If you run a business, you will be keen to cut down on costs as much as possible. This is especially true when another bill lands and you realise you are going to struggle to pay the darned thing. But where to start? You don’t want to bring your business to its knees by reducing costs in the wrong places. Well, if the idea of cutting costs brings you out in a cold sweat, here are five easy ways to reduce your expenses that won’t cause you trouble down the line.
1. Cut your utility bills
In the same way you would save energy at home, follow the same principles at work. If you have staff and customers on your premises, you don’t want to freeze them out by turning off the heating, but you can schedule your thermostat so that it only gives you heat during business hours. For the hot weather, consider using fans in place of air conditioning, as this will give you a substantial saving. Then do the wise thing and change your utility provider if you can find a cheaper alternative.
2. Outsource to others
There may be some areas in your workplace where full-time staffing isn’t needed. While you should have thought of this before hiring, you may still need to let people go if there isn’t enough work for them to do. Hiring a freelancer or using temporary staff from HR resources may be an option, as is using a managed IT services provider to reduce the cost of your IT. Alternatively, make use of younger people and students who are looking for work experience. Of course, you don’t want to use them as cheaply paid slave labour, but you will be able to offer them other incentives, such as a reference and a boost to their self-esteem as they become confident in a workplace.
3. Cut the costs of advertising
As more people than ever before are now online, there is less need to advertise in physical media. If a lot of your revenue is spent advertising and marketing your business, take advantage of what’s online instead. You probably have a website up and running already, but you can also make an impact on social media. Set up a Facebook page, tweet news about your business on Twitter, and link all social media accounts back to your website. Email newsletters are another way to remind your customers that your business still exists, as is the occasional cold call to give information about a special offer. This is free advertising, and you have the added advantage of word-of-mouth marketing, where your customers can easily pass word about your business to their legion of friends and followers.
4. Look for alternative ways of working
There may be ways of working that will spare your financial woes. For example, cut down on expensive phone calls and use Skype or Google Hangouts instead. You may even get out of the office occasionally and work from home, which may benefit both you and your employees, personally and financially. As well as this, cut down on paper costs by saving all your important files to the cloud. They will be perfectly safe online, even if you have a computer hardware problem.
5. Get rid of unnecessary items
Do you have a vending machine draining the electricity? Get rid of it and replace it with an energy-efficient water cooler. Do you have any pieces of tech that rarely get used? Sell them, and make some money to buy something more useful. You may have bought something that seemed like a good idea at the time, but if it’s not an essential factor of your business, get rid of it, or at last turn it off at the mains.
These are only a few of the ways you can cut costs, and you are sure to have some ideas of your own. Look at what you’re spending and reduce anything that isn’t essential. It won’t break your business, and you will save money.