Few businesses can afford to throw their money away on unnecessary purchases, but surprisingly few bother to investigate how they can save money on the bills they are already paying. Fortunately, there are several ways small businesses can save money and reduce their costs.
There are several key areas to examine where savings can be made. The first are the overheads relating to business premises. Rents and leases are non-negotiable, but savings can be made in terms of energy consumption. For example, simply changing standard light bulbs for energy efficient ones can save money and time, in that they need to be changed less often. Staff should be encouraged to shut down their computers at the end of the day, as boxes left on standby still use up significant amounts of energy. Savings can be made seasonally, such as during the winter months, by only heating those parts of the premises that are in constant use and using smart controls on boilers so that the heating does not come on at the weekend.
The biggest expense for businesses usually comes with staff. While it can be tempting to replace members of staff as soon as a position becomes available, it may be a better idea to wait and see if the business suffers because of the staff member’s absence. It is possible that their duties can be taken on by an existing staff member who is prepared to expand their job role for a higher salary. Do not make the mistake, however, of expecting another member of staff to do someone else’s job without remuneration. You could also outsource some of your job roles. The types of jobs that can be handled out of the office include a virtual receptionist to answer your incoming calls and a freelance graphic designer to design your marketing materials.
Staff often have a tendency to overbuy or bulk-buy items for the office that end up never being used. This is especially true with regard to stationery. While it can seem like a cost saving to bulk-buy red pens, consider first whether they will actually be used before their ink dries out. Stationery items soon accumulate, whether stored in a cupboard or in staff desk drawers, and a one-month buying suspension can easily deliver a significant cost saving. When it comes to buying supplies for the business, small businesses should take advantage of discount cards and reward schemes, such as those offered by Grouptrader. These types of schemes deliver points or similar that can then be used against future purchases.
Advertising can be expensive, so unless print ads really deliver good returns for you, consider whether you could enjoy word-of-mouth recommendations through joining networking groups, which only have a membership fee to pay. You could also take advantage of free social media to raise awareness about your business.
Rather than making big cuts, such as staff redundancies that may adversely affect the productivity of your business, you should examine the areas where you can make small changes that will go almost unnoticed and yet deliver great cost savings.