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Great Ways to Reduce Overhead Costs

Active Member

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:

  • Furniture

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.

  • Cubicles

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.

  • Décor

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.

  • Electronics

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.

  • Telephone Systems

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.

  • Recycle

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.

  • Online Shopping

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.

  • Merchant Services

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.

Carter Services Plus 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 FREE consultation to review your current financial situation or to find out if we are the right fit for you.

Topic starter Posted : 04/05/2010 8:05 pm
(@Alex Ral)
Active Member

Re: Great Ways to Reduce Overhead Costs

Very good advice given, I'll definitely try them!! 🙂

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Posted : 14/12/2014 10:54 pm
Estimable Member

Re: Great Ways to Reduce Overhead Costs

Thanks for your post, It's a good idea to take special care for creating an
Inspiring Workspace, many Internet Marketeers also use things like Standing desks,
and Laptop stands etc. to make working
more pleasant.

And don't forget your Fun Coffee Mugs!

Read more about Graphical Design and Online Marketing at:

EDS-Newsfacts Blog

Posted : 03/03/2015 8:44 am
Eminent Member

For the heads up. In order to reduce over head cost in your business, when it comes to your accounting, bookkeeping, payroll etc. it is wise to just outsource it or find an accounting service company that provides high quality and genuine accounting for small business and big businesses. Instead of hiring a bunch of people and training them to be a specialist, you can just outsource them to save money and time also its less hassle for the business.

Posted : 20/10/2015 10:53 pm
Eminent Member

to add up, its very important to any businesses out there.

Posted : 20/10/2015 10:54 pm
New Member

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Posted : 26/10/2015 12:40 pm
Eminent Member

Thanks for the information offered on this page it will be really helpful in getting me to start a small venture.

Posted : 05/02/2019 6:56 am
Eminent Member

Reducing overheads can make or break your business especially during the early stages of its inception. What you want to do is keep the expenses to a bare minimum where possible.Otherwise great recommendations.

Posted : 11/02/2019 3:15 am
Trusted Member

Interesting thread especially for those looking to track down their monthly spend. As a business at all times you want to maximize profits and minimize expenditures. A great way to do this is tracking your incoming and outgoing finances. This will show where your money is being spent more on and you'll be able to correct that. Also, you will cut overheads by buying things in bulk as opposed to buying things in single units.

Posted : 21/06/2019 11:54 am
Eminent Member

You can achieve that through any of the following.

Switch your communications to popular programs.

Negotiate rent as this could turn out to be where your business is losing a lot of money. 

Keep a close eye on your utility expenses

Opt to rent out equipment as opposed to owning them.


Posted : 07/10/2019 10:42 am
Active Member

Great advice, especially about the furniture and decor. I got a question about extrernal hard drives though; What is the best one to use for starters?

Posted : 15/10/2019 6:36 pm
New Member

I concur about online shopping. You can save the bundle on that.

Posted : 22/01/2020 4:54 pm