Starting your own business can be exciting, but it often comes with a rocky road ahead. Specifically, those rocks will cut into your wallet through all kinds of expenses. Miscalculating the daily costs of running a company can hurt you in the long run.
As a small business owner, you probably know that planning can do a world of good. That’s why you probably have a budget for all sorts of expenses. It’s good to prepare for expected costs, like vacations for employees, and unexpected costs, like paying for a cleaning crew to shovel snow off your driveway.
Although some fees are pretty hard to miss, others can slip through the cracks. Those can wind up costing you a ton of cash over time. Here are five hidden fees that may have slipped past your radar.
1. Too many accounts for the same program
Let’s say you need to use an expensive program like Photoshop. If you have five login accounts, but only three people need them, you’re paying for two expensive subscriptions you don’t even use. Try to take stock of resources you pay for and analyze how many workers use them.
Maybe you’re paying for a team to use expensive accounting software, for example. But if only one person is using it, you should demote your subscription to a single-person plan.
This is an easy mistake, especially when you have a high turnover. One employee may have set up a paid account before leaving the company. Since they’re gone, you should delete their accounts. After all, there’s no sense in paying for an account that’s no longer in use.
2. Using an expensive subscription when a cheaper one will do
It’s tempting to pay for the highest tier. Maybe you found cutting-edge accounting software with a ton of fantastic features. Well, unless you’re using all of those features, you’re probably paying for more than you need.
Take some time to make note of all the resources you use for your business. Make sure you aren’t automatically signing up for a top-of-the-line subscription when you’d be fine down a tier or two. Sometimes, the cheapest subscription will serve all your needs — and put extra money in your pocket.
3. Overage charges on the internet bill
It’s easy to overpay your business phone bill. All sorts of unexpected fees can pop up, making your phone bill hard to understand. There are so many parts to understand, from calling plans and services to taxes, surcharges and fees.
That’s why we recommend auditing your phone service. It’s common for business leaders to buy their phone service and cross it off their mental list forever. That’s not a good idea, though — the market changes, prices go up and you can overpay if you don’t check in now and then.
Make sure your phone bill is competitive. Double-check your service package, take note of how well it caters to your needs and compare it to similar packages on the market. You may notice that another company offers better and cheaper phone service.
4. Paying for office space you don’t use
Office leases always come with a cornucopia of operating expenses. Not only do you have to worry about property taxes, but you also need to worry about electricity and other maintenance costs. You might even be paying for more space than you need.
Now that so many businesses are working from home, many companies are spending thousands a month on space their team never uses. If your whole team is remote, there’s no need to pay for office space. You can sublease the space to a new subtenant or sell the building altogether.
5. Too many perks for employees
If you want to attract top talent, you need to keep your workers happy. One way you can do this is by incentivizing them through excellent benefits and perks. While benefits like health insurance and 401(k) contributions are a given, you may be overpaying for perks.
A perk can be something like a gym membership, office lunch parties or standing desks. Some companies even have a jam room where employees can go to play music.
While coming up with perks can be fun and rewarding, they can also be expensive. If they’re burning a hole in your pocket, try to find cheaper alternatives.
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