For many businesses around the world, these are tough times financially. For small businesses and start-ups it’s especially important to save money wherever possible and make your budget stretch further. Sometimes this means cutting back in certain areas, but it’s also possible to save a substantial amount just by doing things a little differently. Here we take a look at just a few ways in which you can save money on some common business expenses.
#1 – Save energy
Kind to the planet and also to your bottom line numbers, saving energy can save money. Switching all your office lighting to energy-efficient bulbs can make a significant difference to your energy bills over time. You might also consider drawing up an office energy saving policy, including instructions to switch off all lights and equipment at the end of the day.
#2 – Use fuel-efficient company vehicles
If company vehicles form a significant part of your business, then you should consider investing in models that deliver the highest number of miles to the gallon. While the initial investment may set you back a bit, over the course of the vehicle’s lifetime the savings can be substantial.
#3 – Use bookkeeping software
Bookkeeping software such as Intuit QuickBooks can save you money in several ways. Firstly it will help reduce the physical costs of a paper-based system. Secondly it can take the place of professional accountancy services which may prove costly.
#4 – Make use of special deals on advertising
Even when times are hard financially, it makes sense to invest in advertising yourself and your business. Keep an eye out for newspapers, trade publications and online advertising services that are offering special deals or introductory offers on advertising.
#5 – Hire a procurement expert to negotiate your utility bills
Once again, it may not seem like such a wise move to spend money in order to save it, but doing so can be prudent when it comes to your bills. Procurement consultants know how to get better value for money on everything from your electricity bills to your mobile phone costs, so they can potentially save you a significant amount of money.
#6 – Buy regular office supplies in bulk
If there are certain things that you know you’re always going to need – paper, envelopes, printer ink etc – then it makes sense to purchase in bulk at more distant intervals, as you can usually get a better deal.
#7 – Work in the (cloud) where possible
This may not be appropriate for all businesses, but for some an online model can save a huge amount of money on the costs of renting office space.
#8 – Use VOIP instead of landline phone services
More and more companies today are finding that it’s much cheaper to use VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol) than conventional landlines.
#9 – Use free software where possible
Professional office packages such as those offered by Microsoft are standard fare in many offices around the world, but they’re far from the cheapest. Often it’s possible to find the word processors, spreadsheet tools and anything else you need online for free. Also keep an eye out for cost-effective packages such as accountancy software, that can save you money in other areas such as reducing the need to hire a full-time accountant.