When you think about saving money in your company, it's worth asking yourself why your company exists.
Once you have the answer, you can take a closer look at ways to save money that will free up resources to invest in what matters most for your business.
For example, if you want your company to be a great place for the best talent to give customers a better value than your competition, then you can look for cost cuts that will free up resources to invest in hiring and motivating talent and creating new products and delivering better service that will keep your customers buying.
Here are seven ideas that could help you do that.
1. Switch to a bank that charges lower fees and offers higher deposit rates
If you put your company's cash in a bank, you ought to examine every year whether you could be getting better terms for your company from a rival.
Develop a checklist of all the fees and expenses your bank charges you along with all the benefits--both the quantifiable and intangible--that your bank provides, such as interest on deposits, timely access to cash, or an attentive banker who responses quickly and effectively to requests for help.
Using this, you can compare your bank with others that might be happy to get your business and decide whether you would be better off switching. If you still have good reasons to stay with your current bank, perhaps you can use this comparison to negotiate more favorable terms and stay put.
2. Switch energy suppliers
If your business has control over who supplies heat and electricity to your office, you should look around to see whether your current supplier is giving you the best terms. If you have a choice, you should consider switching to a lower-cost supplier of energy.
3. Lower your debt costs
If your company borrows money at a floating rate, it may make sense to renegotiate the loan to lock in today's current low rates. And if you are carrying big unpaid loan balances, you may want to consider reducing your interest costs by selling assets to raise the cash you need to pay down those balances.
4. Sell unwanted assets online
If your company has old, unused computers, printers, furniture, or other assets sitting in a storage closet, consider listing them on eBay, Amazon, or other sites that focus specifically on the types of assets you can convert to cash.
5. If you have TVs in your office, cut the cord
More and more people are saving money at home on their TVs by cutting the cord. If you have TV service in your office, you should consider cutting the cord there, as well.
To give you an idea of what that would look like, a consumer could save $589 a year by replacing $1,236 in annual cable with Netflix ($8 per month), Hulu Plus ($8 per month), and Sling TV ($20 per month) for $432 per year. Subtract from the $804 in savings the $35 for a Chromecast device and the $15 per month increase in Internet expense, and you get $589 in savings, according to Student Loan Hero.
6. Don't buy what you can get for free
Other businesses or even homeowners may be looking to get rid of old furniture or electronics that your company is looking to buy.
Online community groups such as Freecycle and Freegle allow people in your area to offer unwanted items for free. Perhaps you can use these sites to offer items that your company no longer needs. If that doesn't work, consider local "free stuff" groups on Facebook, which operate in a similar fashion.
7. Pay less on airfare
If you know ahead of time which flights you and your people will be taking, you can find the best deals on sites such as Cheapflights, Skyscanner, and Kayak. Delete cookies on your browser each time you visit the site so your revisit prices will not go up.
Kayak research reveals that the best time to book flights in 2017 is one or two months in advance, when travelers can save up to 80 percent. Booking just a month in advance can save 55 percent or more on some flights.
There are plenty of other ways to save money in 2017--but these are among the easiest to follow. And once you've cut these costs, you can use the money for things that matter most to the future of your business.