Work From Home Cost-Cutting Strategies

by WorkFromHome on November 24, 2011

Whether you are operating a personal home based business or working from home completing tasks for others, the business expenses associated with your work are normally your own. This is one of the reasons many corporations are now using more work from home independent contractors. They are able to still have work completed without the overhead of offices and their associated costs. In most work from home businesses and jobs you do from home, the profit margins will be tight so it is always important to find ways for saving money on expenses. Here are some cost-cutting strategies that can improve your bottom line without sacrificing your quality of service.

Lower Your Phone Bill

Phone service is an essential part of any business whether you are dealing directly with customers and clients or communicating with them online. Aside from the usual need for a regular phone, many businesses also require a dedicated fax line, multiple lines for handling incoming traffic and a DSL line for Internet connection. All of these contribute to a total phone bill that can easily become a major expense. Look for ways to either bundle your phone line needs or move more of your communications to online alternatives. One good alternative is Skype, which offers phone service over the Internet with unlimited incoming and outgoing call anywhere in the U.S. and Canada for only a few dollars a month.

Lower You Energy Needs

Working out of your home can significantly increase your energy needs. Office equipment likes faxes, printers and copiers can consume a great deal of energy when used on a regular basis. In addition, a home office will generally require more light than a typical household room. One of the best ways to cut office energy needs is by using energy efficient computers, equipment and lights. If possible, locating your home office in a space with abundant natural light will also reduce the energy needed for artificial lighting. Using a space heater in your home office is another good way to save on heating expenses. There is no need to heat your entire home just to be comfortable in the office if you are the only person around.

Keep Good Records

Determining actual business related expenses when working from home can sometimes be difficult. This is because some items, like phone and electric bills, also include general household usage. Wherever possible, keep good records on what portion of the overall expenses are derived from general household usage and what portion can be attributed to your business. A good start is looking at old electric and phone bills from before you began working from home and comparing those to your current bills. Whatever increase has occurred can usually be attributed to the business and be used as a basis for breaking down these expenses in the future. Keeping good records will allow you to track on a regular basis if your home business is consuming too much energy or causing unnecessary increases in your phone bills. Keeping these records can also prove invaluable when completing tax returns if you plan to deduct business expenses.

Conserve On Supplies

While conserving supplies on the scale of someone who works from home may seem like a small matter, it is something that can save a great deal of money in the long-run. Overstocked or underused resources like printer ink, paper, pens and other supplies can significantly lower your bottom line. Carefully determine exactly what supplies you need to efficiently complete your work and conserve them as tightly as possible. Also look for ways to reduce the supplies you would normally use such as switching from paper to electronic invoices and billings.

Consider Outsourcing

Although outsourcing some of the tasks needed to run your home business efficiently may seem like adding another expense, in some cases it can be a move that actually opens the time for you to generate more income. As a home business grows, some tasks like accounting and billing can grow to the point of consuming a great deal of time. This, in turn, costs money. If you find that any aspect of your business is robbing you of time that should be dedicated to generating income, it would be wise to see if these tasks can be outsourced at a reasonable cost. A reasonable cost can easily be calculated by multiplying the hours you spend on non-income producing tasks by the average hourly rate you earn generating income. If that figure is at or above what it would cost you to outsource the task, it would be wise to find a person or company that can complete the work for you so you can concentrate on more income.

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