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Every business owner wants to feel like they’re making the best decisions for their company. At no point do you want to look back over the past months or years and wonder what you could have done differently to prevent a bad situation. It’s much more gratifying to know you did everything you could for your business to ensure its growth.
One area many business owners have trouble with is their budget; namely, they have difficulty managing every cent that goes out the door for necessary expenses. It does take money to make money, sure, but it doesn’t always take the amount you’re shelling out every month. Certain expenses could be shaved off while others could actually stand to be increased.
It all depends on if your current budget is moving your business forward like it should be. If not, it’s time to move some things around the place. Let’s take a look at some problem areas you may want to fix.
Marketing & PR
Rather than start with something you should eliminate, let’s look at an area you may want to actually boost up. Marketing and public relations may or may not be your strong suit, but if you’re not paying attention to it, your business can languish in obscurity.
Hopefully you’ve set up the basics: Facebook page, website, Twitter account, perhaps put out an ad or two. These are all good jumping off points. At some point, though, you have to step it up a notch. If your Facebook page has stagnated when it comes to follower growth, take out an ad to jumpstart it. Spending a little money can go a long way when it comes to letting the public know you exist.
Here comes the nit-picky part. Shaving even the smallest bits off of your utilities can lead to some big changes in your wallet. It may be a bit of a pain to keep up with, but your bottom line will thank you for being on top of things.
For example, have you checked your gas rates lately? If not, you may be missing out on a much better deal than you currently have. Switching to a fixed rate may save you some hard-earned cash over the next few months while the weather is warm. It never hurts to ask if there’s a better deal for you, especially if you’ve been a long-time customer.
Before you think this doesn’t apply to you, remember that even if you work at home, you may be eligible to take the home office deduction, which includes deducting a portion of utilities.
This is an example of a budgetary area that could easily fluctuate between shaving down or building up. Your supplies could be emptying your wallet or bringing your business down because they make you look cheap.
A lot of it depends on what your company needs. If you’re buying expensive printing paper but your business is totally digital, wouldn’t that money be better used elsewhere? On the other hand, if you regularly meet with clients to show off how great your graphics look when printed, you want the best paper around. Suddenly you realize your Wal-Mart stock paper isn’t cutting it and you need to find money to buy the good stuff.
Only you can know if the supplies you’re using make sense for your company. This comes with truly understanding the needs of your business rather than your wants. Once you figure this out your endeavor will run much more smoothly.
Shoeboxed wants to know how tightly you control your business budget. Have you made any spending changes in the past few months? Let us know in the comments!
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