People are by far the most important part of our practices. But we couldn’t do what we do without “stuff” – material objects from desks and chairs to computer equipment, photocopiers and more.
Stuff costs money, but it could be costing you less. Here are quick money-savings tips to bolster your practice’s bottom line:
Renting? Shop Around. True, business equipment is part of the cost of doing business. But often in our haste to solve a problem and keep the firm running smoothly, we may enter into rental contracts thoughtlessly. Before committing, shop around. Get a few estimates. In a competitive marketplace, you could strike a sweet deal.
Perks of Leasing. Leasing has its advantages. For example, if there’s ever a malfunction or other hiccup, you’ll have support. And when your lease is up, you’re not stuck with the equipment you have. Instead, you can upgrade to the latest and greatest. Upfront costs are less than buying, and the cost is spread out over the life of the lease. A word of caution: be sure you fully understand return and exchange policies as well as warranties.
Go Second-Hand. It may feel good to buy something sleek, new and out-of-the-box, but saving money buying second-hand can feel even better. There are endless reasons why someone might need to part with an item that’s still got a lot of life left. Next time you need something, look online for used equipment. Try searching terms like:
- Used office equipment
- Business auction
- Going-out-of-business sale
- Repossessed business equipment
Just be sure to test the item before buying it.
Mailing Lists Can Mean Savings. I understand trying to keep your inbox clean. For that reason, you may have hesitated to sign up for commercial e-mail lists. However, sometimes the best deals come through email, from places like Amazon, Overstock, and Staples. Consider asking your administrative assistant to subscribe to these so the emails stay out of your inbox, and make sure he or she knows what purchases you might be considering in order to keep an eye out for bargain opportunities.
Look for a Coupon Code. When making an online purchase, you may have noticed an optional “coupon code” field during checkout. Online retailers often extend discounts in exchange for codes – but you can only benefit from them if you know them. Before you buy, take a moment to check sites like FatWallet and Coupon.com to see if your seller is currently offering any discount codes. It only takes a minute and the savings can be substantial.
Try Membership Shopping. Did you know that membership stores like Costco, BJ’s and Sam’s Club offer business memberships? Not only can your practice benefit from big discounts on office furniture, supplies and equipment, but business memberships often include perks like credit cards that offer cash-back and access to low-cost business loans.
Saving money doesn’t have to be a complicated science. These strategies are easy to implement and can reduce expenses on some of the most expensive items in your practice. Which ones will you try this year?