Instead of eliminating insurance to make ends meet, find other ways to cut business expenses that won't leave you vulnerable.
Lower your office building overhead
To lower your office space costs, follow these tips:
- Ask your landlord to renegotiate your lease. Be honest if your business is struggling and you need to reduce business expenses. Any good landlord in a struggling economy would rather have a tenant paying a little less than have an empty storefront.
- Consider subletting or leasing your unused space. If you do, be sure to talk to your insurance agent – changes to your property coverage may be necessary.
- Consider switching to an office suite where you'd share copiers, meeting rooms and a receptionist with other small business owners.
- Buy used office furniture, computers and phones as needed. The best deals are often found online.
- Save energy by placing your lights on a timer and changing to a programmable thermostat.
- Turn off equipment when not in use.
- Comparison-shop Internet and telephone service providers. Or save money by bundling those services.
To lower your staffing costs, consider the following tips:
- Reduce your staff hours or your headcount
- Hire independent contractors or temporary workers as needed
- Go to a four-day workweek
- Outsource your payroll, benefits and human resources
- Get a virtual assistant or answering service
Adjust your marketing and advertising
To keep your marketing and advertising budget in check:
- Switch your advertising efforts to new media, if that’s where your customers are. It can be cheaper to advertise online, and costs only your time to establish a presence on popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
- If you have a website, be sure to let people know the web address. Put your web and email address on anything printed, such as letterhead, business cards and ads in the paper or phone book.
- Develop an e-newsletter to stay in touch with your clients. It’s usually much cheaper than producing printed pieces.
- Scour your mailing list to remove duplicate names and bad addresses that cost you unnecessary dollars.
Ask your insurance agent how to reduce your insurance costs
Although you don't want to eliminate insurance altogether, there may be other ways to reduce your insurance costs. Check with your insurance agent about the following:
- See if it makes sense to get lower premiums for a higher deductible. A high deductible is cheaper than losing your business if you face an uninsured accident, damage or other event.
- Ask if your insurance company offers monthly payment plans that could help you spread out the expense.
- Find out if there are any groups or associations you can join to take advantage of member discounts.
- Take advantage of free loss control resources, such as Loss Control Safety Bulletins on nationwide.com.