The Small Business 50 Point Money Saving Mega List

Running a small business successfully can be challenging at times. The old saying that ‘money makes money’ often seems to come into play – in other words you need to spend, spend, spend, in order to start earning – but access to large funds is a luxury many small businesses don’t have. Being smarter with your money can help free up those needed finances to help you grow your business.

As every true entrepreneur knows, there are always ways to save money. And by learning how you can save a little here and there can mean you generate a greater profit margin at the end of the year. It could even be the difference to your business continuing to trade – so making steps now can really benefit you in the long term.

Here’s Wikimoney’s 50 point mega list! If you can apply even half of these, you’ll be making a big difference to your bottom-line.

 

Employees

  • Consider cutting down on in-house staff; using freelancers as and when needed can work out to be more cost effective. Ensuring freelancers are well-tailored to the tasks required is essential however if you do your research you’ll be in a good position.
  • Employ interns; often interns can be not only a cheaper option to get jobs done but a valuable one. Keen interns can often help you improve your business once they learn the ropes. You also often have the option to hire these people on a part or full time basis.

 

Premises

  • Undertake regular maintenance on your property and keep up-to-date with your insurance. It may seem difficult to find this money each month, but it is much cheaper than having to spend a lot on repairs, or not being covered in the event of an unexpected issues.
  • Ask yourself whether you really need to be working in your current premises, or could you downgrade without affecting your services or product. If you decide it is possible then research other properties with cheaper rent and rates.
  • How important is location? Could you work in a less out of town facility or would it affect your turnover?
  • Depending on your type of business or size, could you operate from home? Would investing in converting a room at your personal property be cheaper than renting office space?

 

Vehicles and Travel

  • Encourage car sharing for business travel instead of investing in a company car. If employees live close by this can not only help you save but employees too.
  • Offer a ride-to-work scheme over company car options; helping employees pay for a bike is a lot cheaper and also a healthier and greener option!
  • Use web and video conferencing as much as possible, instead of travelling for business meetings.
  • Consider whether going to an industry conference or event is going to drastically benefit your business – if not, don’t go and look for coverage online.

 

Products

  • Look for cheaper manufacturers or suppliers without compromising on the quality.
  • Buy in bulk if you have the capital and the storage facilities, this can make a huge saving.
  • Consider specialising on your product range more. If you have thousands of different products being made or supplied through many different avenues, the overheads will naturally be higher. By specialising you will be dealing with less people, less postage and less dollars.
  • Investigate collection instead of postage – it might work out cheaper, depending on the logistics.
  • Cut down on packaging; in today’s more environmentally aware society, more and more people are happy to buy products with less packaging. It’s a win-win – better for the planet and better for your pocket!

 

Marketing

  • Shop around for better deals on your printing and consider printing in bulk.
  • Would your business benefit from a website to help customers learn more about your services or your products? Could you sell these services/products online? An online business will have much lower overheads than a physical location.
  • If you have a website have you considered moving your offline advertising budget to online – it’s usually a lot more cost effective.
  • Test out digital marketing for free with various trials and promotional offers, for example Google will give you $100 free when you sign up for an Adwords account.
  • If you’re posting products to customers make sure to add a note in the package to check out your website or your social media channels and follow you.
  • Consider coupons/discounts to help retain customers for follow-on sales.
  • Do your own PR – get out and about speaking to people as much as possible.

 

Capital Costs

  • Does it have to be new? Obviously companies need equipment to be able to operate, but do you really need a shiny new desk, or could you make do with a second hand one?
  • Freecycle – you will be amazed at what other people don’t want anymore! At the cost of collection, you can pick up furniture and all sorts of other bits and pieces, for free.
  • Use hot-desking and share computers/telephones – if not all staff are at the office at same time or these technologies aren’t in use constantly.

 

Financing

  • Borrow as little money as possible; this will keep interest payments lower.
  • Shop around for the best finance deals available from all financing sources.
  • Get the help of an independent financial advisor; the money they can save you through their knowledge more than pays for the consultancy fees.
  • Employ a great accountant who understands your industry like the back of his hand. An accountant worth their salt will save you huge amounts of money on your tax bill legally.
  • If you have some bad debtors, use a business debt collection lawyer. Their charges will be off-set by the money you can reclaim.

 

Utilities

  • Search and switch on all your utility bills – different providers do offer completely different rates. Search for new deals yearly to really make a difference.
  • If you have the cash flow, pay upfront for a year. Most companies offer huge reductions if you are able to pay for your phone line or internet yearly instead of annually.
  • Turn the heating down in the office. Most employees complain offices are too hot anyway, so turn it down a couple of degrees. As a bonus, most people are more productive when the temperature is a little cooler, as long as it is comfortable.
  • Invest in solar power. Work out how long it will take you to pay back the investment first, and then start rubbing your hands together as you envisage no electricity bills in the future!
  • Automatic on and off lighting saves a lot of energy but can be pricey to install – investigate the pay off.
  • Use energy saving light bulbs everywhere, they aren’t that much more anyway.
  • Encourage your staff to be energy efficient.
  • Install an instant hot water tap and save masses on endless boiling kettles. Staff need only heat the water they need for one cuppa. The bonus – less time spend gossiping in the kitchen!
  • Plug timers are a great way to ensure power automatically gets turned off on electrical equipment that often gets forgotten about like printers, photocopiers, microwaves, kettles etc.

 

Education/Resources

  • Send just one employee on that important course, and get them to disseminate the information to all who require it.
  • Train in-house rather than go to conferences with all the associated travel costs.
  • Buy material second hand, such as books, CD’s and DVD’s.
  • Online courses can often be a lot cheaper and often are free.
  • For online programs do all employees need logins? If users won’t be on all at the same time there’s no need to pay for multiple users.

 

Office

  • Go paperless as much as possible – is there a need to print that document?
  • Give everyone a realistic printing budget, which you can monitor. If they go over it, ask questions – are they wasting your money at the printer?
  • Use email over snail mail as much as possible.
  • Recycle paper for scrap notes – don’t throw it until every piece has been utilised.
  • Lock the stationary cupboard and keep track of what is being used and by whom.
  • Shop around on your courier costs.