Whoever said running a business was cheap? Nobody, that’s who. And that was the bad news. But hey, it’s always worth looking on the bright side, and the good news is this. There are ways to save money on your regular business overheads. In this article, we will consider how this is possible, with some handy tips to keep your bank balance looking healthy over the coming months.
Unless you are operating a business from your bedroom, this is one cost you shouldn’t overlook. From public liability to property insurance, you need to be protected from whatever disaster may befall your business. Thankfully, there are ways to save money when buying insurance. Using a price comparison service, you should be able to find the cover you need at a lower premium. You don’t always need to take a comprehensive policy out, either. Only pay for what you need, as you are only wasting money on taking out insurance on anything that won’t affect your business. Take advantage of discounts, too. Threaten your current provider with the cheaper prices you have found elsewhere, and they may reduce the premium you pay to retain your custom.
For starters, you probably need less office supplies than you used to, especially if you are operating online and paperless. So don’t stock your office with anything you will never use – rubber bands, paper clips, staplers, pens – or buy less of those items at least. If there are supplies you regularly need, check with local suppliers and go with the cheapest you find, or negotiate a better price. You can also save money when shopping online. This is especially true when buying printer ink, as it is notoriously expensive in high street stores. 123inkjets often have huge savings, for example. You should also stop buying branded items. A paperclip is a paperclip, no matter what company it comes from, so don’t worry about buying generic office equipment.
This depends on what type of business you run, but there are always ways to save money within your premises. Utility bills are a nuisance, though it’s common sense to shop around and find better rates than your currently paying. Working from home occasionally will cut down your business utility bills, as well, though you should probably find a better deal from your home supplier too! Sharing your premises with another company is also a good idea, as you can halve rent, and share the cost of office supplies. You should also think about becoming eco-friendly at your premises, as not only are you doing your bit to save the planet, but you are saving yourself some money as well.
If you have staff working for you, be sure to only hire the right amount of people you need. It’s no good employing somebody for the sake of it, or ‘just in case you need them,’ if they are surplus to requirements. Sometimes, it’s better to hire somebody on a temporary or part-time contract rather than have them full-time on your payroll. There may be areas within your business where outsourcing is the better answer. By hiring another firm on an occasional basis, such as web design or accountancy, you only pay them when you require their services. However, if you find yourself regularly outsourcing, you will save yourself money if you train up yourself or existing staff to take on the jobs you outsource.
If you’re still using a landline phone, you should shop around and find the cheapest offer available. Alternatively, you may be able to scrap your landline altogether. Saving you money on a month by month basis, you can cut out expensive fees by focussing your communication efforts online. Having a live chat option on your website is a start. Then there are internet services such as Skype for your business calls. Emailing is another common solution, as is using your social media to contact customers, staff, or business clients.
Driving across town to business meetings will eat up your fuel allowance. Travelling across the country for trade shows or conferences will dent your bank balance. Thankfully, you can do something about it. For starters, you may not have to leave your office for every meeting you need to attend. Using telecommunication software, you can hold conference calls from the comfort of your office chair, as well as making Powerpoint presentations and the like. Then ask yourself. Do you really need to attend every meeting/trade show/conference that is happening elsewhere? Pick and choose the ones most relevant to you, and only travel when you are going to benefit from them. If you do need to leave the office and get on a train to travel longer distances, take advantage of advance booking, as you will get your ticket for cheaper.
This is one area where you are right to spend money, but you can still save yourself some cash. For starters, ditch or limit your marketing through traditional methods, such as newspaper and magazine advertising. Considering most people are online these days, this is where you need to focus your efforts. Using digital marketing, you can reduce your overheads considerably, as your website and social media channels can promote your business at little or no cost. You should also consider affiliate marketing, which is commission, rather than salary based, for the people you hire to market your product. Then remember to target the right demographic. It’s no good paying a lot of money on a marketing campaign to people who are unlikely to buy your product, so find out who your customers are, and focus in on them.
We have only looked at a few of the overheads you will have looming over you each month, but there may be others. Whatever the case, always look for ways to save money. Speaking to your staff or other business professionals will help, as will hiring an accountant who, despite the added expense, will advise you further on how to cut some of your regular costs.
*This is a contributed post