You do not have to outsource to save money.
A recent report conducted by the Everest Group maintains that outsourcing contracts are down nearly 20 percent, and many companies in the United States are bringing operations back home. This is good news for the economy, but some small businesses say that domestic manufacturing costs are still too high to maintain. Luckily, you do not have to outsource to save money. Before you start looking overseas for cheaper help, check out these five alternative ways to cut costs.
Adopt Lean Processes
Many businesses are taking a cue from Toyota and re-evaluating all aspects of their regular operations. Eliminating or reallocating unproductive personnel, idle equipment and unused workspace can save you thousands of dollars annually. Cut or change anything that does not add value to cut costs without shipping jobs overseas.
Use Cloud Computing Services
You may be spending more than necessary on IT if your small business still relies on an in-house server and desktop PCs. Consider moving your data to a cloud-based file server when it is time to replace your software or systems. You won't have to pay an expert to set it up, and security is usually solid.
Rely on Co-ops and Interns
College students make great interns. They will work for little or no pay in order to gain academic credits and experience, and they are often eager to learn, energetic and enthusiastic. Co-ops are offered through many universities and colleges, and co-ops often work full-time for at least minimum wage. Contact your local college to identify the right candidates for your needs.
Allow Employees to Telecommute
To save on your electricity bill and be able to relocate to a smaller office, allow your staff to work from home for at least part of the week. Your employees will be happier, and you will save on rent and other expenses.
Enlist contractors or freelancers when you need help on short-term projects. You won't have to pay a full-time salary or benefits, and if you discover a stand-out temp worker, you can save on recruiting and training costs by hiring him or her.
Are you considering outsourcing? What other measures have you made to cut costs in your small business? Share your best ideas in the comments section below.