How to save money when running a business

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When the pandemic hit, a lot of businesses were forced to take a long, hard look at how they operated.

Whilst lockdown restrictions meant that many had no option but to shut their doors, those that did stay open, were forced to find ways of reducing their overall expenditure, purely to survive.

Thankfully, the worst of the pandemic seems to be over, as businesses are getting stronger, restrictions are no longer in effect and the economy is steadily improving.

However, that doesn’t mean we should forget about the lessons learned.

Indeed, as all businesses need profit to be sustainable, it is a good idea to regularly do an operational audit of yours, to ascertain what cost reductions you can make.

With that in mind outlined below are 20 ways you can save money when running a business. 

Whether you are a small, owner-operated enterprise, or a major multinational, if you adopt any, or better still, all these recommendations, you should end up saving yourself a significant amount of money.

Eliminate unnecessary spending

One of the first things you should do when wanting to save money for your business is to account for every single dollar that is being spent.

If you look at every purchase made and cost incurred, the chances are you will soon discover plenty of opportunities to save money.

Do you really need more printer ink, or full bottles for the water cooler, when you have already got at least 6 months’ worth of supply? 

Similarly, do you need that subscription to satellite TV? Or even a particular piece of software?

If you take the time to go through each, and every, purchase your business makes, you should easily be able to identify, and therefore eliminate significant amounts of unnecessary spending.

Bulk buy what you do need

Whilst you should definitely try and eliminate unnecessary spending, it is important to recognise your usage of certain things too. As this could present you with substantial cost saving opportunities.

For instance, if you know from your records that you consistently go through 1000 boxes of paper every year, it would be a good idea to order that number in one go. Not least because you might be able to procure it at a discounted rate, that could save you a lot of money in the long run.

Reduce or stop all paid advertising

All businesses need to promote themselves, and for many of them advertising is their chosen method.

Whether it be TV, radio, social media or online, there are millions of advertising opportunities out there. However, the cost of advertising can run into tens of thousands of dollars or more, and sometimes they just don’t work.

For this reason, if you are looking for ways to save money for your business, you should consider reducing or stopping all paid advertising. Instead, focus on content marketing, social media and PR. All of which are free.

One of the best things your business can do is set up a YouTube channel. As this provides you with an excellent platform in which to promote yourself.

Similarly running a blog, as well as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts can be good ways of promoting your business and generating customer loyalty for free since successful social media networks have billions of active users which helps your business grow and be known, click here for more social media statistics.

Reduce your print costs

Just like with advertising, you should consider reducing, or eliminating your print costs too.

These days most people are very used to, and comfortable with, checking out a website for more details about a product or service. So, the need to produce flyers, marketing brochures and promotional literature is no longer as pressing.

Indeed, for many businesses, printed literature has become so superfluous to their marketing requirements, they don’t use it anymore. Thus, saving themselves huge sums of money every year.

Reduce your Eftpos Fees

Any business that adopts Eftpos as a payment method for their customers knows how quickly these costs can rack up.

Thankfully, companies like Smartpay offer ways to significantly reduce and even eliminate Eftpos fees.

Which is particularly handy if you are a retail outlet that accommodates hundreds of paying customers a day, every single day.

If your business accepts Eftpos payments, it’s worth investigating if you can benefit from a change of provider.

Outsource fulfilment

For many businesses, the cost of fulfilment can be astronomical. Especially if you consider the price of supplies, postage and labour, and are sending orders to the USA. Or other countries around the world.

Thankfully, order fulfilment companies like Fulfillrite and ShipBob can shoulder this burden for you, saving you time and money in the process.

Business Insurance

Business insurance is something many companies often ‘set and forget’.

However, it is important to always keep reviewing your policy, and its cost, as you could end up paying a lot more than you need to.

It is worth regularly getting quotes from other providers every year or so, to determine if you can get the same level of cover for cheaper elsewhere.

Read Quality Books

Reading quality books might seem like a strange thing to suggest when it comes to saving money for your business. But business related books actually have a huge ROI.

Within them you have access to decades of knowledge from seasoned industry and business experts, which you can tap into from just a few hours of reading.

If you think about the time, money and, of course, the mistakes you could save yourself, just by channelling the knowledge you gain from these books into your business operations. You should soon realise it is a very beneficial practice.

Use Freelancers

Whilst it is good to have full time staff you can rely on, a terrific way of saving money for your business is to use freelancers as well.

Platforms like Upwork give you access to good quality freelancers from around the world. Many of which have a specialisation in an area you might need – for instance, content marketing or admin.

Outsourcing some of your projects to these freelancers means you can spend less money to procure their services, than it would to hire extra, full or part-time staff.

Let some people work remotely.

One thing the lockdown showed was that your employees could be trusted to effectively work from home.

With this in mind, it is worth allowing them to work remotely for at least one, if not two days a week from here on in.

When people are in the office your business uses more electricity, as computers and lights need to be left on. Also, kitchen provisions run out quicker and you need to pay cleaning staff longer for their services.

Allowing people to work from home, especially if you have a larger workforce, can be a very effective way of cutting costs, without reducing productivity.

Infact, if anything, employees might be more efficient, as they won’t become jaded on account of their daily, and sometimes long, commute into work.

Reduce Business Travel

Business travel is another major expense many businesses face. However, with the rising popularity of technologies like Zoom calls, it is a cost that can now be significantly slashed.

Business meetings that involve travel are still very important, particularly for those situations when you want to ‘close’ a deal. You should consider encouraging all initial introductory meetings to be conducted online.

This way, you can save your employees a lot of time, and your company plenty of money, in travel expenses.

Review your taxes

Tax laws change all the time, so there is a strong chance that you can enjoy some deductions that have come into play as a result of recent new legislation.

Be sure to instruct your accountant to look into and take advantage of all these inducements, as this could result in you paying less in the way of taxes.

Introduce a 4-day working week

The concept of the 4-day working week has been explored in Europe and Australia in recent times, and this is something you might want to look at.

Not only will it reduce operational cost in terms of things like electricity, but it can also lead to increased productivity and morale, and less wasted time in the office. Which can sometimes happen when people work a 5-day week.

Enabling people to work a 4-day week also gives you the opportunity to reduce their wage pro-rata, and thus save you even more money.

Go green

With rising energy costs being a real concern for many businesses, it is a good idea to start adopting greener practices.

The first thing you should do is switch to solar and energy efficient lighting, equipment and appliances where possible, as these can result in very high costs.

Think about different ways to get more natural light into the office too, so you won’t have to burn as much energy throughout the day.

At night, turning off all lights, and even unplugging all appliances are good practices to adopt too.

Check your bank fees

Banks can often sneak little charges on you when you are not expecting it, which can really add up over the course of all your transactions.

This could take the form of a monthly account maintenance, or even a low balance fee. As well as dishonour or overdraft charges.

It is always worth keeping a handle on how much your bank is charging you to be a customer of theirs. If you feel it is too much, then don’t be afraid to switch banks. Sometimes you can even receive a cash incentive for doing so.

Introduce a hotdesking policy

If you allow your employees to work from home on a regular basis, this could mean that at any given time upwards of 25% of your workforce are not in the office.

As a result, this gives you an excellent opportunity to scale down your office workspace and therefore streamline costs.

Introducing a hotdesking policy enables you to get rid of a significant number of desks and other furniture. Which in turn reduces the amount of electricity you use, as well as cleaning costs too.

You could even sell some of this furniture to generate a bit of extra revenue.

Move Premises

If you are renting your premises, one thing you should always be on the lookout for in business is somewhere cheaper to operate from.

The simple act of moving to a new location, that will cost you less in rent, can save you huge amounts of money in the long run.

While retail outlets will have to find areas where there is just as good, if not better foot traffic. Corporate businesses could consider moving to any location where the tenancy rate would be much cheaper.

Doing this would also provide a good opportunity to downsize, and therefore base yourself in a building that would demand lower operational costs in terms of electricity and other utilities.

Rent out part of your office

If you don’t want to move offices, you could always consider subletting part of yours to someone who needs it. This is a particularly good idea if you own the building in which you operate from.

Retail outlets could consider allowing complimentary businesses to share part of their premises for a fee, which could offset your mortgage payments, and reduce the risk for them.

Similarly, corporate companies could hire desks to freelancers or sole trading online businesses who need the facilities of a co-working space.

Ask for corporate discounts

It’s a simple trick which many of us don’t do. But the act of asking for a corporate discount for every purchase you make, could save you large sums of money over the course of a year.

Most businesses value loyalty, and want to retain customers, purely because it is cheaper than trying to source new ones. So, they might be more willing to provide you with a discount if you are a regular client of theirs. Or if they are aiming for you to be one.

All you have to do is ask!

Ask your employees

Your employees are a very valuable source of information, as they all perform vital roles for your company.

Each of them has an area of specialisation that involves working to various processes and practices. Many of which could be done in more cost-effective ways.

The simple act of asking them will not only give them a sense of empowerment that their opinions are appreciated. It could also save you a substantial amount of money in the long run too.

Final Thoughts

We hope you have found these recommendations for ways to save money for your business very useful.

At the end of the day, all businesses have a vested interest in trying to find as many ways as they can to be more cost efficient, in all aspects of their operation.

After all, the more money you can save, the more in profit you could potentially end up making.