By Erin Warren, SVP of Marketing, Splender
Small businesses make up the majority of all annual sales in the U.S. With about 30 million (and counting) of these influential small companies, the total spending will only continue to rise. This is especially true during the holidays, when everyone – both individuals and businesses – are spending more money. With company holiday parties, bonuses, potlucks and holiday gift giving, the company card can take plenty of hits.
According to Concur’s annual Expense IQ Report, the typical small business spending habits are primarily centered on travel and entertainment. Makes sense – there are client visits to make, staff meetings to attend, expenses to be paid. However, there’s a way to roll into the New Year without rolling into debt.
Here are some tips to make sure your small business spends wisely:
Spend Cash to Earn Cash.
Office party planning can get pretty hectic and not to mention costly. However, there’s a secret to guaranteed savings without having to spend time searching for discount codes and coupons. By shopping online with cash back sites for your plastic cups, festive napkins, and even your everyday office supplies, you can earn back money as you spend it. You can also use cash back sites to purchase end of the year employee gifts like a new desk organizer, gift cards to Starbucks, or a travel mug with their favorite team’s logo. The more gifts you buy the more cash you earn! This leaves more room for employees to have a few extra appetizers (and drinks) at the next company happy hour, and will make you an early candidate for greatest boss EVER.
Plan Purchases by Overestimating.
You never want to be caught off guard thinking you’ve budgeted perfectly and then have your company card declined buying additional items. Sometimes budgeting to a tee can hurt you instead of help you, as we can often miscalculate taxes and hidden fees (…if we calculate them at all). This is why you should always overestimate how much you are going to spend. If the DJ for your company holiday party costs $350, then round it up to $400 — likewise for all other purchases. More often than not, a great bulk of your purchases will fall under the amount that you have allotted for, thus leaving room for any unforeseen surprises at checkout.
Your Budget is Your Best Friend.
Budgets exist to provide us with some sort of monetary self-control. Since small businesses have the opportunity to get to know employees on a more personal level, it can be hard not to splurge on your amazing staff. However, it is important to stay on track. Once you make your list of planned purchases and determine your budget, this should not be the last time you visit it. In fact, you should continue to update it once you’ve actually started making purchases. Make notes about what the exact prices were for your items or services and keep an eye on how much you have estimated left to spend. The constant reminder of where your budget is and what’s left will provide a layer of security so that you will not only stay within your budget, but will hopefully end up with a little extra in your pockets.
The holidays are a great reason to spend more time getting to know your employees and to let them know that they are appreciated for all of the great work they do. By using these spending tips, you can show your appreciation in a way that doesn’t dig too deep into the company’s wallet. Instead, you can have plenty to spend on enjoying good times with your company throughout the New Year.
Erin Warren is the senior vice president of marketing at Splender, a unique online cash-back shopping site that is part of Cartera Commerce. In this role, Erin is responsible for leading marketing strategies and execution to acquire, engage and retain customers for Splender’s cash-back shopping site. As a marketing veteran with more than 15 years of experience, Erin has always been motivated by the opportunity to enhance the way companies execute their marketing strategies to attract and retain customers.