If you are planning on starting a small business, or are already the owner of a small or medium sized business, one of the first things you will learn is that it isn’t an inexpensive venture, no matter how small that business is. In order to be able to see a profit each month, you need to be able to keep your costs low, without skimping on the things you need, including marketing and advertising. Here are some tips that will help you to keep your expenses under control:

  • Internships – One way to get the services of full time employees without having to spend any money at all is to offer internships. Not only are you getting the services of talented young students, they are getting the benefit of on-the-job training. When they graduate, they will be able to show that they have working experience, and you can provide references to help them find future employment. It is a win-win situation for everyone.

  • Software – You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on software for your business. There are many websites that offer great deals on all types of software for any business. Check out exclusive deals on business software at sites like CNET and Cloudswave.

  • Payroll – If you have employees, you need to find ways to be able to save on your payroll expenses without losing those employees. Don’t start cutting salaries or letting people go. Instead, let them come up with ways that they can keep their jobs, such as by offering to work fewer hours. They would be happier to have a few hours than none at all. If you do need to cut your payroll expenses, do it at a time when you do not need extra staff.

  • Employees – You don’t need to have a lot of employees to make your business seem more impressive. Yes, there are benefits to having full time employees, but there can also be a downside. You not only have to pay salaries, you will also be responsible for health benefits, taxes, and more. Instead of hiring full time staff, try using freelance workers. You can find many qualified freelancers on such websites as Elance and oDesk.

  • Utilities – Of course you need to have electricity, as well as telephone and Internet connections for your business. But, you don’t need to spend a fortune on these utilities. For instance, you can save money on your energy bill by shutting off lights when they are not needed. While it may seem expensive, you will save money over time if you switch to energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances. You can save money on energy by insulating windows. It will cost money to make these changes, but it will be worth it in the long run.

  • Waste – All businesses have waste, but you don’t need to have a lot of it if you stay on top of things. Take notes, and record the items that are used or sold, and those that end up going to waste. Then, you can cut out those items, eliminating a lot of expenses from your budget. You will soon start to notice patterns, and you will be able to recognize them when they start to happen again and not end up losing money due to waste.

  • Bartering – Get to know your fellow small and medium sized business owners. You could be surprised at how many things you can barter, which is going to cut back on a lot of expenses. One business owner has something you want, and you have something they want. By trading, you are helping each other, and showing that you support other local businesses.

 Image Source: Tim Lydy