Whether you’re starting a new business or trying to grow an existing one, you are well aware that money doesn’t grow on trees. Ben Franklin’s adage “A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned” makes more sense today than ever.
Here are some money saving tips. Most of them won’t create an “ah ha moment” when you read them. But hopefully they will perhaps make us all think about ways that we can stretch that dollar!
- Just as “Location, Location, Location” is the main concern of the real estate industry, “Plan, Plan, Plan” should be the mantra of your business. By planning ahead, you’ll have products when you need them and save the added costs of having something shipped via air– which can eat into your profits.
The second mantra should be “Track, Track, Track.” By tracking which gifts sell best and when, which promotions work and which don’t, which time of year is best for what, you’ll have a better handle on what you need to do throughout each month of the year and what products you need to keep on hand.
- Another familiar adage is: “Time is Money.” Save time by having your work area well organized. The same goes for your desk. How many wasted minutes have you spent looking for something that you know just has to be here?
- Consider the possibility of using something you already have instead of paying to buy something new. For example, I use pull bows on my low end apartment gifts and save all the ribbon ends from those in a big bin. This ribbon is much stronger than curling ribbon for tying on bows and it curls beautifully. You could even create a curly bow by combining the various colors, typing together and curling or use it to enhance a hand-tied bow.Look at the empty baskets and products that you already have in stock and see what you can do to give them a different look without spending money on new and different ones. For those “one of a kind” containers sitting there gathering dust, fill them and top with a gorgeous bow and create a “close-out sale.” Sell a dozen of these and you have the money to buy a dozen new containers.
- Sharpen those dull scissors yourself. I purchased a hand scissors sharpener from Wal-Mart for about $6 and run my scissors through it periodically.
- Watch your shipping bills. UPS (and probably Fedex as well) frequently charges for home delivery when I’m shipping to the office at an apartment complex and put office in the address. If something doesn’t look right, call and question it. UPS also routed 4 large packages shipped overnight (with shipping charges of over $300) through Kentucky when it was in the midst of flooding. Needless to say, they weren’t delivered overnight. I questioned the routing and they refunded the shipping.
- Recycle paper. I have a bin where I put letter sized papers that are printed on only one side. When I need to print something for myself that no one else will see, I print on that paper. The same with shipping boxes. If they are still sturdy and in good shape, I reuse them. You can always print stickers to go on them. I have labels that say “Creative Gifts helps save the Earth one box at a time. You can do your part too by reusing this box or recycling it!” Packing paper and air-filled pillow packs, used by vendors in boxes of products sent to you, can be reused.
- If you have more than one website, save on hosting costs by using a company that allows you to host multiple domains for one price. You pay one hosting cost which can save you a bundle each month.
- Stock up on products that have a long shelf life when a company is having a sale or offering free shipping. There are usually special offers at trade shows or sent to us via email.
- Use a credit card for your business that accumulates points which can either be applied to plane tickets or refunded as cash. Mine gives me either option. Make all of your business purchases on this card and your points will add up quickly. Just make sure that you pay off the card each month so that interest payments don’t cancel out what you save with the points.
- Read. Read everything you can about the gift industry, general business, or any other subject. It’s amazing where you will get ideas that trigger thoughts about how you can save money, time, or just how to improve your business.
What are you doing to save money? Share your tips in the comments.