What's one unexpected way you are trimming your company budget this year?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
A. Shortening Company Meetings
The larger your company gets, the more expensive even a 15-minute "happy birthday" meeting can be. We have tried to consolidate meetings when it makes sense and whenever possible. We realized we have an annual savings of more than $125,000 by just making some simple changes to our company-wide meeting policy.
- Andrew Howlett, Rain
A. Trading Data for Services
During the past six months, we have accumulated a critical mass of users across certain demographics and locations. We realized that a number of services we were paying for would benefit from having access to these users in the form of advertising. We found ways to barter with a number of vendors for services we once paid for. This strategy has saved us thousands of dollars.
- Janis Krums, Opprtunity
A. Returning to Former Systems That Work
We've tried several VoIP solutions and frankly, they haven't worked well. So we're going back to a regular POTS system. We are actually saving some money through this process. So far, the telephone service has been so much better, and we get some really nice integrated customer service desk options with it.
- Tracey Wiedmeyer, InContext Solutions
A. Sharing Our Office
We just signed the lease on a new office that gives us room to grow. While we grow, we are renting out desks to freelancers and other small businesses. It's the perfect way to save now and plan for the future -- not to mention it helps us with co-working withdrawals!
- Emily Doubilet, Susty Party
A. Thinking Smarter About Content Creation
We have been spending less on traditional media and increasing focus on creating content. We started a youtube channel three years ago, and we have over 20,000 subscribers and over four million video views. Now we have affiliates who pay monthly to sponsor the content we produce. So we control the story, if pays for itself, and the brand stays relevant to our core customers.
- Ryan Smith, Sullen Clothing Inc.
A. Reducing Our Marketing Budget
We've actually greatly reduced our marketing budget this year. The impact of this was a decreased spend on paid advertising on Google, Facebook and more. The benefit has been that it's forced us to focus on user acquisition channels that are strictly low cost and high return, such as organic search, content and maximization of the inherent virality of our product.
- Danny Boice, Speek
A. Booking Travel Plans Earlier
Hotel and airline prices double if you wait until the last minute. There's no reason why travel plans can't be firmed up well in advance. Having ample notice of travel plans is better for employees' personal lives, too. Aside from saving the company money on airfare and hotel costs, family and friends will appreciate knowing when their loved ones will be out of town, so they can plan accordingly.
- Phil Dumontet, DASHED
A. Negotiating More
Call up any business that you are paying a recurring charge for and ask for a 10 percent discount. Almost everyone will give it to you. Most customer support reps are allowed to give a 10 percent discount if they can save a customer without having to get their manager to authorize it.
- Rishi Shah, Digioh
A. Providing New Services
Human resources and hiring were a big part of our expenses, and we became experts. We started a new company that provides the service not only to our company, but also to other companies. There was no investment, and we are having very decent profits.
- Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME
A. Blogging Less Often
We plan on publishing significantly fewer blog posts compared to last year. We will only focus on extremely high-quality content. We expect that we will spend a lot less than last year. If you had asked me last year, there was no way I would have even started thinking about cutting down on the content creation budget.
- Evrim Oralkan, Travertine Mart
A. Merging Organizations
We are trimming our budget by merging several organizations into our own. Doing so allows us all to prosper by leveraging common systems, processes and back-office investments across a larger group of revenue-generating consultants, which means each investment provides greater payback.
- Chris Cancialosi, GothamCulture
A. Killing and Swarming
There are no sacred cows in my business. We try out everything -- office space, future business opportunities, talent. I set a date on when we'll make the go/no go decision (i.e. kill), and we share progress along the way. The successful approaches get more resources (swarm). t keeps the team from getting too attached to ideas and processes that don't work and saves us money.
- Tynesia Boyea-Robinson, Reliance Methods
A. Examining Every Dollar
I do a quarterly review of every invoice we receive. As I go through them, I ask myself the following questions: Is this service or product necessary? Is there a comparable service that will be a better deal? How can I avoid these costs in the future? By analyzing every dollar out the door, you'll find areas where you are throwing away money by overpaying or using services you don't need.
- Christian Springub, Jimdo
A. Incentivizing Employees
This year, we've incentivized employees who use alternative modes of transportation to commute to the office, so we can cut down on the high cost of parking in our congested neighborhood. More than 30 percent of our team has opted to walk, ride bikes or take public transportation to the office. Not only does this lower our costs, but it also promotes fitness and sustainability in the office.
- Rob Emrich, PaeDae