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Real-World Cost-Cutting Practices

Real-World Cost-Cutting Practices

These 4 companies are saving money in day-to-day operations. And they're doing it without affecting the customer experience.

By Mandy Feder | Entreprenuer

These 4 companies are saving money in day-to-day operations. And they’re doing it without affecting the customer experience.

What began as a challenging economic cycle has spiraled into a recession. Most employers have laid off employees, put a hold on future projections and nixed large purchases for the sake of survival. It may leave you thinking there’s nothing more to do but hope for the best. But many have refused to call it quits. The smartest have figured out ways to adapt their business practices. They are saving energy, discovering free advertising, entertaining clients on the cheap and, in general, saving money—from buying single-ply toilet paper to utilizing free website hosting, these entrepreneurs have savings on lock-down.

Gotham Comedy Club
New York City

Chris Mazzilli, owner and founder of Gotham Comedy Club and the Metropolitan Room in New York City, knows cutting costs during the economic crisis is no joke.

“I’ve been making changes here at Gotham Comedy Club and my other business, the Metropolitan Room, for about a year,” Mazilli says. “One of the big keys for me was not to have our customers feel or notice any cutbacks whatsoever.”

He’s switching to green products—napkins, paper towels and toilet paper—because there’s a 10 percent to 15 percent savings. Though when Mazzilli first explored green products, he wasn’t immediately impressed—his customers didn’t like the rough paper products, and they were expensive. As the market for green products evolved, the quality improved and the cost decreased.

He also retrained managers to send staff home during slow stretches. “What has very little effect on an employee saves a lot of money and jobs at the end of the year,” says Mazzilli, who hasn’t lost a single employee during the economic crisis. “If an average employee makes $10 an hour, just one hour a day saves you $3,650 a year.”

He’s negotiated better rates at the hotels where he puts up performers. “We average $450 to $550 per room per night. Paying $50 less per night adds thousands to the bottom line.”

Shifting to e-marketing has also cut costs, as has shopping for wholesale supplies. In addition, Mazzilli has reduced the number of comedians per show when he features big headliners, which he says the audience appreciates because they see more of the main attraction rather than a string of lesser-known comedians. He’s invested in a copy machine to do more in-house printing, bypassing copy or print shops. Together, these changes have added approximately $10,000 to his business’s bottom line.

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