I was reading the Wall Street Journal and found this article: Three Best Ways to Get Lean, March 28, 2010. It talks about how layoffs are not the only option for saving. They provided three best ways.
1. Consolidate your workspace
If your business is run out of more than one rented office, consider consolidating the next time a lease expires. Not only will you save on real-estate costs but also utilities, cleaning services and other regular expenses. If you operate out of one location, but want to reduce overhead, consider sharing work spaces through “co-working” arrangements.
2. Shop Smarter
Start comparing prices on supplies and services, which might then give you more muscle in negotiating with vendors. I’ve been looking at this for thinkspace and there are a few key areas that I’m considering to make changes, but, this requires a line item by line item review of every expense and figuring out what’s needed and what’s not. It also means comparison shopping your existing vendors and seeing if they are willing to review their contracts. I’ll share more after I’m done cutting away those non-essentials.
3. Rework your work force
Consider tapping freelancers in lieu of staff employees. Here’s an area that I’m looking at very closely. I’m primarily looking at the non-customer facing activities. I won’t sacrifice the customer facing activities because I care too much about quality, however, there are some non-customer facing activities that I want to outsource. I’m looking into tapping freelancers with specific skill sets.