How Do Small Businesses Cut Costs?

Updated: Jun 19, 2020

I normally write about payroll and employee matters, but I came across this article on Business.com and thought it may provide some helpful hints for some of my clients and small business owner friends. You can find the complete article with this link https://www.business.com/articles/brilliant-ways-to-save-money/.

Megan Totka reveals “11 Brilliant Ways Your Small Business Can Save Money” and though some of these ideas are common sense, sometimes we forget the simple solutions as we try to run our business more effectively and inexpensive. Here are the areas she focuses on in her article:

  1. Don't pay for office space – Having your own office can be expensive. Sharing a common workspace or finding a cost-effective solution can provide huge savings.

  2. Buy used equipment – Having new furniture and equipment is nice, but is it really required for your business to succeed. Maybe used will suit your needs, the price can also be attractive.

  3. Shop around – Taking the time to check competitors isn’t as hard as it used to be. The internet can be an amazing resource to quickly check for current deals or sales.

  4. Barter – The price may be negotiable; you won’t know unless you ask. Trading services can also be beneficial for businesses to keep costs low.

  5. Use freelancers and contractors – We can’t be good at everything, and sometimes it doesn’t make sense to hire staff for every task. Outsourcing can often be the best solution.

  6. Volunteer to speak at events – This can be a great opportunity to get your voice heard, develop recognition, and become a public figure in your industry.

  7. Consider communal advertising – Finding a business to partner with or recommend your services can help with finding new business without increasing costs.

  8. Reduce paper use – Cut costs and decrease your environmental impact. Having electronic files is becoming the norm. This one is a win-win for every business.

  9. Use a smart thermostat – Lowering your heating and cooling bill can have a huge impact on business expenses. Having a thermostat that changes the temperature at certain times, such as non-business hours, is an easy way to save dollars. Smart thermostats are now more reasonably priced since becoming popular.

  10. Encourage word-of-mouth marketing – Word travels fast, so having a reliable network and social media coverage can help your business get the word out faster.

  11. Buy in bulk – This one can be a double-edged sword. Evaluate the cost and the storage requirements before purchasing, having too much facial tissue, paper towel, cleaning supplies, coffee, tea, etc. can take up a lot of space, sometimes supplies are best left in your supplier’s warehouse.

I believe she describes the motivation for cutting costs the best on number 2, “While new, shiny gear might be pretty, a bank account with a zero balance isn't”, well thought out advice I must say. Using freelancers seems to be the new trend, I have heard from several business owners that Fiverr https://www.fiverr.com/ is growing increasingly popular amongst the small business community as we all try to cut costs. But myself, I especially like the point referencing the use of a smart thermostat. If I was going to create a similar type list, I never would have thought of this one.


There are always ways to run our business more cost effective, especially small businesses in their start up phase. Making every penny count will always be a balancing act as we grow our business, but in today's online world, we have more and more tools available to us. Take advantage of all the resources you can, keep your costs low, and succeed in your business. Good luck out there.


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