Overhead expenses can make or break a business within the first three years of its operation. If you have never started a business or run one on your own before, you need all the advice you can get to make things work out in your favor. This includes a number of strategies to reduce your overhead costs until you can begin turning a profit and have enough operating cash on hand to handle other expenses. The following five strategies can easily help you cut your overhead costs for your business when you are located in Texas.
1. Compare Commercial Energy Rates
In Texas, the way in which you choose your electric and gas carriers is very different from some other states. That is because Texas is a deregulated state, meaning that the energy companies cannot monopolize any one area of the state, nor can local governments require that citizens sign up as customers of a specific energy company. That is actually very good news for most business owners.
As a business owner, you can shop around and compare commercial energy rates. The energy companies in Texas actually compete for commercial and residential customers’ business by offering extensive discounts and discounted rates, giving you and your business the opportunity to select from a wide range of commercial energy prices. When you find a low rate, but you want a lower rate and you want that lower rate from a competing energy company, you only have to mention the already low rate offered by a competing company to get the energy company you really want to make you an unbeatable offer.
2. Cut Telecommunications Costs
Next, decide if you really need cable TV or satellite radio in the office. A lot of businesses decide to bundle telecommunications services and include services they really do not need. If you have extra services that you do not use that often or you could definitely conduct daily business without those services, cut them. Not only will you save on the telecommunications bill, but your commercial electricity rates and costs will also drop dramatically because you are not using extra electricity to operate TVs, satellite radios, etc.
Additionally, all that extra background noise may be very distracting. When you want to be more productive at work, you need a much quieter workspace. There are telecommunications companies willing to offer service packages for less when you only want phone and internet for your business.
3. Email More, Snail-Mail Less
Even if you do a lot of different marketing strategies, you should avoid the “snail mail” approach to marketing until it is something you can easily fit into your marketing budget. Emails and mass email marketing or target email marketing are far, far cheaper than printing thousands of color mailers and paying for the postage for all of those to be mailed. Emails are typically free, so long as your business has an email account, and mass emails are free, too.
There may be a small charge for targeted email mailings, but it is still less costly than printed and postage-stamped mailers. You might be considering designing and printing your own mailers, but when you factor in the ink, the time, the paper or card stock, and the business energy prices per hour to run a printing machine for marketing mailers in your office, you will find that the email marketing approach is smarter and better overall for cutting overhead costs. There are no materials to buy, and the commercial electricity prices are already factored into your daily operations for computers and computer use during business hours.
4. Use Energy Saving Devices in the Office
There are dozens of small, inexpensive devices and products that can help cut your energy costs every month. For one, install motion detector lights in bathrooms and areas where people are not working all day (e.g., bathrooms, closets, etc.). When people enter these areas the lights turn on. When there is no movement for three minutes, the lights turn off on their own. Another solution is the energy-saving LED bulb for all lights. When you combine these devices/products with the best business electricity rates, you are going to see a significant drop in the overhead costs of electrical operations.
5. Keep “Banker’s Hours” the First Year
It doesn’t seem like it would be much help, but when you keep “banker’s hours” during the week and you are not open on the weekends, you are already cutting a lot of the expenditures you would otherwise have. While it is true that you would not be making any money on the weekends, you also would not be spending anything because you would not be using any electricity at all (unless you need it for security systems). Managing things this way in the first year is tricky because you so badly want your business to succeed.
However, if you have several weekends where you are using a lot of electricity to have your business open and no customers or clients come in, then you are wasting money. As your business begins to grow and profit, you can examine the possibility of increasing your business hours and extending them to the weekend while simultaneously researching business energy rates for weekend hours. There may be a few energy companies willing to cut you a special rate to operate your business within certain hours on the weekends.
Looking for Other Ways to Cut Costs
If you keep poking around, you will find that there are a lot more ways to cut overhead costs. More specifically, each type of business may have its own unique expenses that can be cut, such as a construction company renting equipment as opposed to buying it, or a florist shop buying from local growers rather than having flowers shipped from another part of the country. Know where and how you want to cut costs, and there is a way to make it happen.