5 Big Money Wasters for Small Business

Date: February 28, 2017

When it comes to your bottom line, sweat the small stuff.

Expenses big and small can add up if you’re not careful. Stay in the black by cutting down on these top drains on cash flow.

1. Office space

If you aren’t meeting clients daily, work from home, rent space as needed, and take advantage of online meetings and phone conferences. —Angel Radcliffe, CAS Consultants

RELATED: How to Cut Down on 3 Big Money Wasters (VIDEO)

2. Travel and conferences

If attending a conference, set up meetings with current or potential clients. Book meetings during personal travel as well, even if only for a day, to write off a portion of your personal expenses as business expenses on your taxes. —Angel Radcliffe

3. Software

Cancel no-longer-used software subscriptions, and avoid luxury software purchases—you don’t need Salesforce if you can use Excel.—Michael Hammelburger, PL Consulting, and Darryl Glover, Global Portfolio Management Systems

4. Inventory

Clear out unwanted inventory and donate it to charity for a tax deduction under IRC Section 170(e)(3). Corporations, partnerships, and LLCs qualify for straight cost deductions; businesses and C corporations can receive up to a twice-cost deduction.—Gary C. Smith, National Association for the Exchange of Industrial Resources

5. Here-and-there expenses

Small company purchases—from new pens to job listings to desk chairs—may seem insignificant, but they add up fast when nobody is monitoring them. Track every dollar spent. —Jim Morris, president and owner of The Alternative Board Tennessee Valley

RELATED: Does Your Small Business Need a Point of Sale System?

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“In the restaurant industry, if you want to see what’s losing you money, you look in the trash can. In a Mexican restaurant, people continue to ask for refills of chips and salsa. By the third basket, it’s wasted money—they don’t eat them. We had our bussers bring fewer chips on each run.”

NFIB member Jim Urdiales, Mestizo Restaurant, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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