Are you looking for ways that your small business can save some hard-earned cash in a relatively simple way?
We’ve compiled 15 money-saving tips for small businesses that you need to know.
Before we jump in – the perfect place to start any money-saving exercise is to note down your income and your expenses. This will help highlight areas in your business where costs need to be reduced and allow you to set some realistic targets. Just seeing it written down will give you some ideas on where you can cut back.
Ok, let’s get started.
1. Review everything
Do you really need a piece of software you used once 8 months ago? Is the coffee pod subscription necessary? How much use is the company Netflix account getting? If it’s providing value, great – keep it. But you’ll be surprised by the number of things that you’re paying for that you’re just not using.
You may not even be aware you’re spending money on these things – so it’s important to do a thorough spending analysis.
Pick up the phone, call your suppliers and tell them you want a better deal. Think internet, electricity, stationery, rented equipment, and software providers. Some won’t budge. Others will.
You may find this uncomfortable, so it’s important to prepare before making any calls. Do your research into the suppliers’ competitors, and know exactly what you want to achieve.
Take a look at Informi’s tips on negotiating prices and discounts with suppliers.
3. Do meetings better
Poor old meetings. Read any article on running a more cost-efficient business and you’ll be told to hold fewer meetings.
Firstly, you probably should.
Secondly, if regular meetings are imperative to your business, make them effective. Prepare an agenda. Set the goal. Only invite the people who need to be there. Begin on time. End on time. Come out with some actions.
Everyone has been in a badly hosted meeting. Not only are they detrimental to productivity, but they’re also harmful to team morale. So next time, before you hit ‘send invite’ – ask yourself whether this meeting could simply be an email.
4. Not using it? Sell it
Computers, monitors, TVs, phones, printers, desks, chairs. You’ll have things in your office that you don’t use anymore. Pop them on an online marketplace (5 best sites to sell your stuff and make some quick cash) and see what you can get for them.
At the very least, you’ll free up some space.
5. Remote working
As of April 2022, the cost of office space in London was the highest in Europe. If you run your business away from home – ask yourself if it’s necessary.
The pandemic showed us that remote working, when done right, can be just as efficient as office work. And of course, there are address services that allow you to give the impression of being based in a prestigious location, when you are actually working from home.
However, if working from home just isn’t for you, consider relocating to a less expensive space, or one that would reduce your commute.
6. Look after your team
Recruiting and training new members of staff is time-consuming and expensive, with recruitment alone costing a reported average of £3,000 per staff member.
It starts with hiring the right people – then, once you have them in the door, you need to give them enough reasons to stay.
Demonstrate the opportunities for growth in the business. Invest in company culture. Offer benefits and rewards. Avoid micromanagement.
It may sound expensive (and challenging) but it’s nothing compared to the cost and admin involved in finding more great people.
Don’t waste your time plodding through tasks that you don’t excel at. To be a successful business owner, you need to use your skillset wisely and know when a job needs to be delegated.
Whether the solution is getting a freelancer onboard or using an online tool, take a step back and consider the value of your time and how it can be put to better use.
However, don’t confuse tasks outside of your expertise with tasks that you don’t enjoy. Sometimes you will be the best person for the job.
8. Go paperless
Cutting down on the amount of paper that your business uses is good for your pocket and the planet.
There are a number of ways that you can scale back your paper use.
Encourage digital note-taking, discourage print-outs in meetings, introduce hot-desking instead of fixed desks (this reduces clutter), and move internal documents such as company handbooks to the cloud.
9. Buy second-hand
Regardless of what you’re doing, you probably don’t need the latest bit of kit to run your business properly.
Also, when buying electronics – big brands such as Apple often have areas on their site dedicated to refurbished equipment.
Get bargain hunting!
10. Team timing
If you do employ staff, are they working at the right times? This is particularly relevant to service industries where certain parts of the day are significantly busier than others.
Analyse when you and your team are flat-out and when there are lulls – then tailor shifts to ensure you’re covered at the correct times.
You could even consider introducing a 4-day working week – giving your team that extra bit of time to themselves (and of course saving you some money).
11. Turn it off
Yes, it’s remarkably obvious, but now more than ever you need to make sure that your energy costs don’t get out of control.
Does the printer need to be switched on all day? Why is the coffee machine on? Do all the lights in a half-empty office need to be on?
If something is not in use, and it’s not imperative that it stays on (for example, a server), switch it off. Now is the time to change those costly habits.
12. Recruit smart and young
Employing talented but inexperienced people will generally cost you less money and often broaden the scope of your business.
A great way to do this is to introduce a training programme, where you reach out to school leavers and university graduates, offering them the opportunity to come and hone their skills straight after education.
By recruiting young talent, you inject fresh, cutting-edge energy into your business. And it’s affordable.
13. Look at your accounting
If you’re not an accounting expert, pay a professional – or use software such as FreeAgent – to do your accounting for you.
A good accountant will not only provide you with solid business advice, but they’ll explain the tax relief benefits and claimable allowances available to you and your business.
They’ll be able to ensure that your personal finances and business finances aren’t mixed up, that your bookkeeping is done correctly, that your tax calculations are correct (you’re not paying too much or too little), and that deadlines are met.
A good accountant can often save you far more money than they cost.
14. Do a skills audit on your team
Before you take on new staff, review the skillset that your existing team has. You could be employing multilinguists, coders, writers, etc – without even knowing it.
As and when you do unearth hidden talent, talk to your employee about how they want to develop this within the business. For example, particular hours could be dedicated to this skill, or maybe a complete role change would be better.
It really is a win-win.
15. Switch banks
Most people presume that moving between banks is a massive hassle. It isn’t. And more often than not, when you look at the various fees involved, you can get a better deal elsewhere.
Do your research and make the switch to a bank that suits you and your business.
If you formed your company with us, you can log in to your account and view our current business bank account partners:
- Access your account
- Select ‘My Companies’
- Click on your company’s name
- Select ‘Getting Started’
You’ll be presented with our banking partners along with the option to start the application process.
Thanks for reading our money-saving tips!
So there you have it, 15 money-saving tips for small businesses that you need to know. We hope you found this post helpful, and that it inspires you to implement steps that save you some cash.
If you have any questions or want to share your own money-saving tips, please leave a comment. And don’t forget to visit our blog hub for similar posts.