There are many costs to doing business that you just can't do anything about. There's no way to save money on business registration, for instance, or licensing fees. Fortunately, there are areas where business costs can be cut - providing savings that can drive more profit to your bottom line. Here are ways to save money on a variety of business expenses, from office equipment and energy through marketing and taxes:
Office Furniture and Office Equipment
In my office I am still using the desk I purchased over ten years ago at a surplus store for less than $100. I sometimes think about replacing it because it's a little dinged up, but I've never found anything affordable that has such a large work surface. For more tips on saving money on office furniture and equipment, see Office Design on the Cheap.
Gas (Fuel Costs)
Cycling to work. Carpooling. Relying on public transit. They’re all great ideas for saving money on gas but they just don't work if you’re running a business. 10 Ways to Save Money on Gas presents ideas that businesses can use.
One fact of life is that energy costs are always on the rise, so if you can cut energy costs, you'll just save more and more over the long term. In my home office here, we've replaced all our standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs - they use 75% less electricity and last years longer. 10 Ways to Green Your Business presents more ideas for saving money on your energy bills.
The wrong way to save money on business insurance is to go without. The right way is to get the insurance you need at the best price. 5 Ways to Save Money on Business Insurance and How to Save Money on Home Based Business Insurance will show you how to do that.
There are basically two ways to save money on marketing costs. The first is to use marketing strategies that are free or quite inexpensive. 10 Low Cost Ways to Promote Your Business and Attracting New Business on a Shoestring Budget by Kelley Robertson presents marketing strategies that are inexpensive and effective.
The second approach is to perform marketing activities yourself rather than hire someone else to do them. For instance, many businesses outsource market research, but you can do it yourself as you’ll see in this Guide to Do-It-Yourself Market Research. Another example is search engine optimization. While many online businesses hire another company to do this, you can do it yourself. Search Engine Optimization Step by Step will show you how.
I don’t generally recommend trying to save money on legal processes. Lawyers and other legal professionals don’t just fill out forms for you; they also provide valuable advice and can point out legal implications that you are not aware of. But for those who do want to it themselves, these articles lay out the procedures that you need to follow:
Trying to save money by doing your own taxes is a "six of one half a dozen of another" proposition. On the one hand, you don't have to pay a tax preparer or accountant to prepare and file your income tax return(s) when you do it yourself; on the other, such professionals can give you advice that can save you more money on taxes than the professional's fee - and those fees are tax deductible anyhow.
Still, for those who want to do their own, Your First Business Income Tax Return outlines the process of completing and filing a T1 Form as a business, while Top Canadian Tax Software Programs presents the best options for preparing and filing T1 and T2 forms for businesses.
For more information on tax topics ranging from income tax deductions through GST and PST, see the Canadian Tax Information section of this Web site.