Small Business Spending: Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck

Whether you’re just starting out or already run an established company, dissecting your small business spending is key for the longevity of your organization. It’s the difference between treading water and swimming in capital. To make the most strategic and profitable decisions without sacrificing the quality of your business, determine how to maximize your investment.

Are you using technology to automate tasks?

Robots may not take over the world anytime soon, but there’s certainly no shortage of apps and automated technology to use in the meantime. Finding an app or program that can complete a task for you will minimize your small business spending.

For example, if you take product photos for your online store, you need to download them to your computer and then upload them to your site. WordPress.com has a feature that lets you embed photos into your site directly from your Google account, eliminating the manual upload process.

Automated tools that can save you money include customer relationship management programs designed to automatically follow up with customers, a program that queues up automatic social media posts, or an If This Then That protocol that automatically fills out spreadsheets with invoice information.

Does every expense directly help your bottom line?

This might sound like a common-sense question, but it needs to be addressed. In business, there are necessary expenses, but have you considered using free or cheaper alternatives? Sometimes, getting creative with your overhead costs can make all the difference.

If you run a catering business, having a vehicle for food transportation is a necessary expense. But, are you filling it up at the most affordable gas station in town, and keeping on top of maintenance so that it doesn’t break down? If you find a place that gives you a steep discount on disposable cutlery, is it still worth using if it’s located across town? Instead of driving to pick up cutlery, can you negotiate a delivery process?

Is the help you’re paying for actually help you need?

Undoubtedly, growing your business will require some help from others. Before you expand your team, ask yourself if the task you’re paying someone else to do is a one-time deal or a recurring job. Understanding the type of help you’re looking for will save you big bucks.

For example, if you want to enhance your online presence by boosting your search engine optimization, you might pay for a one-time consultation instead of hiring someone to monitor your page views or optimize your content every month. A single consultation might be all you need to glean some long-term SEO strategies. This way, you’ll pay someone once and use their advice indefinitely.

If you’re looking to hire help to complete ongoing tasks, you might consider hiring a virtual assistant to handle your accounting duties, or a freelance writer to produce regular blog posts for your site.

The important thing is that you carefully analyze each business expense, process, and task to make sure they’re absolutely necessary, and are completed in the most economical ways possible. Doing so will save you money and free up your time.

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Sarah Li Cain

A B2B and personal finance writer who has appeared in publications such as Credit Karma, Magnify Money and Lending Tree.

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