As the owner of a small business, you’re probably already aware of how important it is to keep cost under control. After all, as the saying goes a penny saved is a penny earned! No matter what your line of business is, there are some cost-cutting and money-saving tricks you can use to help you to build up that all-important financial buffer. Here are some of the easier ones.
- Advertise smarter
Use excuses (as it were) to advertise. If you’re sending out invoices, include a newsletter or a money-off voucher to pique a little more interest. If you can, with regular clients, slip in a little freebie – a sachet of your latest bath foam, a fabric swatch – this looks classy and makes people think about you and your products. If you have a physical store, hand over the voucher or sample with the receipt.
- Think about an office share
If you’re finally moving out of your garage (yay!) but feeling terrified by the impending costs of your new office, the lease, the insurance, the broadband… then investigate shared office space. It’ll save you a packet, as well as providing you with all your amenities; you might even have a cleaner and a receptionist on hand!
- Use recycled printer cartridges
A major expense, month after month, is printer cartridges. They’re essential to many businesses, but they’re also expensive, so look into recycled or remanufactured solutions. This will save you quite a few pounds every month.
- Think outside the box
Practices and techniques that were once expensive may not be so any longer. A good example is the way lots of businesses and care institutions are adopting disposable aprons and gloves instead of reusable ones. You might think this would be more expensive, but buying in disposables can actually be cheaper and less time-consuming than the constant laundry.
- Join a club
See how many bulk-buying clubs there are out there, or whether your industry trade association offers discounts on products or services like insurance.
- Keep it petty
You might think your petty cash is just a slush fund – a tenner here, twenty there – but if you’re doing this every week, it can add up. Keep track of your petty spending – every penny – as you may notice wasteful patterns that you can cut right out.
- Grab what you can
This isn’t being greedy, it’s being sensible. There are many tax deductions, grants, discounts and other forms of help that can make the difference between staying afloat and going under. If you’re homebased, for example, you can deduct a portion of your mortgage and utilities as a business expense.
- The early bird catches the interest
Make your bank deposits as early as you can. The earlier in the day you bank, the sooner your account’s credited and the sooner you start earning all that lovely interest.
- Always ask for a discount
Whether it’s your insurance broker, your delivery service, your suppliers or your accountant, make sure you ask once a year or so how to reduce their bills. It’s surprising how they can come up with ways to cut your costs in order to keep you as a client. You could also offer a service exchange – you could be solving each other’s problems here!