Every business experiences ups and downs. Cutting costs is one way to stay afloat during the bad times and to increase the bottom line when business is good.

Streamlining expenditures and finding ways to save is one thing, but you don’t want to lose employees when you do it. To reduce costs and keep your valued team members, follow these five tips.

  1. Cut Your Company’s Vehicle Expenses

Whether your company relies on a fleet of vehicles or has one or two company cars, there are ways to cut expenses.

If you use the company vehicle more at specific times of the year than others, it doesn’t make sense to purchase or lease for the entire year. If you’re in the D.C. area, look at services like Inride that offer a flat rate monthly service. Founded by Alex Perdikis, the company offers two-tiers of current generation style vehicles.

If your company requires a vehicle on a daily basis, consider looking for bargains before you purchase new. Check ads and contact business operatives who may have recently shut a company down to ask about purchasing a vehicle from them at a lowered cost.

If you go this route, however, don’t pass on the mandatory before purchase mechanic evaluation. If you do, your used vehicle may not be such a bargain after all.

  1. Evaluate Your Staff

Are your employees in the job they should be? If Anne has an accounting background, but she’s in the marketing department, is that the best use of her talents?

Sometimes, because of staff attrition, people end up doing jobs they aren’t necessarily cut out for. Make sure employees are in the best possible place. Happier employees mean higher production levels.

  1. Cut Office Expenses

Evaluate your space and look for places to cut business costs. Do you really need to rent the big space you have now? If not, begin looking for a smaller, less-costly place to rent. If you don’t want to move, try negotiating with the landlord to lower the rent.

Think about allowing employees to work from home at least part of the time. Telecommuting employees report higher productivity and job satisfaction. Employers save on utilities and supplies when employees work from home.

Some businesses, such as repair and in-home services businesses can be run out of a home office and a truck. Check local zoning regulations before deciding to run your business out of your home, however.

Are there services you can cut to reduce costs? Can you take recycling to the center yourself and save on a pickup service? Could you clean the office space yourself rather than hiring a cleaning company?

  1. Evaluate Your Business Insurance Coverage Annually

Business insurance rates fluctuate, but if you let your policy renew each year without evaluating, bargaining for a better rate or shopping for a more cost-effective policy, you’re probably paying too much.

Evaluating your insurance policies each year also gives you the chance to add or remove coverage as needed.

  1. Ask Employees for Input

Your employees work in the trenches. Ask them for their ideas about ways to reduce costs. You not only get fresh ideas and practical information, but you also let employees know they’re a part of the team and you value their ideas.