How to Increase Your Bottom Line, Today!
Not that long ago, we had our second
baby and we decided that it was a good time for the wife to quit her full-time job and go part-time somewhere. We also realized that this would be quite a hit to the income of our household. Sure we could still eat, pay the bills, tithe, send the kids to college, and maybe even retire one day. But, it would be a photo finish
So, with no real way to increase income, other than working more, which kills the point of going part-time, we set out to cut some expenses. By the way, my lovely wife is an accountant and well trained in this area. We quickly discovered that despite our cheap bargain-basement frugal lifestyle, we still had fat we could trim.
- We had several channels that we never watched, so down came the cable bill. Bye-bye C-Span 7 and the Pan Flute Channel.
- Our cell phone bill had steadily increased and we had enough minutes to cover the entire neighborhood. Down came the cell phone bill.
- We had super-duper high speed internet. We learned that we didn’t need to download a terabyte in .04 seconds, so we downgraded to economy high speed. Who knew this existed?
You get the point. The same happened with insurance premiums, the grocery bill, going out-to-eat costs, and door-to-door coupon/magazine sales.
Before you know it, we had recovered a lot of that lost income. Too bad we didn’t practice what we preached sooner.
I recently had a workshop on increasing a business’ value. One of the presenters, Jason Ritchason from the The Skyline Group, discussed expense reduction. This makes sense, since a more profitable business can have more value.
It is our impulse reaction to assume that we are not wasting money. We couldn’t be. Not in this economy. Sometimes we even rationalize that the cost savings would be so insignificant that it wouldn’t even be worth our time and effort. And don’t even get me started on being penny-wise and pound foolish.
With all of that being said, the average business could get a bump to their net income today if they go line-item, by line-item in their expenses and look for ways to save.
- Telephone bill – Consider a VOIP or renegotiate with your current provider.
- Cell phone bill – Review the number of minutes/texts/data you need versus what you are actually using.
- Internet – Shop out various providers and see what level of speed you truly need.
- Credit card – Call the credit card company and negotiate a lower rate.
- Insurance – Review what is necessary in your policy, consider raising your premiums, and don’t be afraid to shop with an independent agent.
- Vendor discounts – Most vendors will offer a 1% – 5% discount for paying within a certain period of time.
- Merchant services – Shop around for a reduced rate and cost per swipe.
- Lease – If you are comfortable where you are, the landlord may be willing to offer you a lower rate to lock you in a lease over the next few years.
The TSBDC offers free and confidential one-on-one counseling for existing and start up small businesses. To register for go to www.tsbdc.org.
The Tennessee Small Business Development Center Network is funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration and local community donors.