3 Ways I Cut My Small Business Expenses Virtually Overnight

Running a business is not for the faint of heart. I know because I’ve been my own boss for more than a decade. And, let me tell you, I have fallen into probably every trap along the way. Through grit, tenacity and a whole lot of luck I’ve been able to right my business ship. You can too, with this simple strategy to save money every month.

1.     Credit Card Debt –Wow, this is a big one and something I never really hear people talk about. I’m guessing that’s because nobody likes to admit that they have debt or that things are going sideways. When I started my business I had nothing and, so, like lots of small business startups, I borrowed the most expensive way and only way possible for a poor kid from the country – credit cards. I racked up what amounted to $50,000+ in credit card debt when I realized it was eating my business and myself alive. I had two small kids, a wife, two dogs, a mortgage, daycare payments and on and on and on… It gives me anxiety just remembering it! Then I changed the narrative and decided that if I was going to be my own business owner for more than a few years before heading back to the grind that I had to get this under control and fast. Think about it, the interest alone was costing me more than $600 a month! If you’re reading this and you have more than $10,000 in credit card debt, be it business or personal, take the initiative and cross it out. You’ll save hundreds of dollars a month, thousands a year and you’ll provide yourself business leverage. It took me 4 years, but I was able to completely cut my credit card debt to zero and I have to tell you, it’s one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made.

2.     Card Processors Suck – It’s a necessary evil for almost all of the businesses on our client list, but you can fight back on credit processing fees. Here’s a how to on ways that you can actively contact your credit processor and negotiate down for better processing rates. Plus, here’s a bonus tip, every month it’s likely you’re being overcharged with bogus or unnaturally high fees. Yea, credit processors are looking for any way to charge you more and you have the ability to negotiate rates down and to request refunds on irregular charges. If you don’t have the time to do this yourself, there are free services available to do it for you like Swipe. They typically just take a share of your savings in lieu of charging you any fees.

3.     Nickel and Dimed – I imagine that if you’ve read this far that you’re a lot like me. You’re actively seeking ways to run your business better, faster, and leaner. Doing those things will help you increase profits, and, let’s be honest, your monthly take. You know, the latest business model is subscription based. I cannot begin to tell you how many subscriptions we’ve had and cancelled. Every day, we are being pitched on the latest thingamajig that has two more features than the next guy. Take a hard look at your credit card statement…right now. I’ll wait… How many subscriptions do you have on your business and personal accounts. Do you use them? If you’re keeping them because you should be using them (like email marketing), start using them or hire someone (like me – you can email me here) to do it for you. Otherwise, if you don’t have any hope for starting that CRM sales project you’ve been plotting since the Obama administration, axe it…today, Save that money, put it in your pocket or, better yet, if you have some debt, pay it down.

To close, from one business owner to another, take advantage of every opportunity you have available. You did what you had to get to where you are, but now it’s time to buckle down to weather any future economic storm. To your success!

Bryan Caplan