Whether you’re running a professional blog or an entire digital empire, life as an online business owner can be daunting at times and downright terrifying at others. Trying to grow an audience, stick to your margins and generate positive revenue are monumental tasks, and doing it all at once can seem impossible.
Luckily, though, the digital revolution has introduced more than a few new avenues for business. You’ll find a wealth of helpful starting points online, from digital coupons to online-exclusive savings and easy strategies for refining your business budget.
So where can you cut costs without negatively impacting your bottom line? Is it possible to cut costs and actually raise your bottom line? How can coupon-clipping help you focus on the most important aspects of your business?
- Cut Office Supplies
Some of the most under-realized and simplest costs to cut are right under your nose: your office supplies. Printing, shipping, banking and accounting can all add up when it comes to balancing the numbers. But in today’s online world, you have options.
Make sure that if you’re paying for supplies, you’re actually utilizing them. And for the supplies and services that are invaluable? Try scouting around for the best deals. By switching providers or using competitor coupons, you could cut your supplies costs by 25 percent with minimal effort.
- Jettison Expensive Software
Are you paying for business licenses for accounting, word-processing or project-management software? In today’s competitive digital environment, you can find open-sourced or free versions of nearly any software. Try Freshbooks in place of Quickbooks, or Open Office in lieu of Microsoft Office. And if your business is Google-based, Google Docs is a great way to collaborate and share files with your team, no matter where they are.
Saving that software money, especially while your company is still young, will pay dividends in a short amount of time
- Go Virtual
Opting for free or discounted VoIP services and telecommuting can cut your operating costs significantly, and might even boost your employee productivity. Costly office space, combined with the time and frustration of commuting, can hinder your small business’s growth. Try taking meetings at your local coffee shop for a cheaper alternative to the utility bills.
Your business can also go virtual in more ways than one. Cloud computing can cut your IT and information storage costs in half, while still keeping your company data secure and accessible.
- Evaluate Your Web Design
Aesthetics are a huge contributor to sales, and a well-designed website can make or break your company. But are you paying too much for yours?
These days, you don’t have to know how to code to build a high-performance site—and you don’t even have to pay someone to do it. Plenty of services like WordPress or Squarespace offer extremely low-cost page designs to host your professional-looking site, saving you a lot of time and money.
- Explore Your Value Perception
Ever heard the term “fake it till you make it?” Sometimes, the art of raising your bottom line comes from knowing your audience, and where to start your bottom line.
Consumers frequently use price points to determine quality, so raising your prices can lead your customers to believe your company offers higher quality than your competition. When analyzing where to cut costs, consider instead creating a value impression that will lift your revenue margins immediately and over time.