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Saturday September 23rd 2017

Six Tips for Saving Money at Restaurants

It is nearly impossible to live a lifestyle these days that does not include going out to breakfast, lunch or dinner at least a couple times a week. We all work and have busy schedules that often prevent us from cooking and eating dinner at home. As a result, dining out has become a necessity for many families. But dining out does not need to cost a fortune if you are careful about your choices. Here are six tips to help you enjoy a meal at a restaurant without worrying about breaking your budget.
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Seven Places to Cut Business Expenses

Small Business

As we slowly climb out of the economic recession, it’s a good idea to continue the money-saving habits you developed during the crisis and apply the same principles to your business. A small business has fewer resources than a larger company and must find cost efficient ways to run things smoothly and keep them running in the future. Economic downturns run in cycles, so tightening you belt now will help you prepare for the next slump. In times like these, it’s not the best, most innovative or even the smartest business that succeeds. The one that succeeds is the one left standing when a bad economy starts putting others out of business. Think Bubba-Gump Shrimp.

Rent

Let’s begin with your overall expenses, or the overhead of your company. You could think about sub-letting your office space to help pay the rent. A virtual business can be run right out of your home, eliminating the cost of office space.

Employees

Speaking of employees, have you thought about saving on the cost of employee benefits by hiring freelance contractors instead?  Just be very careful if you head down this road. Unemployment Insurance laws in many states have a very broad definition of “employee.”

If you tell your workers what hours to work, where to do the work or prevent them from disclosing information about the assignment to others working under them, you could be putting your freelancers into the state’s definition of “employee.” Fines on such a misstep have put some companies out of business.

Labor and Benefits

If you are not comfortable taking on freelance help, then it may be time to consider ways to cut employee costs without damaging the lives of your employees too much. Maybe a four-day workweek would help. This could save you an entire day of energy expenses and a day of wages. It will require more productivity from your workers, so find affordable ways to compensate for the reduction. Consider a weekly hour-long outdoor excursion or perhaps a once a month day trip that employees can help plan. They will be more productive and less resentful of the pay cut.

Be sure to re-examine your employee benefits package every year and research potentially cheaper insurance policies. It is time to increase the employee contribution to the plan? Is there a cheaper plan with an employee deductible? There are many insurance options available to help you save. Explore them.

Energy

Most business owners are busy running the enterprise and fail to notice wasted energy. But when you begin looking at those mundane operations, you may notice potential improvements like sharing the printers between employees, installing movement sensors to make sure the lights are off when you are not using them, switching to recycled printer cartridges, or using laptop computers in the workplace. Just switching to laptops saves 90% of your computer energy consumption.

Technology

It takes months to get used to new technoologies, which is why many business owners are reluctant to make changes. But just think of the savings you could realize by switching to VoIP. Such services often include fax sending and other useful tools that can save your business a bundle on telecommunications. Many services now offer a server-based PBX systems that work just like the tradition phone services from a user’s perspective. Your front desk clerk may not even notice the difference!

And what about using Internet technology to replace in person meetings? Simply by holding meetings online via video conference or audio conference saves tens of thousands per year in travel costs for many small businesses.

Advertising

Saving money on business-related costs can be found most anywhere…even in your advertising budget. Spreading the word about your company and its products is a costly investment that can be easily reduced. In fact, you are reading this post on the medium that can do more for your business on a small budget than any other advertising medium: the Internet! You can also begin using low cost online printing services and distributing your advertising materials locally at small businesses. A little leg work goes a long way.

Other Resources

In order to make your business ends meet, you need to think outside the box. Sometimes, it might serve you best to consider all avenues where you can cut costs and stretch your budget. If you want to raise capital, it can’t hurt to ask employees for ideas through a company contest. Maybe they can offer money-saving ideas. Being closer to the action, your employees will be more creative at finding solutions. The solutions are there, you just need to find them.