7 Ways to Avoid Unnecessary Small Business Expenses

Both starting and running a small business can be daunting. There are numerous tasks that must be attended to, and it’s easy to allow smaller expenses and responsibilities to fall through the cracks. While neglecting the need to get a coffee maker for your new office may be a simple oversight, other mistakes can have a bit of a higher cost. Here are a few tips to keep in mind in order to help avoid unnecessary expenses as you run your small business.

1. Utilize Small Business Administration Grants

One way to help offset the often high costs of starting a new company is to apply for a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration. While this can be an easy way to save money, it’s a bit harder to qualify than you might think. Typically, if you’re simply looking for startup cash to help offset expenses, you’re going to need to be in a specific field, such as conservation efforts, medical research, or scientific studies. If you don’t line up with that qualification, you’ll need to look elsewhere to help keep those expenses in check.


2. Purchase Proper Insurance

One easy task to forget, and something that appears as just another expense on the surface, is the need to get liability insurance. Particularly if your company requires employees, has customer foot traffic, or both combined, you’re going to want to protect yourself from the potentially disastrous costs of a lawsuit from an accident on your premises.


Whether it’s general liability for slip and fall accidents in your coffee shop or full-blown malpractice insurance for a Family Nurse Practitioner, you’re going to want to make sure that you have the proper insurance in place as your company gets off the ground. It’s important that you protect yourself with the comparatively affordable costs of liability protection in order to avoid a truly catastrophic lawsuit that could put you out of business at a moment’s notice.


3. Keep Your Inventory Lean and Your Transportation Efficient

There are many different ways that inventory and transportation costs can run away from a small business owner, which makes it a prime target for expense management. For example, it’s important that you understand when it’s better to continue housing inventory and when it’s better to dispose of excess products.


It can also be beneficial to carefully analyze how much warehouse or other storage space is truly required to operate efficiently. If excess space is being paid for, downsizing or even leasing or subleasing extra space should be considered. Other factors that can lead to unnecessary expenses include a cluttered or disorganized shipping process as well as a failure to consolidate multiple smaller orders from the same customer into single shipments when possible.


4. Keep a Lean Office Space

In addition to reducing unneeded inventory and warehouse costs, it can be helpful to regularly evaluate your office space. Once again, don’t rent or purchase excess space that will have to be paid for. Don’t be afraid to negotiate leases, as well. When possible, also consider alternatives to having an office space in the first place. Even if an office is required for certain personnel to work, you may be able to outsource other tasks in order to streamline efficiency and keep your operating costs at a minimum.


For example, consider employing freelance graphic designers, web developers, or writers in lieu of hiring full-time or even part-time employees. Along with only paying for work when it’s required, often hiring freelancers comes with the added benefit of a remote work scenario that allows you to keep your office space as small as possible.


5. Invest in Tech Where it Makes Sense

Numerous advancements in technology are constantly creating innovative ways for offices to operate more efficiently. From bookkeeping software like QuickBooks to workflow management platforms like Trello or Asana, utilizing technology in your small business startup can be an excellent way to trim the budget and avoid spending that precious, hard-earned cash.


6. Don’t Be Lavish When You Don’t Have To

Don’t feel the need to purchase new, quality items when you don’t have to. Second-hand equipment is a great way to help avoid the cost of new transportation vehicles, machinery, etc. In addition, things like refurbished furniture can help furnish office spaces without breaking the bank.


7. Don’t Be Afraid of Smart Inexperience

Finally, a small business startup is a perfect place for inexperienced employees to develop and grow. While you don’t want them to do so at the expense of your company, have an eye towards smart candidates who stand out in spite of a lean resume. These can often be hard-working, diligent employees who want to both prove and improve their skill set. In the meantime, naturally, the added benefit of paying less for a lack of experience can help keep payroll expenses minimal.


Keeping Costs Down

There are plenty of different ways to keep expenses down as a small business owner strives to navigate the perpetually turbulent waters of the business world. It doesn’t matter if you operate a storefront or restaurant, run a fledgling accounting firm, provide a service, or anything else. Keeping an eye out for unnecessary business expenses is one of the wisest ways to ensure that your company stays up and running for the long haul.


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