The Cost of Doing Business in 2014 and How to Save Money

Woman smiling and blinking her eyeEvery year, consumers expect cost increases and this year will be no different. There will be a variety of everyday products that will go up as well as new costs for small businesses.

“One thing that will definitely cost more is websites,? specifically, creating a responsive design for your company’s site,” explains Social Media Strategist Vin Ferrer of Graphic D-Signs, Inc. “More business is being done at the mobile level, and that means cool apps and expert-designed websites that adapt to their medium. Those that refuse to switch over will suffer a hit to their relevance & credibility from consumers’ perception.”

While most experts expect business travel budgets to increase, those corporate road warriors will find higher airfares, advises smart shopping expert Jon Lal, founder of coupon site ??

“Airfare will increase due to the Paul Ryan-Patty Murray budget deal reached earlier this month which includes an increase in fees for security,” he explains.

According to a study by the Global Business Travel Association, in 2014 there will be a 7.2 percent rise in business travel spending next year, to $288.8 billion.

But there are various ways to save money on airfare. Purchase tickets on Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. since this is when airlines usually release their sale fares. So this is a good time to secure deals before they expire or are bought up by other flyers.

Research the Web for the best prices on airfare but consider booking directly with the airline. Airlines tend to pay a $10 to $15 commission on flights booked through a discount site, but booking directly with the carrier saves this fee.

Companies will also be spending more on shipping and postage. “Post office shipping and the cost of Forever stamps will rise in late January,” notes Lal. To cut the costs of postage, skip the post office says Pitney Bowes. Try online postage stamps to print shipping labels and manage shipments.

Also, opt for flat-rate pricing, where you pay one set fee for Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express anywhere in the U.S. for packages up to 70 pounds. The goods must fit into one of the USPS provided packages. According to Pitney Bowes, a 10-pound Priority Mail shipment would cost $36.50, but with flat-rate pricing, it can be sent for as little as $5.80.

Try Parcel Select and save on every shipment. By subscribing to a PC postage solution, there are no minimum quantity requirements, and customers can weigh, address and ship packages from any Internet-connected PC.