Whether you are just starting your own business or have been running one for years, you can save money by giving a little attention to your business costs. If you can find the hidden expenses in your business, you can remove them and benefit in the long run. If you are just starting up, you can avoid most hidden costs right from the beginning. Here are seven hidden costs that may be new to you.
1. Renting Office Space
There are a lot of hidden costs in renting office space. The deposit and rent are obvious, but what about parking and property maintenance. Location may be everything, but be sure you can actually afford your ideal location. You can talk to business owners in the area you prefer to learn about their experiences and costs. Read the rental contract carefully to be sure exactly what you will be held responsible for, especially fees for parking spaces and upkeep on the building.
2. Administrative Costs
If you rent or buy office space, you also need to consider the utilities, phone services and internet connection. That is just the beginning. Office furniture, computers and printers, scanners, paper, fax machines software as well as the small stuff such as pens and paper clips or boxes for shipping will also be required. The cost of all these things can be greatly reduced if you shop around.
Repair costs including your IT maintenance are inevitable. Planning ahead for these costs can save you a lot of money. If you don’t plan ahead, when an emergency arises, you may have to pay a lot more to get back in operation.
3. Business Insurance
You are liable for any injuries that may happen on your business premises. To be completely protected, you may need building insurance, liability insurance and unemployment insurance. It is also a good idea to offer a health insurance package for your employees. There are several ways to save money on insurance. The main ways are:
• Shop around to find the best rate for the coverage you require
• Be willing to pay a higher deductible
• Look for a package policy that fits your needs
• Reduce premiums by following your insurer’s recommendations
To see what other businesses in your industry pay for insurance, there are many guides like this one to help compare costs.
4. Indoor Temperature
Raising and lowering the temperature inside your office according to the cold and hot months can dramatically raise your fuel bills. It has been found that keeping the indoor temperature at 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) all year around not only saves on electricity costs but also improves productivity.
5. Legal Fees
Consulting a lawyer before starting a business will save you money in the long run. You may need LLC, trademarks, copyrights, non-disclosure agreements and patents. However, lawyers can be very expensive, so it will reduce your expenses if you negotiate in advance all the known potential costs. That way, you and the lawyer will know what the fee is and what is expected to be done.
6. Employee Benefits
If you offer a good health insurance package, you will attract high quality employees who will be more likely to be loyal to your company. In the long run, better employees mean a well-run business. This is one cost that is worth paying. Again, you should shop around to find the best price for the coverage you want to offer.
Benefits may also include paid leave, savings plans, profit-sharing and pension plans.
7. Industry Association Fees
By joining business associations, you can enlarge your network, and have the opportunity to increase your influence in your area. You will meet other business owners as well as influential people who can help raise awareness about your business.
You will find business associations that focus on industry-specific associations or that include members from all businesses in a certain area. However, fees can be costly. Choose one or two for networking and potential clients. To get the most out of your money, be active and participate in the association’s events.
Time is measured by money, and by taking a little time to analyze your business’s operations and finding the costs that, until now, have been hidden, you can reduce your expenses. If you take the time to strategize the importance of the basic management tasks and infrastructure of your business, you will find many ways to save money.
About the author: James Daniel writes for Insureon, which specializes in helping businesses get the right coverage for their needs.