In part 4 of a 5-part series on saving on business expenses, we are going to discuss how to save on payroll, mail and office space.
Payroll Service Provider
If you are having payroll outsourced, a quick review of the services they are rendering in comparison with the competition and their rates will show you if you are getting the deal you deserve. Payroll Finders offers valuable information on what to look for when you are looking for a payroll provider. A few of their key points are listed below. The complete source can be found on their website.
When reviewing and negotiating the quote:
- Services reflect local conditions; make sure your quote is locally competitive.
- Beware of those costs that get “overlooked” when they are quoting per pay period costs, such as year-end W-2s.
- Know the specifics of what you need and ask the company to quote your specific list. This will give you the advantage at comparing “apples to apples.”
- Ask about tax filing fees.
- Ask about all Direct Deposit fees.
- Ask about initial setup fees and fees for adding and/or dropping employees.
- Ask about fees for updating or adjusting employee information.
- Ask about any additional fees.
Payroll companies will be diverse in their offerings, so it is of utmost importance that you are asking the right questions. There is no need to pay for services you do not need, and there is no need to pay additional fees when you can negotiate out of them.
The Mail Room
This may be an area where your company can cut back. Spending money on overnight mailings when a 2-day service would be sufficient could be an area to cut back. The world is well into the digital age; thus, if your company has not fully integrated, it may be time to do so.
Some questions to consider:
- Have you given your customers the choice to opt out of direct mail in lieu of electronic mail or even faxes?
- Are you sending items overnight that could be sent by way of a slower service?
- Have you compared your overnight shipping rates with their competitors?
- What is your ROI for every mailing you are sending out? Make sure it makes sense.
Negotiate Your Office Space
According to a Wall Street Journal September 21, 2009 article: “Commercial real-estate prices steepened their dive again as transaction volume dried up in July, falling 5.1% month-to-month after only a 1% decline in June.”
Commercial real state is still struggling, which means you have negotiating room as you renew your lease. Find out what other comparable office spaces are offering their clients and negotiate your lease with yours. Remember, you signed your contract when times were better, so renegotiate based on the times of today. At the same time, maintain fair practices in your negotiations as every industry is struggling, and that is simply the right thing to do.
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