Focusing on service companies and small offices, below are some great tips to help reduce the cost of overhead for your company
Because I was able to drastically lower the cost of my overhead, my first office was opened without a huge bite to my pocketbook. Of course, there are still costs, but not nearly what so many complain about in business.
Most people in business explained to me that starting up my own office would cost around $10 to $20K, at least, if I wanted it to look half-way decent. Not the case at all. My steps included the following:
Most of my furniture came from Wal-mart with the exception of a few items from used office furniture stores. This included desks, office chairs, conference chairs, reception area chairs, and a few lighting fixtures. When we began leasing the office, we inherited a large OLD wooden L-shaped desk. We had no idea what we were going to do with it, but soon found it to be a great asset as our reception desk. We just took care of the eye sores and now it looks very nice.
Rather than using the very expensive cubicle desks and walls, we bought some room dividers from Wal-mart online. They are beautiful and serve the exact same purpose. Plus these are easy to move around and keep the office looking very nice. Using the simple geometric patterns on the dividers, gave our office a modern look.
It seems cheap, but I love BigLots for this. I have beautiful pieces in the office and most think they are thousand dollar items simply the way they are displayed. The other painting, I did myself. Even if you are not an artist, go to your local art supply store, like Michaels or Hobby Lobby, and pick up a few canvases, some acrylic paints, and a few paint brushes. Then go to town. Just throw paint on the thing. Most art looks similar anyway. People will oooh and aaaah over art that they think you paid a ton for. The remaining were simply pieces purchased from Target on special. Shop for specials especially after holidays.
Computers can be a little overwhelming, especially if you are a small office and have no clue what you need. Simple. Start off with an Acer. You can move up from there later. Unless you are a graphic designer, an Acer should be fine to start with and are very inexpensive and fairly good little computers. For those like me who use Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Quickbooks, and Office all at the same time, you might need something a little stronger, but you can still shop around.
Rather than getting an expensive server system, drive an external hard drive. We set up our office with wireless and access to the external hard drives and it works wonderfully.
I love what we did here. Now, understand that if you cut in areas, there might be limitations, but if you can live with them, they might be worth it. We went with a VOIP that had the capability for several lines and an answering service. Very inexpensive. We used RingCentral. Then we went to MetroPCS or you can go to your local company that has unlimited texts, minutes, etc for very cheap. We have 5 lines for like $60 a month. Each person in need of a phone, received a cell, others the VOIP is fine, then we just set up the phone extensions to go directly to their cells rather than a phone system in the office. Works very nice and they never have to miss a call when they are out.
Be sure to recycle paper that had mistakes on them by using them for scratch paper rather than notepads. Also, try to use the fronts and backs of notepads when using them. It doesn’t seem like much, but over time the costs can add up.
Use what you have
If you have spare furniture or items that others are throwing away, see if they can be used. We had furniture from our previous home and frustrating as it can possibly be, the couch would not fit through our front door. Well, we couldn’t take it back to the store, it had been too long, and in this economy we couldn’t sell it. Believe me, we tried. So, we decided to put it in the office. The love seat is in the reception area and the couch is between my office and another’s. I have heard more people say how nice it is in our office than you can imagine. It makes people feel at home when they come in and it puts them in a relaxed state. This is a hard thing to come by in an accounting firm. It’s very nice to hear.
Finally, research, research, research. You have to do your homework or you will pay more than you should. Utilize Google Shopping. I love it and it is a grat way to find the lowest price on everything. Ebay is good but Google is better because it encompasses many different shopping sites. Remember, fake it ok. Most don’t know things are a fake unless you tell them.
This one, you will just have to call me. The reason we began brokering merchant services is because we found a company that offered the absolute lowest costs possible. Now, different from others using this company, we do not mark up the price. The reason for this is because we want your accounting services. You don’t have to use us, but this is a great way to get to know you and maybe after working with us for a time, you might decide to give us a try. Go to MerchantServicesOutlet to contact us about these.
Hopefully this can help you in your search to reduce the overhead costs of your office and/or small business.
About the Author
Mindy is the Owner and CFO of Carter Services Plus, a full service Accounting Firm based in Shreveport, La. She has over 15 years experience in accounts and frequently helps new small business owners start-up and manage their companies. Feel free to contact Mindy with your questions or comments and she will be happy to reply. You can reach her at the website noted in the article. Good luck in all your endeavors! offers accounting services, bookkeeping services, payroll services, training, marketing advice, tax preparation services, and consulting among various other financial services. Please feel free to call us to set up a to review your current financial situation or to find out if we are the right fit for you.