Growing a business is not without its fair share of stresses and strains, and top of the list are likely to be those of the financial variety: how to keep cash flow healthy, pay staff on time, and avoid the precipice of debt.
Sound financial management starts with keeping an eye on the little things – from small monthly outgoings you don’t need, to finding ways to save a few pounds on your energy bill. These little things all add up to form a solid base from which you can save your business money and keep on going.
Here are seven ways your business can save money:
Non-essential spending? Get rid of it
Take a lesson from our personal lives: how many things do you pay for that you don’t actually use? Whether it’s a gym membership or a subscription to a media streaming service, there’s bound to be something you’re paying for that you’re not getting any real value from.
The same is true for businesses. “Nearly all companies will, at some level, be dishing out cash for things they simply do not get value from,” says John Paul Kelly of debt advisors, Trust Deed Scotland.
“If you’re in this position, review your finances and strike out anything you deem to be non-essential to the day-to-day running of your business. Your bank balance will thank you for it.”
Networking locally not only helps you grow and develop your business. Making connections with local businesses can also help you keep an eye on costs, too. Search for networking meetings, industry events and conferences in your area, and head on down: most are free and take place in the evenings, so you’ve little reason not to go.
While you will certainly meet other companies and potential customers, making connections and developing new ideas, you could well spot opportunities for cash saving, too – whether through pooling resources, offering discounts, or simply getting something for free, in return for something else.
Be strategic when staff leave
If an employee leaves your company, do they actually need replacing? Perhaps you could pass their workload onto someone else who has the capacity to take it on. Or maybe you have an ambitious new starter looking to take on more projects and get more involved in the business. Doing this could save you a sizeable amount of cash.
If a replacement is needed, consider recruiting someone on a part-time or flexible basis instead.
Harness freelance resource
Freelancing is a growing trend – why not harness it? If you only need staff to cover certain projects at certain times, or you have periods where work suddenly gets really busy and you need extra support, consider hiring freelancers.
For one thing, you can hire them only for the specific period you need them – this allows you to forward plan, budget, and is cheaper than employing someone full-time. What’s more, it allows you to use staff for specialist jobs – from cyber security to data management.
Becoming more energy-efficient is a win-win: it’s good for the environment and good for your bank balance. There are lots of simple ways you can reduce your energy consumption, including:
- Printing on both sides of paper to reduce waste
- Only having the heating on when you really need it
- Using energy-efficient light bulbs
Sell off that fax machine
If you have any business assets that are obsolete or you simply don’t need anymore, sell them off. These could be anything from an empty warehouse to that fax machine that’s been gathering dust these past five years. Take a look at your asset base and sell anything you no longer use. You’ll have a lot more space, and a bit more money too.
And buy refurbished IT equipment
Need some new computers but don’t want to spend thousands? Consider buying some refurbished laptops, desktops and tablet PCs. Nearly all the major IT providers, from Dell to Apple, offer refurbished and remanufactured products at much cheaper prices than their brand-new cousins.
What’s more, most come with the same warranty and support as you would get if you bought a full-price version.
The key thing about all these handy tips is that none of them are particularly difficult to implement. They won’t cost you much money, won’t require much time to organise and won’t get in the way of your day to day commercial operations. But what they will do is save you money – good for business, good for your bottom line.