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4 Business Expenses You Can Reduce Today

pennyBusiness expenses can get out of hand quickly. Sometimes, you forget to budget for things that can add up. We’re here to tell you what four business expenses you can reduce today.

1. Energy costs

Do you work in an office? How old is it? When was the last time the insulation was updated? Do you turn all the lights off when you leave?

As a Texas based company, we know that you can’t get much work done in the heat. But, if you use heating or air-conditioning in your office, you should make sure your air-conditioning and heating units don’t have to work as hard when no one’s there. Turn the thermostat up or down when you leave and adjust it again in the morning when you get it. Make sure you turn off computers and lights when you leave. And, if you’re just starting out an office, think of investing in  energy saving equipment, like more efficient monitors, modems, and even light bulbs.

2. Payroll

As an entrepreneur, you are working with a limited budget. Before you go out and start hiring employees, take a look at the projects you want those employees to handle. Are they all permanent or long term? If not, you might want to hire out on contract rather than having a permanent employee.

3. Research

Small businesses and entrepreneurs get a whole range of tax breaks, deductions, and benefits. We’ve mentioned some on this blog, like hiring your children. But, think about all the business expenses you incur, like travel, or business lunches, or conference fees. Are you making sure those are all reflected in your taxes? Take some time to research the benefits available to you and make sure you’re taking full advantage.

4. Shop around

If you find that you are in need of something for the office, don’t settle on the first price you find. If you’re looking for something like office furniture, you can always buy secondhand. If you need a modem or router, check more than one retailer. With the Internet, it’s easier than ever. You can also look for places that offer small business rewards programs or discounts.

What are some ways you save money around the office? What’s your biggest business expense you forgot to budget for? Share in the comments!

5 Things Almost Every Startup Forgets

We understand. When you make the decision to launch your startup, you go in with guns blazing. But, while you might be charging in full speed ahead, what are the things you’re forgetting to take into consideration?

We have a list of things you might have forgotten.

1. Your budget

Okay. You probably spent a lot of time preparing a business plan and gathering information for your presentations, but have you really scrutinized the budget? Have you considered all the expenses? There are always costs you haven’t taken into account. The best way to deal with unexpected budget upheaval is to leave a little wiggle room. If you’re not the kind of person to waste time with the fine-tooth comb, make sure you leave some extra money around just in case.

2. Your management skills

For some, management skills come naturally. They instinctively know how to handle all their employees. In case you aren’t that person, take some time before you start hiring people to research some management styles. When a startup is right out the gate, it’s hard to focus on everything at once. You’re just getting into the rhythm of things. Don’t let management get out of hand. Check in with your people. Don’t ignore your employees.

3. Delegate

Like I said above, some people have natural management skills. If they work for you, let them manage. You can’t be around all the time. Make sure you have a chain of command that doesn’t rely on you being around all the time.

4. Office Space

Are you ready to move into an office? If you want people to take the seriously, you probably need to get out of the garage. Before you jump at the first cheap office space you find, do some research. What kind of neighborhood is it in? What does your office look like to someone coming in from the outside? Make sure that office space ends up in the budget.

5. Stay true to yourself

When companies and startups start to grow, they oftentimes lose sight of their original purpose. Your company should evolve naturally, but, now and again, take some time to see where your headed. You should stay on top of your mission statement. If it needs to change, change it. If it should stay the same and you’re diverting, pull it back on track.

What did you forget when you launched your startup? What do you have to remind yourself about? Share in the comments!

How to Plan Your Office Halloween Party

All right, guys. We’ve got a fun post today. You’ve all been working hard all year and Halloween is this week. It’s time to kick back and have a little fun with your employees at a Halloween office party. Halloween has become more popular over the years and has reached the number two spot for most popular holiday (behind Christmas).How to Plan Your Office Halloween Party

While we’re talking about a Halloween party here, these tips can be applied to any office party. And, you’re hard-working employees deserve a reminder of how much you appreciate them.

1. Form a committee

It doesn’t have to be a big one. When all the burden falls on one person, they realize just how much work it is, so spread it out to people who will share the load.

2. Choose a theme

Are you going to focus more on the costume aspects? You should probably do that in the afternoon. Want to have a fall-themed breakfast with apple cider donuts and danishes and the like? You’re going to want to do that in the morning.

If you’re going to have a costume contest, people are going to choose favorites, so make different categories that give multiple people a chance to win.

3. Encourage decorating

Decorating your whole office is a burden on a small group. Encourage your employees to decorate their own work space. Allow them to put their personal touch on things. The office will look decorated and festive, but the work would be spread among the individuals.

4. Invite trick or treaters

This one requires more planning, but is definitely doable. Invite your staff’s kids to come in and trick or treat in the office. They go door to door or cubicle to cubicle. It provides a safe environment for the kids and let’s you meet and mingle with the family. Don’t hand out any floss, though.

5. Games and activities

Every party has games. Bobbing for apples, hanging donut on a string, mystery bowls, mummy wrap race, and beyond. Don’t make these mandatory because not everyone will want to participate. And, if no one wants to do the games, don’t worry. Games can be fun activities and ice breakers, but if no one’s participating, it just means they’re having a good time.

What are your party tricks for the office? What should you watch out for? Tell us in the comments below.

Inspiration: The Types of Office Personalities [INFOGRAPHIC]

13 Types of Office Personalities

What WON’T be in Your Office in 5 Years

If you’ve been in the work force for awhile you may notice that your office has changed, and that new technology has replaced the old.  According to LinkedIn, offices will continue to change in the near future as trends change.  A recent LinkedIn survey asked workers what they expect to disappear from their offices in the next five years:

Copy Machines (13%)

Business Cards (15%)

Offices with Doors (16%)

USB Drives (17%)

Cubicles (19%)

Corner Offices (21%)

Formal Dress Codes (27%)

Desktop Computers (34%)

Desk Phones (35%)

Standard Hours (57%)

Rolodexes (58%)

Fax Machines (71%)

Tape Recorders (79%)

Have you already seen the disappearance of any of the above? Or do you disagree that any items on the list or here to stay?

Setting Up a Home Office

Setting up a home office? Biz Television is here to help.

More and more people are trying to find ways to work from home.

  1. Set up a space that is your own. Make it your office, not your kitchen table.
  2. Make sure you password protect your computer. Who knows when a family member might make a settings change that takes hours to fix.
  3. Find an ergonomic way to store your cords. Tripping over a computer cord can damage you or your hardware.
  4. Anticipate your needs. Just because you are working from home does not mean you have all the supplies you’ll want to use. Keep a list handy so you can stay on top of your supplies. Plan out your next trip to the office supply store.
  5. Remove unhelpful distraction. Biz Television provides live programming during the market hours to help you stay informed and focused.

For more information on working out of the home, tune in to shows like MomsTown Live.

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