Quick Wins: Three ways to save money fast

I’ve consulted a number of small businesses over the past few weeks and, unsurprisingly, they seem to be concerned about the same things that most of my non-entrepreneurial friends are: saving money.

Here are three tips for cutting your costs immediately:

  • **Ditch the underused gadgets. **Knowing exactly what you have is the first step — classify things by how often you use them. It doesn’t have to be complicated, simply look for anything that you don’t use on a daily basis. Some examples of this would be old cellphones, DSLR cameras that you don’t use every day, old computer monitors, extra laptops, unused printers and scanners. Sell or donate these immediately.
  • Manual processes are your enemy. Filing receipts, paying bills, checking voicemails — there’s no limit to the number of administrative tasks we have to deal with every day. If you haven’t already, get yourself a virtual assistant and start offloading tasks. Why do something yourself when you can have someone else do it for you, usually for less than $15/hour. (Check out the Ultimate Virtual Assistant Guide for more details.)
  • Avoid overpriced (and unnecessary) contracts. First, take a look at your cell phone bill — you’re likely to have many unused features on there that are eating you up. I call my cell phone company at least once a year and ask them to review my past statements to see if it makes sense to modify my contract in some way. Most times, a small adjustment to the minutes or SMS credits on the account will save me at least $20/month. For the rest of your contracts, use the A La Carte method to save yourself some money or simply renogitiate your contracts — there’s no harm in simply asking for a discount.

So, take a few minutes to try these out for yourself — the people I’ve talked to have saved at least a few hundred dollars per month and freed up hours of wasted time each week. All it takes is a few simple things to make it happen.