For many people, starting a small business can be the key to long-term success and a more financially secure life. Even so, the fluctuations in monthly income are often unnerving. When you work for someone else, you have a pretty good idea how much you will be making from month to month.
When you work for yourself, you have no such assurances. How much you make is a function of many different factors, some of which are under your control and others that are totally beyond it. Your income will be affected by how hard you work, but also by the condition of the national economy and changes in your local marketplace.
Given the challenges of the marketplace, it is no wonder so many small business owners find themselves struggling to grow their profits and build on their past successes. Growing a business is always a challenge, but one of the surest ways to boost profits is to cut your expenses. Keeping costs low is particularly important for new startups, but keeping expenses under control is vital no matter what your stage of development might be.
No Place Like Home for Your Small Business
Rent is a huge expense for many small businesses, but there are ways to trim the cost or eliminate it entirely. If your business is amenable to a home office, you can eliminate the need to pay outside rent. Even better, you may be eligible for a tax write-off if your home office is used exclusively for business.
Of course a home-based business may not be suitable for every startup. If you run a retail shop, you might need to rent space in a local mall or shopping center to get the foot traffic you need to succeed. Even so, you may be able to trim the cost by choosing a less costly location or by teaming up with another entrepreneur. If you run a hair salon, for instance, you might be able to partner with a nail technician or massage therapist and co-rent a space. Since the services are interrelated, such an arrangement can be a win-win for all involved.
Staffing is another major expense for many startups. When your business is just getting started, you may be able to do everything on your own, but as you grow you will probably need to hire workers to perform routine tasks, serve customers and keep the doors open.
You may be able to find some great workers by teaming up with a local high school or community college. Many schools offer work-study plans that allow students to get real-word experience and businesses to get dedicated employees.
You can also reach out to local apprentice programs and job training centers. You can give a young person a great start in life or give a quality employee a second chance. At the same time, you can save money on staffing and trim your business expenses. You may even be eligible for special tax credits and other benefits that help you save even more.
Outfit Your Office for Less
You do not have to spend a fortune to make your small business look professional. Buying brand new desks, chairs, conference tables and other office equipment could boost your expenses and reduce your profits. Why not keep the extra money in your pocket and buy gently used office furniture instead?
There are plenty of sources for used office furniture, from specialized resellers and retail outlets to want ads and online classifieds. If you know you to shop, you can outfit your entire office for thousands less than the cost of buying new.
Starting your own business is no easy task, and the costs can easily get out of control. Keeping a close eye on each category of expenses is one of the best ways to boost your profits, grow your business and ensure your future financial success.