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Keep Your Cost Down

Four tips on how you can keep your costs down.
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One of the basic tenets of good business is to keep costs down without compromising quality. This is applicable even for enterprises based at home or on the Web, which have already trimmed expenses by sidestepping overhead concerns. Mari Muñoz, who uses Multiply.com as a storefront for Dessert Express, has these suggestions:

1 Find reliable suppliers.
For any business that involves production, having steady, trusted suppliers will ensure that your operations run smoothly. “Establish a business relationship with willing suppliers so that [raw materials] can be delivered to your place. It saves you time and gas,” Muñoz recommends.

2 Plan your purchases.
Muñoz buys ingredients such as flour, cocoa and sugar “wholesale or by the sack.” She also gets boxes, stickers and other paraphernalia from suppliers. Going to the supermarket or grocery is the last option when she has to rush orders or is pressed for time.

3 Manage your time.
Being your own boss means that you can work at your own pace, Muñoz shares. This, however, does not give you license to forgo discipline. In her case, “orders for the day are all baked at the same time.” Such planning is crucial, especially when you have to meet bulk orders. Not only does this approach save on time, it also minimizes manpower and wastage of ingredients.

4 “S” means safety.
Because Muñoz is in the food business, safety is a top priority. Ingredients need to be handled carefully, and work areas should be spotless. Utensils and hands should always be sanitized to minimize contamination and prevent ingredients from going bad, she explains.

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