| Savings & Tips
African American small business owner selling baked goods at local market

When you’re running a small business or startup, every penny counts. From how much you spend on trash bags to the cost of each gallon of gas that goes into your delivery vehicles, you know it all. Stretch your earnings with these helpful money-saving tips relating to staffing, negotiating, insurance coverage, and technology.

Tip #1: Get creative with staffing.

For many small business owners, payroll is one of their biggest expenses. You may be able to save on payroll by hiring independent contractors to provide services as needed, instead of hiring someone full time. Without the added expense of health benefits, 401(k)s, paid days off, or overtime pay, you could end up saving a good chunk of change.

Hiring contract or freelance labor can also be a wise way to test the waters before making a full-time hire. According to Fast Company, 41% of companies surveyed say that a bad hire in the last year cost them at least $25,000, and 25% say that a bad hire cost them upwards of $50,000 last year. Waiting for the right employee could be one of the most cost-effective decisions you make this year.

If you absolutely need to hire someone on a full time basis, look for talented individuals with less experience but a passion for learning, such as recent community college, tech school, or high school graduates. Depending on the position, it may be worth your time to hire and train a fresh face!

The bottom line? “Independent contractors are cheaper for companies to hire.” – CNN Money

Tip #2: Negotiate…and then re-negotiate.

When you’re dealing with vendors or suppliers, don’t make the mistake of thinking that the price you agreed to pay when you first began working with them is the price you’ll pay forever.

Once you’ve been a customer for a while, consider asking for perks like a discount when you purchase in bulk, faster shipping without any additional expense to you, or improvements to existing warranties. Most vendors would rather give you the discount than risk losing a loyal customer. Even if the vendor says, “Not today,” you’ve got little to lose. There’s no shame in asking!

The bottom line? “Everything is negotiable.” – Carrie Fisher

Tip #3: Use technology wisely.

Why pay for an expensive software program for your business when there are tons of free open source options available online? You can find free open source software for everything from photo/video editing and word processing, to accounting and project management.

Web based programs also make it easier for employees to work remotely, saving you money on office space and employee perks. Multiple studies, including one by the Stanford School of Business, find that giving employees the flexibility to work from home makes them happier and more productive.

The bottom line? “Done correctly, cutting your current tech spending may leave your company leaner, faster and bigger than before.” – The Wall Street Journal

Tip #4: Don’t overpay for gas or commercial auto insurance.

Many small businesses make use of at least one company car, while others manage entire fleets. They may be convenient, but company cars come with the added cost of gas and insurance. While these are two expenses that can be written off on a business’s tax returns, there are things you can do to save money on both in the short-term.

You could reduce the amount of money you spend on gas by using tools like GasBuddy to locate the cheapest fill-up stations in town. And when it comes to commercial auto insurance, you can maximize your savings by exploring all available discounts and setting up a flexible payment plan with your provider. At Direct Auto Insurance, we’ll help you keep your fleet of work vehicles on the road and properly insured.

The bottom line? For competitive pricing on commercial auto insurance, call 1-877-GO-DIRECT (1-877-463-4732) today! We’ll help you customize your commercial policy to fit the needs of your business and its employees.


*Commercial auto insurance produced by Right Choice Insurance Agency, Inc. and Direct General Insurance Agency, Inc. d/b/a Direct Auto Insurance as agents for Titan Indemnity Company, a Nationwide Insurance Company & its affiliates. Not available in all stores. Pay plans, discounts and coverages subject to terms and conditions.
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