Improving your business’ bottom line doesn’t always require a large-scale overhaul. In uncertain economic times, even minor reductions in expenses can go a long way in impacting your company’s profitability. These six simple, common sense changes to reduce small business expenses can make big a difference for your company.

Ditch the Paper

Small business costs can stack up when you use items you don’t need. Thanks to email and file-sharing, there are very few things that can’t be done electronically. If you haven’t already, now’s the time to switch invoices, bills and other documents to a digital format. Not only will you reduce business expenses on paper and postage, but going digital can increase efficiency, too — technologies such as Google Drive and Basecamp centralize company documents and product collaboration as an alternative to paper documents and meetings. Plus, sifting through paperwork for specific dates or keywords is a snap.

Improve Energy Efficiency

You don’t have to add solar panels to your office space to lower your energy bills. Small changes like adding occupancy sensors for lights, using power management features on electronics and properly maintaining your HVAC equipment can make a noticeable dent in your annual utility costs.

Go Organic

We’re talking about organic outreach. Paid media will always serve a valuable purpose, but savvy business owners know how to amplify their paid efforts with organic efforts. Consider implementing a referral program that rewards existing customers for recommending you and focus on networking to increase familiarity among your target customer base. Recommendations from current customers are more likely to lead to a sale, and prospective clients are more likely to hire a business with a face they recognize.

Optimize Productivity

There are a bounty of apps and tools on the market to help you create efficient time strategies for your organization. Software such as Paymo and Toggl can track employee time usage, time spent on different types of work activities and billable hours, giving you a better sense of where your time, and ultimately your money, is being spent.

Perform a Software Audit

Are you actually using all those programs you’ve purchased? Annual auto-payments can add up, so it makes sense to regularly wade through your software subscriptions and cancel those you simply don’t use anymore. Alternatively, as new apps and software are developed almost every day, there may be a new, more cost-effective option that could work just as well as your existing programs. Take advantage of new business technologies that not only help efficiency, but can reduce business expenses.

Cut Supply Costs

It can be easy to fall into the trap of using the same service simply because that’s what you’ve always done. But you could be leaving money on the table if you aren’t regularly shopping around for better prices on the basics. And don’t overlook the power of simply asking for a discount — many suppliers will be willing to work with their regular customers, especially if you’ve been consistent with paying bills on time or early.

Maximize Your Coverage

Get the most out of your business insurance with BusinessMax® coverage from Farm Bureau. Contact your Farm Bureau agent to learn which coverage options are best for your business.