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When times are tight, the first thing you need to do is look at every aspect of your budget to determine where you can make cuts to eliminate wasteful spending. Running a business can be very expensive, and sometimes it’s hard to look at your finances with a critical eye to determine what can be cut or reduced. If you’re struggling to know where to start, here are a few tips that most business owners can use to start saving money right away.

Go Paperless

Expenses for printing materials are often one of the first things that businesses cut when looking to save money. However, instead of cutting their direct marketing budget entirely, many businesses make the switch to email advertisements. There can be small fees, but targeted emails cost less than printed materials. Switching to targeted emails is also great because you can send out messages to your audience faster than ever, and you can also track their engagement with those messages. This idea is an effective way to cut costs while still providing a marketing solution for most businesses.

Power Down at the End of the Day

Powering your business can be a large expense, but there’s no reason to pay money to do it when you’re not even at the office! Unless you already have ENERGY STAR appliances, make sure you are powering them down at the end of every day along with turning off your lights and unplugging your electronics. Additionally, install a programmable thermostat and schedule it to run in an energy-efficient way on evenings and weekends when no one is in the building. Over time, you’ll start to see a reduction in your utilities and more money in your pocket.

Negotiate Your Rates

If you have items that you use frequently in your business, like packing materials or office supplies, contact your vendor and see if they’d be willing to work with you to lower your costs. They may be able to offer bulk pricing or suggest alternative products that are more within your budget. This trick often works with utility companies as well. Don’t be scared to pick up the phone and see if there are ways to save your business money. Even if the answer is no, your position is certainly no worse than when you started.

During difficult times, it’s often hard to figure out exactly how to help your business survive. Start with these three tips to lower your expenses, and you’ll be headed in the right direction to weather the storm.

For some more advice, check out our business operation tips!