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Accounting Advice: How to Cut Expenses for a Start-Up Business

Starting a new business is an exciting adventure. You are moving forward with big dreams and hopes for a better future, putting in the effort that is needed to build a company that will succeed for many years. Whether you are taking over a family business or moving forward on a passion project, it is essential that you have a good business plan in place to set yourself up for success. You need to consider the money that is coming in, as well as options to cut expenses.

Moving to a Positive Cash Flow

Costs are inevitable when you are pursuing business efforts. It doesn’t matter if you are building a local office or running a home-based business out of your garage; money will be needed for some up-front costs. In the beginning, you will be spending more money than you are making, especially if you need to put cash into inventory or other important setup costs.

There’s nothing wrong with spending money on these business expenses. Keep in mind that this cash is an investment to build your company for the future. There’s a saying in the business world: “It takes money to make money.” It’s true that you need to have some upfront cash to get your company off the ground.

But, just because you are burning through your cash reserves in the beginning, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be careful to turn things around as quickly as possible. The goal is to make your company profitable right away so that you can have extra money in the bank, instead of spending everything on your business efforts.

Once you move to a positive cash flow, meaning you are bringing in more money than you are spending, then you will have the option to re-invest and grow the company. Or, you can pull some of those profits to enjoy the benefits of your labors.

Two Ways to Manage Cashflow

There are two things that you need to consider when you are working to manage cash flow:

  1. Bring in more money
  2. Cut expenses

Business owners are always focused on bringing in the income that will keep money flowing into the bank. Even if you have strong earnings every month, your business will struggle if you don’t stay ahead of the expenses at the same time. So, you need to evaluate the money that you are spending to identify areas that can be addressed.

Yes, it is important to look for ways to increase your incoming cash. But, don’t overlook the importance of managing your expenses as well. A good accounting team can assist with these efforts.

Cost-Cutting Ideas to Reduce Small Business Spending

Start by evaluating the money that you are spending. Categorize your spending into transactions that are necessary and transactions that can be cut. You might need to change your thinking a little bit to look at your spending with new eyes.

Here are some of the easiest, most effective ways that you can cut your business costs:

  • Secondhand Furniture and Equipment: Why pay for new materials and supplies if you can save a bunch of money by choosing secondhand items? If you need a new desk for your office, you can go to the local furniture store and pay thousands of dollars for the right desk. Or, you can skip paying retail and look for deals on Craigslist or other online marketplaces. In many circumstances, you can save as much as 50 – 70% by choosing secondhand items. Use caution if you are buying electronics though… computer technology is moving fast, and you might be able to avoid a lot of problems by buying new.
  • Rent or Mortgage Costs: A rent payment can be one of the most expensive bills for small businesses. Do you have a local office in a high traffic area, but most of your business is completed online? There’s no reason to pay the surcharge for a premium office space. Consider moving to a different part of town where the rent costs are lower. Yes, it will cost money to move and it takes a lot of effort. But, the rent savings can add up over time. Better yet, look for options to buy a building and rent out a portion of the space to other businesses. These rent payments can help you pay off the mortgage, creating a valuable asset for your company.
  • Utility Expenses: Ongoing utility expenses offer another potential area where you could be saving money. Get creative to see if there are ways that you can reduce utility costs. For example, you might be able to drop your landline and use a VOIP phone number instead. Invest in energy-efficient appliances and switch out the lightbulbs. Install a smart thermostat that will manage climate control throughout the day. Call the internet provider to see if there are options to reduce the amount of money that you are spending on your business package. Sometimes, a few questions to a utility provider can go a long way to bring the ongoing costs back down.
  • Assess Inventory: Are you storing a lot of inventory that won’t be needed for a while? Not only does extra inventory cost money because of the expense of buying the products. But, you also need to spend cash on the warehouse space that is needed to hold everything. Look for lean business options to minimize your inventory while ensuring that you always have product on hand when your customers are ready to buy.
  • Bid Out New Projects: Instead of assuming that you need to hire more employees, consider the option to talk to multiple contractors to get the best price on services that are needed. This bidding process will help you minimize costs and maximize the services that are available. Seeking out multiple bids is essential so that you can see if your preferred contractors are overcharging for the services.
  • Offer Telecommuting Options: As the business grows, it can be hard to maintain the office space that is needed for the expanding team of employees. Instead of moving into a bigger office, look for options to share the office space more efficiently. You can invite employees to telecommute, helping to reduce the number of people that you are managing in the office each day. This option allows the desks to be shared and reduces the amount of space that is required for employee housing. At the same time, employees will be happy that they can avoid commuting costs.
  • Go Paperless: Paper waste can cost your company a lot of money. Not only do you need to pay for the cost of the paper reams, but you also have expenses for the printing as well. You will spend money on the cost of buying a printer, paying for ink cartridges, and ongoing maintenance as needed. Plus, many companies spend money on recycling and shredding services for old paperwork. These expenses can be reduced by keeping digital records instead of filing printed paperwork.
  • Pay Off Business Debt: Business debt can make it hard for you to keep up with cash flow. Not only do you need to make the payments on the costs that are due, but you are also taking on a lot of expenses for the interest costs. How much are you paying every year in credit card interest? If unexpected costs pop up, then it is common to put those expenses on a credit card. Unfortunately, the interest expenses will really add up, potentially costing your company thousands of dollars a year in avoidable costs.
  • Save for a Rainy Day: It is essential that you set aside cash for the future. This emergency savings account will help you pay for taxes and anything else that might come up unexpectedly. There are always times when you need to dip into the bank account. Make sure that you have money set aside so that you can avoid running up the business credit cards.
  • Maximize Tax Write-Offs: As a small business owner, many things can be used as a business write-off to minimize tax burden. You could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by using the right tax strategy. Maximize these tax write-offs so that you can minimize the amount of money you need to pay at tax time. The best thing that you can do is hire the services of an experienced accounting team who can help with your tax strategy.

As you can see, there are many ways that you can be creative with your business spending to reduce expenses. If you need assistance, then make sure that you have the services of an experienced accounting team. We can assess your spending habits and provide recommendations that will help to minimize expenses in the future. Financial expertise can offer a valuable way for you to level-up your business efforts and reach higher levels of success.

For more information about small business accounting services, you need to talk to our team at Easier Accounting. We understand the financial requirements that are needed to run a small business. Our team is here to assist with anything that you need: (888) 620-0770