Anand Srinivasan
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How I Saved Over $5000 In Business Expenditures Every Month

Anand Srinivasan

December 18, 2013

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A lot of businesses I know claim success reporting several thousand dollars in revenue every month. However, most of these businesses also bleed an equal amount of money in business expenditures so much so that they make little to no profit. As much as revenues are significant, the thing that matters most is profits - without profit, you cannot take money home as a businessman.

There are two ways to tackle this challenge concurrently -  by increasing revenues and by reducing expenditures. While most people focused on increasing revenues, I focused on the latter. In doing so, I was able to save over $5000 in my business expenditure every month. Read on to understand how I did it -

Reducing Paperwork:

Paperwork is a huge strain on business. However, most of us deem it necessary for setting up purchase orders, invoicing and signing contracts. Not only does paper costs money, the monthly expenditure required to handle these documents (shipping via courier, archiving in files, real estate space required to store documents, etc.) accrues over time. In our business, we established a ‘no paper’ policy thanks to which all activities that needed paper were replaced with digital alternatives. We signed up with QuickBooks for our invoicing. All our contracts were signed electronically through our e-Sign Enterprise system. Signing up with these two tools reduced by paper expenditure by almost 80%. In addition to this, our work space too started getting clutter-free thanks to the minimal use of paper.

Telecommuting Policy:

Earlier, all our employees had to report to our office to work. This not only burns close to two hours every day in commuting, we felt the efficiency of our employees dropped too. We introduced a telecommuting policy that enabled our employees to report in to work from home. This not only freed up an hour or two for our employees that they put in at work, it also saved a lot of electricity overheasd (power consumption on air conditioning, computer, etc.).

Go VoIP:

Our business requires frequent conversations with clients who are based abroad and in other states. This brought about a need for a cheaper alternative to the land lines that we had at work. We decided to go VoIP and replaced all land lines with VoIP hosted solutions. While VoIP has its own set of challenges, the cost advantage too high to overlook. We now have a seamless IP based phone network with plans to launch a full fledged SIP-trunking based system when we grow to be a larger team.

Replaced Traditional Advertising With New Media Spending

Another crucial step that we took was to replace all forms of traditional media advertising (including radio and newspaper that we did frequently) with digital media. The reason this change effected expenditures was that the new media advertising is easy to monitor and gives us accurate ROI figures. This gives us a better idea of what is working and what is not working thus helping us optimize our spends better. With radio or newspaper advertising, it was becoming a little difficult to measure the success since the success rates could only be tracked superficially.

Five grand in savings may not mean much to a lot of businesses. However, for a 4 man startup that launched in the living room of one of the founders, that’s a lot of money that could potentially give us enough money to hire an additional resource. Are you a small business owner? Tell us more money saving tips in the comments below.


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