Two great ways to lower costs of doing business is networking and bartering. Networking events are a great way to meet new individuals who may offer lower prices on the goods and services you need. Additionally, many business owners are turning to bartering as a way to save cash for items that can't be bartered. Barter typically requires little or no cash and you may find ways to barter for rent, office furniture, printing or even professional services.
Try to make purchases in bulk or at wholesale stores. Buying bulk typically allows you to save over cost per piece prices. Shop around for prices from local bulk stores or through online wholesalers.
Consider renting or borrowing less-used pieces of office equipment. Do you host occasional training conferences for which you need a projector? Rent one for a week. Consider renting a copier or industrial strength printer when the need arises rather than paying an ongoing contract fee.
Plan ahead for big ticket purchases you know are looming. When you know you need to update, start checking sale ads, scour close out sales, garage sales or even message boards for going out of business sales.
Have you tried to negotiate a discount on the products and services you use on a regular basis? If you have a long term relationship with a supplier, chances are he or she might be willing to negotiate a better price as a way to keep you as a client.
When it comes to employee costs, consider installing a time clock - either virtual or physical - as a way to lower costs. If your employees can log into an online time keeping program you can save costs on time and payroll calculation at the end of the pay period. Virtual time clocks are a money saver in myriad ways.