When you’re starting up a new business it can be easy to fall into the trap of spending money on the best of the best. If you want to last in the long term, this isn’t the way to go. Instead spend your money wisely, and being careful about where each penny is going.
We’ve found seven of the simplest ways you can cut costs when you’re beginning a business (or even if you’ve been going for years!) and we promise that it won’t mean wearing eight layers and using a typewriter.
Reduce Energy Use
The most obvious way of saving money on a space is by making it as energy efficient as possible. Simple measures you’d take to save energy on your home can be extended to the work space. Insulating and installing double glazing are the obvious choices, but another great energy-saving tip is to invest in automated lighting, which can get you a saving of 32 percent.
You can also save money on travel by using a sat nav. You can then find the quickest route and save mileage meaning less money goes on travel expenses.
Allowing employees to work from home can save space and cut costs on office space. It will also save your employees time and money on commuting. The only downsides to this are a lack of office morale. If you are considering this option it’s worth taking this into account, and organising monthly work nights out to keep everyone connected.
Second Hand Furniture
There’s no point spending more money than necessary on brand new office furniture if you’ve got more pressing expenses elsewhere. Buy some second hand furniture and consider it an expense that can be upgraded when it’s necessary.
This can also apply to small retail businesses, where furniture such as shelving, till desks and decoration are important for the customer experience. Although you want the customers to enjoy being there, think about the presentation of your shop and find a suitable second hand alternative.
When starting up, it can come naturally to accept the first offer any vendors offer. Instead don’t be afraid to barter and haggle to get a price that’s within your budget. If you’ve already got a good relationship with a vendor, consider asking them for a discount – the worst they can do is say no!
Always remember when to stop when you’re haggling. Although you want the best price, you also want a good relationship with your vendors to get the best service from them.
Shockingly, one of the underestimated costs of the office is the printer. As an accountancy firm we know all about these expenses! You can save the most money by going paperless. This includes sending contracts and other necessary documentation over email rather than in the post.
If you do decide you need a printer for your business, make sure all internal documentation is sent in black and white; saving costs on coloured printer ink. Setting your printer to print documents double-sided will also save paper. It’s a good idea to ask your employees to check every document they send in print preview to avoid wasted ink.
Money is lost when you and your employees aren’t being as productive as possible. Instead of getting to the office to spend the first half an hour checking emails, leave them until later. Your first few hours in the office are the most productive, so use them wisely.
We like to get into the office and start by writing a to-do list for the rest of the day. Anything that comes as top priority should be done first to avoid forgetting about it or not giving it your full attention.
Where possible, it’s important that you delegate tasks to those outside the business. Things that aren’t essential should be outsourced to people who can give you a great price. This way you can save money for the tasks that need your attention. You also don’t have to spend time learning a new trade to get it done.
For example, work such as website design and upkeep and social media it can be worthwhile investing in someone’s help, rather than struggling on your own and coming up with a website that doesn’t represent your brand in the best way possible.
How are you cutting your small business costs? Leave your tips and tricks in the comment section below!