This certainly isn’t an exhaustive list, nor are these ideas going to get your fledgling company in the black, but they will save you money without costing you anything, except a little time. The motive here is improving your business cash flow and these three ideas are based on services that are extremely negotiable, however I rarely see my small business clients question their rates after they signed the contract. This is found money my friends, you just need to ask the six magical words, “Is this the best you can do?”
First, get your business liability insurance re-quoted by at least three insurance brokers. This is a very soft market for business insurance and prices for coverage are shifting every six months. If you can’t get your premiums any lower, than ask for a lower deductable.
Second, if you accept credit cards for payment, get that re-quoted. For whatever reason, merchant service providers have been jacking up their rates, despite a slow economy. I suppose it has something to do with banks in general raising their fees. If you’re paying more that 2% in fees, you’re paying too much. My fees went from 1.9% in February to 4.2% this last month! Also, never sign a contract that locks you in for any amount of time with that merchant services vendor.
Third, if you’re using uniform and floor mat service providers such as Cintas or Aramark, request that you’re monthly charges be lowered. Although you probably signed a contract that requires 60-90 days notice before you cancel, you are not bound to the entire contract price, only a minimum. This is typically $20 per month. Your service rep will never admit that however. If they won’t lower your rates, then drop your contract to the minimum and shop around for another provider.
Again, in all the bookkeeping records I examine and small business accounting I do, I rarely find my clients shopping these service providers. If you have other ideas, please post them in the comments section. Thanks!