The smart way to reduce costs – As a small business owner you understand that it is so important to watch every penny; that means implementing a number of cost saving strategies to save money across all business areas from finance through to sales, marketing and general business but without compromising on the quality of products or services.
Perhaps you have just received a report from your accountant or maybe you have noticed that your business running costs are increasing year on year, this comprehensive guide will help you bring your finances back under control.
It is important to reduce waste and make savings in the right areas so your business doesn’t suffer.
Businesses cannot flourish if they are not operating as efficiently as they should be. Reducing what you spend and targeting resources more effectively can help you to push that growth initiative, upgrade your website or purchase a new piece of equipment that you need to remain competitive.
In recent years, the business landscape and wider economy has been uncertain so businesses are even more cautious about investing or making any financial decisions. Consequently businesses are looking at where money can be saved so that they can survive in a more competitive marketplace.
The introduction of the Internet, increasing rents and rising utility bills are just some of the reasons why businesses need to look at all areas of their business to make cost savings.
This unique guide will offer you 17 great ways to save money; from energy saving tips through to contract negotiations, this practical and informative guide will show how you can save money.
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Reduce Energy Costs
Although energy consumption is not necessarily at the forefront of a managers cost reduction strategy, there are simple techniques that you can promote in the workplace to reduce energy and generate savings in utility bills.
The purchase of a smart temperate control can regulate temperatures so the room is only heated when it needs to be.
Encourage employees to switch off computers and lights at the end of the day and install new energy-efficient bulbs. A good way is to change to LED lights or even use natural light for your office or store.
Save on Travel Expenses.
Checking a number of websites to get the best deals for travel and accommodation may take time, but it can result in significant cost savings. You don’t fly first class if you want to keep your expenditure on business travel expenses as low as possible.
Uber is a great tool for connecting individuals who need transport with taxi drivers.
Reduce your petrol costs by ensuring that company cars are energy efficient and look for cheaper ways to travel such as train or coach.
Negotiate your Current Contracts
Small businesses require lots of resources to function. Basic stationery items like paper, envelopes, and pens can cost a fortune with some suppliers. Simply shopping around and sourcing cheaper suppliers can save money.
Carry out reviews thorough reviews of your suppliers using office management tools and finance packages to see how much you are spending.
Negotiate suppliers and check if you can find a more cost-effective deal.
Outsource Some Tasks
Outsourcing on-board for certain tasks. Rather than employing a full-time copywriter, for example, you can outsource this work to a freelancer when you are updating your marketing material or website.
Use the available freelance website to source freelancers with the skills that you need. If you find a great freelancer along the way you can continue to use them for future projects which will save you time and money in the long term.
We use Ascelade to build our website and SEO services. You might want to consider them.
Have fewer Meetings
A meeting can be both resources and time-intensive eating up valuable hours in your working day. Not only this, if you don’t have meeting facilities at your place of work you may be spending a lot of money on hiring venues and offering hospitality, all of which can put a dent in your budget.
Reduce face to face meetings as much as possible: arrange a face to face meetings twice monthly and then hold the other meetings in between using collaborative technologies or free video calling and conferencing software.
There is no doubt that office space costs money. With more and more businesses operating online, why not develop a virtual team? Not only will you save money on utility bills, but you will also make significant cost savings on rent for your office space or building.
Project-based software such as Basecamp or Go To Assist allow businesses to collaborate and set up schedules and to-do lists for each member of the team. A central notice board or stream can be established so that all remote workers can log in and check progress.
Installing collaborative technology software can facilitate day to day business operations.
Switch to Cheaper Software
Some software options cost businesses thousands of dollars. There are many software tools that are very similar but much cheaper.
Web design software is very expensive, so is accounting software. Opt for cheaper versions provided that they offer the functionality that you need.
Research available options for software, for example, make simple switches to desktop publishing software or accounting programs.
Interns or apprentices can be excellent ways to support your business particularly during peak or busy periods.
Local training centers, colleges, and universities may be an excellent place to begin.
Employ an intern or apprentice to carry out some of the more menial, time-consuming tasks such as document checking, filing, processing and data input, freeing up time for your other more experienced staff to focus on other areas.
Recruitment is an essential process for any business but selects the wrong candidate and it could prove costly. Not only will you have to spend time and money training up a less skilled candidate but you may have to invest more time and resources in checking or correcting work.
There are a number of tools that can facilitate all aspects of the recruitment process from candidate and CV screening right through to online assessments and aptitude tests.
Ensure that you have a strong screening process in place and create accurate job descriptions so that you only invite the most qualified and experienced candidates for the interview.
Rent Out Unneeded Space
If you currently own a building why not rent out spare floor space or desks to sole traders or freelancers who perhaps don’t need a permanent office space? If this is not something that you have considered before, you may be unaware of the demand for good quality office or desk space.
The internet is a great resource for advertising your spare office space along with the local media.
Rent out small spaces like a spare desk in your office or if you have large, expansive premises, you can rent out a whole unit or floor. This will create an ideal environment for sole traders or small businesses.
Use Project management Tools
Project management tools can be a great way to save time and resources enabling teams to break the project down into smaller tasks that can facilitate the distribution of workloads.
Increase effectiveness with time management, strengthen the planning and budgeting process with accurate project management monitoring tools.
Businesses spend a lot of money on paper and ink for printing documents so more and more businesses are making the transition to paperless offices.
There are a number of tools that you can use to convert your paper documents into electronic versions or even remove the paper from the office completely. Scanners, digital note-taking applications such as Evernote, Intellinote project software or Adobe Reader for digitally signing documents.
Use the above pieces of software to scan and index documents into your company database system.
Buy Second Hand Equipment & Furniture
If you are hoping to fund your growing business, rather than purchasing new furniture seek out second-hand desks, office chairs, and other office furniture and equipment.
Before purchasing new furniture check out local auctions trade magazines and use the internet to find suitable used furniture and equipment for a fraction of the price.
Shared Services with Local Businesses
Sharing services across businesses can result in substantial cost savings. For example, businesses can share senior management knowledge or IT teams that can facilitate operations.
If you are a local business and have partnerships with others, seek advice as to whether there is the possibility of sharing services such as an IT department, HR or management function.
Get on the Cloud
Cloud-based software can enable businesses to save costs in relation to server maintenance, power, software licensing and the expense associated with upgrading servers and equipment.
Initiate the transition to cloud-based software selecting the most appropriate tools for your business.
Review Your Marketing Spend
Monitoring your finances is crucial and ensuring that your marketing expenditure is generating an optimum return on investment is essential.
Finance software such as QuickBooks can help you see where your marketing budget is being invested.
Encourage your marketing team to think about the costs associated with different forms of marketing and where possible use free or low-cost methods.
Switch to VoIP
Switching to VoIP technology can bring a number of benefits for your business, reducing costs on long distance calls and roaming charges as well as making use of Wi-Fi rather than network minutes.
Where possible promote the use of VoIP amongst the workforce and you could even allow employees to bring their phones to work and work-based calls can be made and received through the VoIP network.
There you go, all 17 cost-saving ideas for your small business. Not all the ideas are suitable for your business. You may even need 1 or 2 ideas and it will save your business lots of money. I would suggest that you try them out in a small way before implementing it fully.
If you like these tips do share them with your social media or even to mention it on your website or blog.
If you have any tips on cutting costs for small businesses, do comment below to share with us! B)