Sometimes money is hiding in plain sight, other times you’ll really have to hunt; here are twenty-five places to look when you need to find money to grow your business more quickly.
Find Money to Grow Your Business Hiding in 25 Places
You don’t necessarily have to sell more to find money to grow your business; sometimes it’s a matter of finding the money, not making it. Other times it’s about maximizing use of resources or finding creative ways to work with other businesses.
We’ve come up with a list of more than two dozen ways you might be able to find money to grow your business. These tactics have nothing to do with raising prices or increasing sales, but they can significantly impact your bottom line nonetheless.
25 Places to Find Money to Grow Your Business More Quickly
Salaries and Benefits
Salaries and benefits are often one of if not the biggest costs in a business. Make sure that you’re getting good value for every dollar spent on salaries, benefits and employee perks; where you aren’t getting the most bang for your buck, make a change. For instance:
- Review benefits providers annually (like you would any other vendor) to be sure your employees are getting the best plans at the best prices. If you have a great deal on something, try to lock it in for a longer time period, to preclude automatic annual increases.
- Compare the costs, pros and cons of outsourcing both core and non-core business functions (bookkeeping, accounting, taxes, marketing, cleaning, etc.)
- Re-evaluate duties and decide whether redistribution of responsibilities could preclude the need to hire or allow you to hire a more junior candidate when filling a new position or replacing a departing employee.
- Hire candidates for “added value” skills that you can use now or in the future.
- Use staffing agencies to cut employee screening costs and bring in newbies on a temp-to-hire basis to cut down on hiring mistakes or ensure a good fit for hard-to-fill or high turnover positions.
Sometimes bringing working capital in from the outside makes more sense than depleting reserves or selling off assets to fund growth. When a business idea is likely to increase revenues, additional income could more than offset the loan or cost of financing. Using this as a go-by can help you decide whether it’s better to wait until you have saved up the money to fund a new business idea or pursue business financing; such as:
- Bank loans
- Specialty financing tools:
- Business line of credit
- Equipment lease finance
- Business or merchant advance
- Invoice Factoring
In addition to business financing tools that provide a lump sum of working capital, if you sell on terms to other companies, you can also use invoice factoring to speed up cash flow. Expediting cash flow by factoring could help you grow more quickly and could help you find savings in other areas of your business, such as taking advantage of quick-pay discounts and reducing overhead related to accounting.
- If you rent or lease space, your mortgage or rent payment could be one of your biggest expenses. In a buyer’s market, you might be able to renegotiate the terms of your lease to get a price decrease or lock in a low rate for a long period of time.
- If you need additional equipment or furnishings, consider buying used or leasing what you need instead of buying it outright. Preserving working capital means you retain more ready money to grow your business.
- Turning the thermostat up or down even a degree or two could make a visible difference in your utilities cost. Likewise, turning off lights in unused areas or setting lights on timers with motion detectors could save you hundreds over the course of a year. Reducing consumption of electricity, water, natural gas, data and other utilities can add up to big savings over time.
- Don’t skip the maintenance! Having vents cleaned, screens changed and other maintenance done on time keeps your equipment running at optimum efficiency.
- Replace aging equipment with newer, more efficient models can bring significant utility cost savings and might even earn your business tax credits.
- Have space you aren’t using? Rent it out!
- Reduce the cost of financing by consolidating high interest credit cards and other revolving debt into one account.
- Once upon a time having a petty cash or slush fund for incidentals could save your business in check cashing costs and time spent running to the bank for funds. Today it costs more than it saves, since digital payments are universally accepted and allow you to account for every dollar your business spends. When you need money to grow your business, slush funds should be the first to go.
- Stock up and save works. Better forecasting can show you where buying in bulk can save your business money.
- Vendor and supplier quick-pay discounts can be sizeable, significantly reducing expenses and the cost of goods sold. Even if a vendor doesn’t advertise a cash or fast-pay discount, they might be open to negotiation.
Cooperative and Co-Working Arrangements
- Cooperative marketing has been a tactic small business owners have used over the years. Not only does it reduce expenses for everyone participating, it often amplifies effectiveness as campaigns reach shared contact groups and presentation formats can be bigger, louder or otherwise more impressive.
- Cooperative buying arrangements also allow participants to reduce costs by purchasing in larger quantities, eliminating separate shipping charges and gaining other advantages. Likewise, your business could benefit from joining associations and buying clubs that provide members with discounts and special pricing. For instance, joining Amazon Prime costs members $119 per year but gives them free shipping and deal privileges that may more than offset the cost of membership. Business owners can also register for an Amazon Business account that provides free shipping on orders of $49 or more as well as tax-exempt purchasing, special pricing and access to additional business services. Savings like these may also save resources, negating the time you might have otherwise spent looking for lower-priced items, since program savings might exceed potential price differentials.
- Like cooperative buying, some of the services your business needs might also be cooperatively outsourced. For instance, if you’re in a retail or manufacturing space adjacent to others, hiring one cleaning service to serve the whole facility might be less expensive than for each business to hire one for themselves.
- Renting or buying office space can be formidable, or even a barrier to entry. Opting for co-working space or sharing facilities with other businesses can bring your cost per square foot of space way, way down.
- You probably work with vendors that you recommend to other business owners all the time! Inquire to see if any offer (or would be willing to offer) a referral bonus in exchange for sending business their way. Referral bonuses are often based not only on a new customer’s first purchase, but some are even based on a customer’s lifetime value, giving your business a significant return in exchange for your recommendation.
- Many online e-commerce sellers (like Amazon) and business services (like web hosting, email marketing, web development, and others) offer affiliate commissions in return for the web traffic you send to them that converts into sales. Like other bonus programs, these dollar amounts might seem small but they can add up over time. Setting this revenue aside for a couple of years could give you a significant amount of working capital for a future project.
No matter how carefully you watch every penny spent in your business or evaluate potential opportunities to increase profits, you’ll probably miss something. We put together this checklist with twenty-five ways you can find money to grow your business either by trimming expenses or boosting revenues – we’d love for you to add your 2 cents with ideas you think we missed in the comments below.