Archive for the Ways to Save Money in Your Business Category

Great Ways to Save Money in Your Business (Part 8)

Posted in General Management, Ways to Save Money in Your Business with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2009 by Robert Finkelstein

Saving moneyFirst and foremost, I want to acknowledge those of you who have taken action and applied some of the ideas/tools I’ve suggested. I also want to thank those who have emailed me questions. Continue to be proactive about your business. Complacency has no part in a successful business.

Smart Thinking
Smart thinking1. ASK! I can’t stress this enough. We all know that if you don’t, it’s very unlikely someone is going to offer you a better price, deal or discount. So…ASK! Just treat people with respect and be friendly…and then ASK! And don’t forget about your vendors, clients, attorneys, insurance agents, accountants, everyone…ASK! You’ll be surprised how far it will get you…and how much money you’ll save.
2. Get it in writing. Whatever it is, whatever deals you’ve got going on, nothing is too big or small. Have it in writing…so it can’t come back to bite you or your business.
3. Know the rules of engagement. If you’re doing interstate or international business, the responsibility is yours to know what you can or can’t do. The last thing you need are careless fines or lawsuits. Additionally, depending upon who your customers are, for instance big box companies like Target or Wal-Mart, charge huge fines (chargebacks) for errors in shipping and documentation. Again, many of these can be avoided by just doing your homework.
Save money4. If you’ve got a product or service that others want…and I trust you do…then you might be able to save money by bartering. If someone’s got what you want, and vice versa, this could be a win-win for you both.
5. Make sure your finance department knows if there are any discounts or incentives for early payments to vendors. If cash flow is not a challenge for you, then take advantages of opportunities that might exist. And on the flip side, when there are no incentives, pay as late as you can without incurring fees. Hold onto to your money, have it working for you…unless there’s a very good reason not to.
6. Shop around. Check out the local shops, look online, get bids from vendors and manufacturers – spend wisely.
7. I’ve mentioned this in previous blogs – join associations and trade organizations. You might get access to discounted products and services, like travel, insurance, preferred vendors, etc. The annual fees may be hefty, but you’ll have a weigh out the benefits.

Lots of great idea. Save a little or save a lot. I suggest the latter. Good luck.

If you’re interested in a consultation or have questions, please email me at Robert@RobertFinkelstein.com. If you have any comments, please write them below.

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Great Ways to Save Money in Your Business (Part 7)

Posted in General Management, Ways to Save Money in Your Business with tags , , , , , , on October 26, 2009 by Robert Finkelstein

Saving moneyI’ve offered quite a few tools to start saving money in your business. We’ve covered The Team, Promotions and Location, Internet, Office Supplies, Insurance and Shipping. I hope you’re all over it. If you’re not, why not?

The Financials
Credit cards1. There are important banking and credit card decisions that can save you money…or make you some. If you actively use cards and run a balance, shop around for low interest rates. They really vary. Ask you’re existing accounts to lower your rate – if they have an existing promotion going on, they might just do it. You don’t have to be loyal to one bank. That’s old school. And if you are in the habit of taking cash advances, keep in mind that most banks charge 2-3% fee up front and then the interest starts immediately. Some banks offer 0% for 6 months. They’re out there, you just have to find them.
2. Make your deposits early in the day. If they hit your account earlier enough, you’ll start earning interest that day.
3. If you’re part of a business or trade association, you might have the opportunity to be a part of a buying alliance, allowing you to save on bulk purchases. You might even get better payment terms.
Financials4. Now this one is very important…and a bit confusing…so bare with me. If you are paying a manufacturer or vendor for product upfront and then selling to various retailers, you’re going to be out of pocket for what might be quite a while. If you have ongoing contracts with retailers that take your products as soon as you get them, they’ll probably demand terms for payment. Net-30, Net-60. They’ll want to pay you 30-60 days after receipt of goods. This could mean you’re out the money for 2-3 months. Keep this in mind when negotiating and managing your cash flow. If not managed well, this can kill your business.
5. Another concern can be a business credit line that’s based on your inventory and your account receivables aging. With time, the value of both of these decreases. If you don’t turn your inventory, the bank will devalue it. If you don’t collect on some accounts, as time passes, banks assume you won’t, and devalue them as well. As your line decreases, your ability to do business will become more challenging. Keep on top of these!

Managing these can be tricky, so make sure your financials are in good hands.

If you’re interested in a consultation or have questions, please email me at Robert@RobertFinkelstein.com. If you have any comments, please write them below.

Great Ways to Save Money in Your Business (Part 6)

Posted in General Management, Ways to Save Money in Your Business with tags , , , , , , on October 23, 2009 by Robert Finkelstein

Saving moneyIt’s been a few days, since my last entry, so I trust you spent some time evaluating your businesses. Are you doing what you need to do in order to save money in your business? Saving in one area will allow you to put that money to other areas…or put it in the bank for a rainy day. Let’s start today looking at Shipping.

Shipping
Shipping1. U.S.P.S. The U.S. Postal Service offers a lot of great value if you know what you need and what to ask them. Check out the various box sizes they have that allow you to ship any weight, as long it fits in the box. They can help you clean up you mailing lists, getting you zip codes + four numbers, bar codes, bulk rates, etc. Their international expedited rates are very competitive as well, but they don’t track door-to-door, as FedEx, UPS, etc. do.
2. Clean up your list. Are you sending duplicate marketing letters or ones to old, defunct addresses, or prospects that are a waist of postage (nonresponders). Evaluate, improve, and amend your list.
Freight3. If you ship internationally, talk to a rep from each of the major carriers. They will compete for your business and, in my experience, will provide solutions you probably didn’t think of. They get you set up online, with the software and equipment you need.
4. Don’t wait until the last minute. Obviously, you’ll save money when you’re not forced to ship overnight. If you offer free shipping in your business, make sure you’ve covered this expense elsewhere. It’s one of those costs that can easily get out of control.
5. If you ship on pallets, talk to various freight forwarders. Prices vary…radically. They offer a lot of different services – pickup, delivery, customs, taxes, etc. Don’t pay for what you don’t need.
6. Overseas manufacturer? HUGE savings if you don’t touch every product you ship. Can your manufacturer ship directly to your customers? Look into this.

If you’re interested in a consultation or have questions, please email me at Robert@RobertFinkelstein.com. If you have any comments, please write them below.

Great Ways to Save Money in Your Business (Part 5)

Posted in General Management, Ways to Save Money in Your Business with tags , , , , , , , on October 20, 2009 by Robert Finkelstein

Saving moneyOver the past week I’ve offer up some money saving solutions that I hope you’re seriously considering. We’ve covered The Team, Promotions and Location, Internet, and lastly Office Supplies. Today we’re going to look at that evil but oh-so necessary expense – Insurance.

Insurance
Insurance1. One of the unavoidable expenses, and for a good reason – it’s necessary! So be prepared, but don’t over do it. Make sure you work with a trusted agent and buy only what you need – not too much and not too little. It will save you money in the long run. Knowing your business and what would be catastrophic is very important. Make sure you’re adequately protected. If something terrible happened, you don’t want to be out of business…permanently.
2. Medical insurance can be costly. Again, shop around. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, taking care of your team is very important. Provide benefits that are fair, both PPO and HMO. Let them decide what coverage they want. Remember, if you take care of them, they’ll take care of you. Your agent should help you find the best and most affordable rates.
Save money3. If you’re part of a business or trade association, look into whether or not they offer group insurance. Many do, and this could save you plenty.
4. Have a contingency plan. In other words, if there was a disaster of some kind (flood, fire, etc.), try to have a backup location to run your business. Have a partner that will allow you to operate from their office or facility, and you would offer them the same. This could save you money on business interruption insurance. Something to think about.
5. Last but not least, consider raising your deductible. Your premiums will definitely go down, and if you had to pay the deductible, it would still be less than what you’re saving on the monthly rate (at least most of the time).

If you’re interested in a consultation or have questions, please email me at Robert@RobertFinkelstein.com. If you have any comments, please write them below.

Great Ways to Save Money in Your Business (Part 4)

Posted in General Management, Ways to Save Money in Your Business with tags , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2009 by Robert Finkelstein

Saving moneyI trust you’re finding these ideas helpful. Some of these suggestions, when implemented, will provide immediate savings. Others will yield results over time. Whatever you do, don’t sit back and watch money being thrown away because your business is not being well managed. It’s hard enough making it in the first place. Let’s work on holding on to as much as possible.

Office Supplies
Office expenses1. Buy used furniture, computers and equipment. You can save a ton and not give up any quality. Look in your local Yellow Pages, Craigslist and on eBay for great deals.
2. There are ways of saving a lot of money on supplies, like printer cartridges. Look into recycled ones. You can buy them directly online or, and I wouldn’t recommend it, refill them yourself. It can be quite the mess.
3. Instead of buying forms for your business, you can download most from the Internet…and they’re customizable. Might take a little searching, but they’re out there.
Supplies4. Another area to look into is free software. Usually, it’s downloadable. It might come with all the bells and whistles, but it might be all you need for your business.
5. Watch how much printing is being done. Make sure your not wasting paper. Don’t disregard the idea of printing on both sides, when appropriate.
6. Don’t buy more supplies than you need. I know this wouldn’t happen with your office team, but cabinets full of supplies are very tempting to employees. Keep them locked up and the supplies distributed by an office manager. Besides, why spend the money before you need to.

If you’re interested in a consultation or have questions, please email me at Robert@RobertFinkelstein.com. If you have any comments, please write them below.

Great Ways to Save Money in Your Business (Part 3)

Posted in General Management, Ways to Save Money in Your Business with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2009 by Robert Finkelstein

Saving moneyLet’s continue to explore ways to save you money in your business. Thus far, I’ve offered up ideas for staffing, promotions and location. Depending upon your business, different suggestions will resonate more or less with you. Find what makes sense, and give it a try. I’m confident you and your bank account will be grateful you did.

Internet
Internet business1. Set up your website for less. Even if your pockets are deep, you don’t have to spend money unnecessarily. Check out Elance for great web designers who will bid for your job at a fraction of the traditional cost.
2. If you just want to try out your products online, sell them via auction websites like eBay and Yahoo Auctions before building a website.
3. “If you build it, they will come.” That might work in a movie, but not on the Internet. Do you homework. There are free sites out there that will help you find the keywords that people are searching for. If you want traffic to your site, make sure you’re on the map.
4. Don’t underestimate the power of the social networking websites. Nothing out there is stronger than Facebook. Create a profile and a Fan Page for your business. Trust me, your competitors have. Find other sites that may for more specific to your niche and get on them. If you’re focus, it will be time well spent.
5. Similarly, there are chat rooms for everything. Just search online for the ones that would benefit you the most. Get in there, or have someone do it for you. It’s generally free and a great way to promote your online or business.
6. Make sure your domain name is on all printed materials – business cards, receipts, fliers, coupons, etc.

Come back tomorrow for more suggestions.

If you’re interested in a consultation or have questions, please email me at Robert@RobertFinkelstein.com. If you have any comments, please write them below.

Great Ways to Save Money in Your Business (Part 2)

Posted in General Management, Ways to Save Money in Your Business with tags , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2009 by Robert Finkelstein

Saving moneySaving money in this economy is no easy task…although, if you use some of my suggestions, you will definitely keep a few more dollars in your piggy bank. Yesterday, we looked at ways of managing your team, outsourcing, utilizing independent contractors and other solutions. Today, we’re going to tackle two different areas that if managed properly can have a huge impact on saving money in your business.

Promotions
Promotions1. Get referrals. Ask friends and satisfied customers for their help…and it’s free.
2. If you send invoices, make sure to include advertising with them. This is called piggy backing. At the point-of-sale, make sure to have offers on the receipt, coupons in their bag, fliers and anything else you can come up with.
3. Get testimonials from happy customers. If you have a website or do presentations, they’re a great help.
4. Local TV/Cable channels often offer inexpensive advertising rates. Check them out. Might be worth doing.
5. Share advertising with neighboring businesses (not competition). Databases, sales promotions, business partners, vendors – make it a win/win for both of you.
6. Offer free trainings and classes. Talk to your local Chamber of Commerce or community centers. There might be opportunities. If you sound like a leading authority, people will take notice.

Location
Location1. Make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew. Lessees are negotiating right now. A lot of properties are going unrented month after month. You should be able to get a very good deal. Don’t accept the asking price.
2. Depending upon your business, consider using an executive suite. Rent it when you need it for much less than a permanent office. It’s great for you homebased entrepreneurs out there.
3. If you’re starting a small retail business, consider a mall kiosk, rather than a storefront. Much smaller investment, easy to get in and easier to get out of…but hopefully that won’t be a concern. Don’t forget that location is important here too.

We’re just getting started. Lots more to come.

If you’re interested in a consultation or have questions, please email me at Robert@RobertFinkelstein.com. If you have any comments, please write them below.