There are two ways to drive your profit through the roof. Bringing in more money, and shaving down those expenses.

Bringing in more money, landing bigger clients, and raising your rates is the sexy part of the equation. Watching those numbers climb is a rush, and excellent validation for all of the hard work you’re putting into your business. I love the process, and my clients can’t get enough of it.

Keeping an eye on cash flow and counting your pennies to save money is…not as sexy. But what it lacks in charisma, it makes up for in ease and simplicity. Slicing a few percentage points off of your monthly expenses takes less effort than cultivating a new client, and can be less stressful than asking for that price bump.

Let’s get down to business, and uncover three easy ways for you to stop that hard earned cash from slipping out of your grasp.

Cash Saver #1 – Know where it’s going

Take a look at your books, check them twice. You should be able to monitor monthly, annual and usage-based charges and categorize them.

Cash Saver #2 – Spending vs. Investing

Not all expenses are created equal. After all, it’s true that you need to spend money to make money. But that doesn’t mean you need to buy all of the latest tools, gadgets and memberships. As you go through your expenses, the key questions to ask are:

Do I really need it? Can you run your business without it? Fancy Adobe or Photoshop licenses may be a must have for a designer, but an excessive expense for a copywriter.

Is it helping me make money? Advertising that brings in hot leads, the membership plug-in that keeps your community buzzing, or the webinar platform that helps keep your list growing. Are they ‘earning their keep’?

Is it serving my customers? Client gifts and postage charges can add up. If they’re helping create a fabulous customer experience they can stay. But if you’re not seeing the payoff with referrals – they gotta go.

Am I using it regularly? Nothing flushes money down the drain like paying for a subscription that you never use. Think of it like a closet clean out: if you have used/worn it in 6 months…it gets the boot.

Does it bring you joy? Got a music streaming service? Sure, cutting it may seem like a great way to save a few bucks. But if listening to some tunes while writing your blog posts helps your creative process…then that’s money well spent.

Cash Saver #3 – Asking for it

There are lots of opportunities to save money if you ask for the savings.

Take the list of your expenses from Saver #1 and work through it line by line, with an eye to how you can negotiate for a lower rate. Here are some examples to get you going.

Cell Phone and Internet: Call the customer service number and ask for promotional rates. There are usually deals being offered to new customers that they can extend to long-time customers as well. If you get a no? Ask to speak to the retention department – their incentive is to keep you happy, and signed up.

Insurance: Have you left the 9-to-5 and aren’t driving to the office anymore? Call and ask for a re-quote based on your new, lower annual mileage. I did this when I left the cubicle and saved over $100 with a 5-minute call…so worth it!

Online Services: Coupons aren’t just for groceries. Spend some time on Google looking for promo codes and coupons for the online services you’ve decided to keep in your roster. Ask in your network, or if you’re still coming up short, ask the company directly to see what they can do for you.

My best advice to you on saving money in your business is to take action on these Cost Savers early, and often. Keeping your books in order, culling your roster of paid services and memberships a few times a year, and always having an eye open for discounts and promotions is essential…and I can’t wait to hear your success stories!