Marci talks about the financial issues & concerns business owners' face when running their own company.
Running a business feels a lot like bailing out a boat while your employees are constantly drilling new holes in the bottom.
You need to make money faster than they can spend it, and resentment about expenses can build up fast.
Here are six steps you can take to reduce your recurring expenses and help keep some of that hard-earned money:
1) Email - Get free email hosting from Google Apps. If your business has less than 50 employees, you can use the free Standard version. It works great and the cost savings are substantial. You can also dabble with their collaboration tools at no cost. These often help improve efficiency within the office as well.
2) Mileage - If your teams are off-site for meetings, require that they carpool. Not only is this a good way to save on reimbursement expenses, it's also better for the environment.
3) Phones - Think about VOIP if you're sick of paying the long distance charge for every single call. Also, consider using Skype for routine calls instead of the phone. Skype is completely free, and if your clients are also using the service, then you can have a free video conference with each other. This application is terrific for remote-office employee calls.
4) Paper - Let's just use less of this. I've found that when we're "out of paper" in the office, all of a sudden my employees learn how to store files on the server. Imagine that.
5) Electricity - Try changing out your light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs and watch your utility bills decrease immediately. You can also toss a roll of insulation over your hanging ceiling and immediately save up to half on your heating/cooling bills.
6) Furniture - Buy refurbished office furniture instead of new. It looks and works like new, but costs half as much and is better for the environment. I get all of my furniture from Re-form.
Here are some other resources for saving money in your routine office operations:
Jason Calcanis' approach (these are really great)
Tips for non-profits
If you take a critical look at absolutely every penny you spend - a really detailed examination - you might realize that your money is going to a number of places that it doesn't need to go.