Where better to find money-saving advice for small businesses than from the business owners themselves. We have collected a few of their tips and what worked for them. They may work for you too.
Reducing Marketing Costs
All brands need to be marketed to be successful, but some traditional marketing methods can be expensive. Social media can be time-consuming but will not cost much money. Sending out newsletters via email can help, as can word of mouth recommendations.
Making sure your website has interesting content that is SEO rich, and videos in places such as YouTube can be a great way of getting your brand known. Attend any local events and take some free branded gifts with you. Mugs, key rings, and bags with your name on will not cost a fortune. You can even sponsor a local sports team, as every time they play the spectators will see your brand.
These methods will all involve some outlay, but nowhere near as much as with traditional marketing methods of TV and radio advertising.
Outsourcing is cheaper than employing people. It also will give you expertise in some areas that you might not otherwise be able to afford. Imagine how much it would cost you to employ an accountant, for example, or a graphic artist. Theses’ are just two suggestions of things that can be outsourced that will not only be less expensive, but they will also free your time to do more productive tasks.
There are a huge number of freelancers and agencies that will take on all sorts of jobs. Generally, you agree on a price for the work and then pay them when it is done. It will not cost you any more if it takes them longer than they anticipated, and they do not bring any of the constraints with them that employees do.
Speak With Suppliers
There are not many things that you can buy from more than one supplier, so do not be held to ransom by thinking you cannot change who you buy from. First of all, speak with existing suppliers to see if they can offer you a better deal and if not look around for businesses that will.
What you have to remember is that they want your business just as you need your customers to buy from you. Often, they would rather give you a better price than risk losing your business altogether.
Cash flow can get tight, particularly in the first few months of trading. You could try bartering with some of your goods or a skill that you have, and you may be surprised to find how many businesses are in the same situation and will welcome this option. The worst that can happen is a straightforward no, and if that happens you are no worse off.
Boost Efficiency With Technology
Forget spending fortunes on even more hardware and software and start boosting efficiency with cloud technology. Cloud computing is secure, safe, and you will never lose the work you have done if your computers all crash because of a power failure, or they are trashed during a break-in. You can choose which software to use, and if you do have any staff they could work remotely from home, cutting the amount of office space you might need.
With cloud computing, work is far less likely to be duplicated and more than one person can be viewing documents at the same time.
Reduce Cleaning Costs
Does your office really need to be cleaned every day? In most cases, the answer is no. The staff is very capable of emptying their trash cans if they get full, but really apart from that a once a week clean should be enough. There is some maintenance that legally cannot be cut, such as annual gas and electricity checks, but with things such as cleaning that is your choice, and you should keep the cost to a minimum.
After rent, utility bills are the next largest property related expense. If you can reduce them in any way it has to help. You should start by looking at the deal you have and seeing if there are any better ones available. This is easy to do if you start by looking at comparison sites and then speak to some of the providers.
Make sure lights are turned off in areas not in use and that no equipment is left in sleep mode overnight. Each item left in this mode will cost you roughly $1 a week. That might not sound much, but if you have several, over a year it can amount to a considerable sum.
These are just a few of the ways that small business owners have saved money, there are many more. No doubt you have some ideas of your own too, and as long as they help to keep your business trading successfully, they have to be good.