Home Insights & Advice Simple money-saving tips for small businesses

Simple money-saving tips for small businesses

by John Saunders
15th Jun 21 3:23 pm

Whether you’ve already got a successful business or you’re taking the necessary steps to get there, you’ll need to keep a close watchful eye on your expenses and find ways to reduce them. By spending money wisely, business owners can ensure valuable resources are not being wasted and are actually used to further grow or sustain the company.

Yes, we fully understand that you have to spend money to make money – regardless, this doesn’t mean money should be thrown in every direction. Below, we will explore a number of realistic money saving tips that can hopefully assist you in growing your small business in the most efficient manner.

Become sustainable

Most business owners want to reduce their carbon footprint and save money at the same time. Yet, adopting sustainable initiatives has an added benefit. Through going green, you can promote this fact to your audience thorough PR and marketing. You’ll be helping to reduce carbon emissions and save money – sounds like a win-win situation.

Go paperless

What else can you do to help the environment? Cut down on printing. We realise that you won’t be able to make printers obsolete within your company but using them less is certainly a step in the right direction. After all, not every email or set of notes needs to be printed out. Technology such as computers and tablets are here for a reason so make use of them. Besides, printer ink is pretty expensive too. Embrace the digital future and only print where absolutely necessary.

Buy LED bulbs

Making the transition to LED bulbs can help you lower your business electricity costs. This will also help your SME become more sustainable. An LED bulb only uses around 5 watts of power and does the same job as a filament bulb which uses 40 watts. LED lighting is relatively inexpensive and is a quick way to reduce energy usage. It’s also useful to understand the average business energy consumption and how your firm compares.

Switch your energy provider

Just like you would at home, if you’re in need of gas and electricity in the workplace you should definitely consider an online business energy comparison. Comparing industry leading suppliers can be done within minutes through sites like Business Energy UK. There are even a whole range of guides to help you make an informed decision on your next tariff. You could save hundreds or even thousands of pounds each year on your commercial energy bills.

Use open-source software

When you’re just starting out, the costs can add up pretty quickly when you begin to list all of the things you may need. Even though software has become cheaper, it can still be pricey depending on what you need. Fortunately, there are many open-source alternatives for you to consider. Open-source software is free to use and does not require you to purchase a license. Google Docs offers free cloud storage and is a great starting point as far as office productivity suites are concerned.

Invest in digital marketing

Advertising and marketing through traditional channels can be prohibitively expensive – this could be for billboards, radio and TV ads. The cost of these can be eye watering, especially for small businesses. To raise awareness and promote your new business, we highly recommend that you consider digital marketing.

First and foremost, digital marketing is highly measurable, you can quickly see how effective any campaign is. This could be through Google Ads or advertising on social media such as Facebook or Twitter.  Once you launch the campaign, you’re able to customise it even once it’s live. You can stop, edit and pause your campaigns whenever you like. Many platforms even give new businesses a voucher for free advertising to get them going. You may find a whole new audience that would not have come across your brand otherwise.

Outsource the stuff that you’re not familiar with

If you’re just starting out, outsourcing is a great option as you won’t have the fixed overheads of permanent employees and can pay people on a freelance basis. You don’t have to think about sick days, annual leave, pension plans or purchasing extra equipment for a new member of staff.

For areas that you don’t particularly excel in or if you simply just don’t have the time for a given task, outsourcing can make a world of a difference. If there is a subject that you haven’t been able to master yourself, outsourcing will certainly help you save both time and money. You will also avoid burn out through this, after all, a burnt-out entrepreneur isn’t going to be very affective, at least until he/she recharges!

Through outsourcing, you can deliver greater output that would normally be achieved by a larger team even if it’s only you in the office. Ideally, you’ll want to find someone that is reliable and can help you tick off a multitude of tasks on your to do list.

Retain your staff

Replacing just one employee can on average cost a small business £12,000, according to Accounts and Legal. This is an enormous amount for smaller companies. Don’t let great employees slip away, they are invaluable and can be hard to replace.

Having an honest and open communication channel with your employees can help you identify any potential issues earlier on within business processes, you’ll then be able to act and put in place the right solution far more quickly.

Question every purchase

For those that like to spend, questioning every purchase may well be the most important tip on this list. Simply put, you will be able to save money by not spending it in the first place. Now we are not suggesting that you lock down your accounts, we are merely suggesting that you think before you buy. You will want to weigh up how any purchase affects your business. Ask yourself – is this something that is going to help me achieve my goal and is it a price worth paying?

If it is a big purchase, don’t make a decision straight away. Have time to think it over and consult with those that are knowledgeable. If you find that after a few days or weeks you still want or need to purchase something, go right ahead. Essentially, you will want to use your budget smartly and avoid items that provide little or no value.

Join a coworking space

It won’t be a surprise to learn that property is the single largest contributor to business expenses. A premises will normally account for more than 25% of the budget for an SME, according to data from Lloyds Bank. If you have a small team, consider operating from a coworking space or even from home if possible.

Coworking spaces are contract-based, usually short-term and you won’t be required to give a lengthy notice in advance. Just make sure that you’re comfortable amongst other business workers, who knows, seeing others working hard around you may just give you that extra push you need on a daily basis. Common facilities you can expect are Wi-Fi, printing, coffee and tea and new people you can meet and interact with when you get some free time. Additional benefits include meeting rooms, networking event opportunities and discounts on food and drink.

In summary, it will be costly when you’re building a small business and working hard towards becoming successful. This makes it absolutely necessary to make the right decisions that will affect your balance sheet. By taking advantage of the tips listed above, you can save money and allocate it to areas that can better make use of this resource to steadily grow your business in the years to come. As most SMEs don’t have significant budgets to work with like businesses on a larger scale do, it will be all the more important to make smarter decisions and get value for money.

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