well, Mvelopes is the new envelope system for this generation. Easily create monthly budgets and track your saving goals.

                          Here are some of its main features:

                          • Connect unlimited bank accounts
                          • Real-time budgeting with auto transaction syncing
                          • Low monthly $4 fee or $40 annual

                          Mvelopes can help you crush debt, save more, and help you stop overspending. With its low monthly fee, it’s worth a try.

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                          Available for: iOS and Android

                          10. Wallaby

                            Most people don’t have time to track their credit card’s changing rewards and interest rates. Because of this, you need help reaping the most of your credit card’s rewards. Wallaby is the app that will help you do just that.

                            Here are some of its main features:

                            • Automatic recommendations for the best credit card to use for each transaction
                            • A friendly user interface, displaying credit cards with their corresponding images
                            • Free to use

                            If you’re using the same credit card to make your purchases, you may be leaving money on the table. Give Wallaby a try if you’re ready to maximize your credit card’s rewards.

                            Available for: iOS and Android

                            Take control of your finances and experience financial freedom

                            Picture yourself staying on budget and saving more money than you’d ever imagined.

                            It took hard work and dedication but you’d finally learned how to manage your money. You have to start taking control of your spending and saving habits.

                            You now have a list of reliable apps that can help you build better money habits, what are you waiting for?

                            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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