I am sure we all remember the old adage of 'look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves'? Well, the same is true whatever the size and stage of the business you are involved in, and there are plenty of ways of cutting costs that the canny entrepreneur if you know where to look. This is why keeping an eye on the cash flow of your business is vital, otherwise how else can you control the finances. Take at look at our tips for predicting your sales forecast to help you known when you'll need to tighten your belt and when you can afford to be daring.
You can cut costs now by making small changes to improve profitability can help prevent more painful cuts later on. Here are our top tips to help you cut costs in your small business:
In our home and family lives, we are advised to shop around for the best deal on insurance, energy tariffs and broadband providers, so why would you not do that for your business? Don’t just let contracts roll over - check to see if there are any better deals on offer and make the switch check out www.quotemyenergy.co.uk to see if you are on the best deal in relation to energy prices for example. Even changing to LED bulbs can save 75% on lighting your premises so when you need to replace bulbs, give that some thought.
When thinking about how to cut costs, consider whether you really need business premises. Could you work from home and consider hot-desking as an option? Meetings can be held in meeting rooms which you can hire by the hour, or make your clients life easy and suggest you go to see them at their premises. How about using Skype? This saves on time as well as money, therefore enabling you to be more productive for longer, not only useful for routine meetings, it can also help you when cutting costs that are associated with expanding overseas. You can engage with anyone, based anywhere in the world, giving you the chance to widen your target market, while saving money. Check out our tips for working from home here.
If you want a business address look to using a mailbox service, very cost effective and gives a professional impression as opposed to an obvious home address.
Network locally to grow your business, there are lots of free networking events that you can attend, check out our events page to find networks near you.
Spending money can sometimes be useful to help you cut costs, who’d have thought? Have you ever thought of paying an invoice early? Many suppliers will offer you a discount for paying your invoices early, saving you money in the long run.
Only buy what you need at the time, keeping stock to a minimum can help with cash flow. If you have assets you no longer use sell them, this can give additional cash into the business but can also reduce your insurance premiums.
Cut costs on your tax bill
Take advantage of tax deductions for new equipment purchases, hybrid cars, and other expenditures. Consider leasing vehicles and equipment, this can spread the cost and ease cash flow pressures.
By joining associations such as the Federation of Small Businesses or your Local Chamber of Commerce you can save money on standard document templates that keep your business complaint. They also have free advice helplines, and one call could pay for your membership.
Are you doing anything involving research and development? See what tax reliefs you could qualify for here.
Cut costs in marketing
Marketing can be one of the biggest expenses when you are starting your business, so get social with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube; any platform that suits your business. Listen, learn and build your business on the "noise" of social media. However, remember, still work out your return on investment, whilst it is not costing you money, it costs time and as we all know time is money!
Split advertising and promotion costs with other like minded businesses. Joint promotional activity can be a real benefit, reducing costs and reaching a wider audience.
Cut costs with your insurance
When looking for insurance, check with your trade association. Many associations offer competitive group insurance. Also, seek advice from an insurance broker to ensure you are covered appropriately for your business, they can often save you money on your premiums.
Cut costs by outsourcing
Lots of bigger businesses use outsourcing as a way of cutting costs. As most businesses have peaks and troughs, can you outsource some of your activities at peak times instead of employing someone directly and paying for the downtime. Freelancer sites can help you get anything from a website built to a virtual assistant to marketing and PR work. Try looking at www.PeopleperHour to find freelance workers, for example.
Ensure you keep good and accurate records, keeping all receipts for items purchased and remember you can claim an allowance if you work from home. If you are unsure about how to keep records and bookkeeping ensure you book onto a finance workshop to help you control the finances in your business.
As well as reviewing your energy and utility prices, shop around for everyday items too, going back to the start, look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves, remember?
The age of the business super-scrimper is here - let's all become cost aware Ninja's, keep costs down so we can re-invest into the business. Happy Saving!