Economic uncertainty has affected all UK business sectors in recent months, and even with the economy on the road to recovery, organisations are making concerted efforts to reduce costs and expenditure where possible.
Luckily, there are simple measures you can take today to fortify against any challenges you may face and restore long term balance to your books.
Rethink your office space
Many small businesses naturally contract – either through employees going freelance or more efficient technology requiring fewer hands on deck. Or perhaps the cost of where you're renting is simply too high.
Moving your premises may sound like a huge upheaval, but it could end up saving your business thousands in the long-term.
Alternatively, you could try re-negotiating your rental contract to try to get a better deal, or consider leasing out surplus space to contractors or other companies.
Reduce your expenses
If you're looking to make savings, one of the most important steps will be to review your current expenses policy. Don't be afraid to be a little stricter with what you allow and scale back where you can.
Just make sure you communicate any changes to employees and contractors. Be clear that these new rules must be enforced so as to avoid costly 'out of policy' expenses.
It might also be a good idea to go over your current outgoings with an accountant to identify areas eligible for cutbacks. Perhaps you're over-spending on legal fees or your business insurance policies are out of date.
At Bollington we offer competitive rates and a pain-free process that can help you to choose the best cover to suit your needs.
Check your supplier costs
If you have strong, long-term relationships with suppliers, you could be in prime position to renegotiate your costs.
Target those you spend the most time with and ask about the possibility of a 'loyalty discount' or other favourable terms.
Alternatively, if you think you're paying too much, it might be time to shop around. Look into local suppliers who may be able to provide more attractive rates than tradesmen or larger businesses.
Encourage your staff
There are plenty of ways to save on staff costs without going down the redundancy route. In fact, redundancies can lower morale and lead to your losing some great talent to competitors.
Instead, assess the current usage of employee skills and experience and give more responsibility to those staff with the necessary talents. Empower your employees by encouraging them to expand their job role or come up with some new ideas.
Investing a little time in fully appreciating your staff has the potential to boost productivity and open up a number of business avenues that you previously haven't had time to explore.
Modern marketing is increasingly web-based. Social media is the new way to connect with your customers and PPC and other online ads are fast overtaking more traditional advertising methods.
This isn't to say you should ditch traditional marketing mediums completely, especially if they're working. However it may be worth looking into numerous cheaper alternatives the internet can offer.
Here are some top tips to get you started:
- Make sure your website's up to scratch and SEO-friendly.
- Start networking online.
- Build your customer email list and keep up to date with them. Consider introducing a scheme that rewards customer referrals.
- Cut marketing costs by doing more in-house. Look at software to automate this as much as possible.
- Increase social media presence and communicate regularly with your customer base.
- Create a blog that establishes yourself as an expert in your field and gives value to your customers.