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How Entrepreneurs Can Lower Expenses in Their Business Without Sacrificing Service Quality to Clients

cutting-costs-in-businessRegardless of where you are in your business building process, you’re likely trying to find a way to reduce your expenses and manage costs so that you can see your profit margins grow, right?

Well, at least I hope that you are.  CEO’s (and yes, even your solo-preneur status can be managed from the vantage point of a CEO) are always reviewing what the numbers tell them about their business growth to determine if part of their growth is to reduce their expenses.

And, honestly I like how Jacob thinks as you’ll understand when you read his question which I’m answering in this week’s episode of Incredible Factor TV.

“Hi Darnyelle.  I’m starting to pay more attention to my numbers and fiscal responsibility in my business thanks to you and Incredible Factor TV.  I’m wondering if you can share some insight into what I can do to lower my expenses without affecting the quality of the work I do for my clients.”

See my response to Jacob’s question in this week’s episode of Incredible Factor TV:

Like I say in the episode, reducing expenses is a great way to increase your profit margins.  Before you can reduce expenses, you have to track all that you are spending.  You may not realize that your client lunches and dinners have gotten excessive if you’re not tracking them.  Tracking will also give you the categories that your expenses are bundled into.  Once you start paying attention, you’ll likely identify changes you can make – as an example, you can reduce your office supplies (even buying recycled paper can make a difference). We use recycled ink cartridges, which saves us 50%.

As promised, here are some of my favorite ways to reduce expense without affecting client service quality:

1. Work from home.  Sure, having a great office location downtown or on the water can keep you energized throughout the day but it will also require money to maintain it.  By working from home with my assistant coming into my home office each day to work and the rest of my team members working from their homes, I save a minimum of $18,000 per year in office rental space.  And that number doesn’t include utilities and other expenses that I get to reduce from working in my home.

2. Reduce overhead by reducing inventory.  If you’re an author or have products that can be ordered print-on-demand, do it.  By not maintaining inventory, you’ll save a lot of money.  If I had to keep my home study products in stock, it would cost me a minimum of $24,000, but since I can order them only when they have been requested, I save much more and don’t have to waste money or find a way to “move” discontinued products.

3. Use recycled ink.  This one has been huge for my business.  I used to buy the regular ink for my printer.  For a combo pack of color and black, it would cost me $35 per printer. (We have two in my office.)  Now, I spend $20, which is a $15 saving per combo pack.  Trust me, that adds up over the year.

4. Go paperless.  If you can make your files and documents available to clients as a PDF versus having to put them in the mail, you can save money on printing and postage.

5. Only offer online versions of your products to reduce printing fees.  If you are a coach or consultant that creates home study products for clients, only make them available via an online program so that you don’t have any expense to print and fulfill the product.  The other obvious benefit is that they get it automatically as soon as they purchase versus having to wait on the mail.

6. Offer virtual offerings to reduce travel expenses.  Rather than traveling to meet with a client three states away, offer a webinar, Google+ Hangout or Skype meeting. Using technology to offer virtual options in working with you will not only save you money, it will also help you to leverage technology.

7. Use 1099’s versus hiring employees.  Hiring an employee could mean lots of additional expenses like payroll taxes, health insurance benefits and more, but bringing on a new 1099 can be much more inexpensive because they are no hidden costs to getting them to perform a task for your company.

8. Use two-sided printing.  My assistant is big on reusing paper for things she is printing for me to review around the office.  Also, using both sides of the paper to print in your office will save paper.

9. Use online payment services versus a merchant account.  Having a PayPal or Square account can save you if your billing system can operate that way.  I use to have PayPal exclusively until I changed the payment structure of my coaching and consulting programs.  Now that I need to be able to offer recurring billing without the administrative task falling on my team and me, we can’t rely on PayPal. But if your business is structured differently or just starting out, you likely can.

10. Hire interns for college credit.  There are not many forms of labor that are going to be cheaper than college credit, so if you have work that an intern can do, this will definitely save you money.

11. Learn and leverage free marketing tools like social media.  There are tons of people growing their businesses via social media which technically only cost you time. If you can accelerate your learning curve and identify key strategies to attract ideal clients, you can make more money and save some at the same time.

Now I want to hear from you, what’s your two cents?:   
What have you done to reduce your expenses? What small concessions have you made to keep your profit margins higher and consistent to your overall business building goals?

©2014 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, The Incredible Factor Speaker, Business Coach and Marketing Mentor, is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises.com, Incredible Factor University® and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System®, a proven step-by-step program for more clients, more income and more leverage in your business. For more information and a FREE audio CD “7 Critical Mistakes Entrepreneurs Must Avoid When Unleashing Your Incredible Factor So You Attract More Clients, Make More Money and Gain More Leverage” just fill out the form below.

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