101: Cut costs



Cutting back on costs can equal real money in the coffers and contribute to a more-positive bottom line. It's easy to get caught up in making more sales, forgetting to revisit costs as a way to better position your company. Here are some areas to consider.

Vendors. Make a list of partners or associates you could ask to share the expense of certain products so you could qualify for a quantity discount, suggests Joseph Benoit at He says to contact suppliers and try and negotiate a discount.

Insurance. “Insurance coverage and rates tend to change from year to year, dependent upon industry trends and market performance,” Joe Jonas, director of wholesale and consulting at Insureon, told He recommends business owners re-evaluate their insurance packages regularly to ensure they are getting the best protection at fair market value, instead of allowing their insurance to automatically renew without review.

Legal fees. Corporate litigation, patent work and reorganizations call for legal specialists. However, write Michael Evans and Peter Duff at Forbes, it doesn't mean that specialist – who is likely to charge high hourly rates – is the best choice for corporate counsel work. “Legal fees are negotiable and many firms will fix the fee for basic corporate work or accept a fixed monthly retainer for basic legal services,” they write.