Entrepreneurs, the brains behind SME, and big corporate bosses all have one thing in common, they want to keep costs down.
Saving money is just as important as making money in business, but that’s much easier said than done. To do so you don’t just need to identify what’s costing you so much every month, but having a plan to fix it. Cutting with reckless abandon can set productivity and direction of the business back years.
If you’re watching your outgoings stack up month on month, here are a few ways you can start saving money for your business and have a more prosperous 2020.
Every year across the globe businesses are losing money because they refuse to improve their systems and insist on doing things the old fashioned way.
What these businesses, and particularly their owners, don’t realize is that streamlining processes and making life easier for your admin and accounts teams isn’t so much of a costly restructuring process as it is one of the easiest ways to make a significant dent in your yearly outgoings.
It’s pretty likely your business loses significant time at the end of every month dealing with reporting, processing expenses, and sending out invoices; tasks that are made more difficult by pointless bureaucratic systems. Even the most forward-thinking and innovative companies in the world suffer from corporate busywork. The key isn’t necessarily to ignore these important necessities but to re-calibrate how they work.
Part of the solution is giving them the tools to do the work faster. Don’t throw reporting out the window, but fit your team’s machines with cloud technology so they can share data and files seamlessly.
If your team has to go through piles of expenses for your fleet of drivers every month, for example, make sure each driver has a fuel card. Business fuel cards centralize payments into one electronic account (fuel card comparison site iCompario is a great place to start for businesses new to the concept), providing online storage and simple access.
Stopping the problem at the source rather than trying to implement completely new systems is a much more efficient way of making sure you’re saving time and money in equal measure at the end of the month.
Sometimes, when faced with life’s challenges we need to step out of our bubble and look for an outside solution.
For businesses trying to balance productivity with high expenses, outsourcing work to freelancers might just be the best way to move forward on future projects.
Staff wages can be a huge part of a business’s expenses, especially for small companies trying to make themselves more appealing with a diverse skillset but struggling to accommodate the team to do it. It’s not just waging either, the cost of equipment, amenities, and office space for even one extra person can be the difference that puts a business precariously close to the edge.
So if you don’t want to face that issue but still want to take on specialist contracts or experiment with new types of output, freelancers might be your best bet.
Though they may charge a higher hourly rate you’ll only be working with them in short bursts. Freelancers are generally quite comfortable working from home, so you won’t need to accommodate them in the office full time. This dramatically cuts costs on everything from the number of desks around the office to how expensive a coffee run gets.
Outsourcing to one freelancer can open you up to a whole network of creatives, giving you people to fall back on and turn to temporarily when you have the opportunity to work on specialist projects.
Cut out the travel and meetings
Think about how much you spend on business meetings every year.
Between commuting from city to city (sometimes internationally), putting down money for a space and then rounding off the evening with dinner, it’s likely you’re spending a lot more than you need to just to confirm a partnership or get a new project moving forward.
Building business relations is important, but it’s not as important as the financial welfare of your business and it’s staff. You may look at that meeting as what pushed you over the line and won you the contract, but that can just as easily be won through competence and hard work.
To reduce overall spend you need to approach how you hold your meetings differently. Save travel and entertainment for only the most important meetings, as the majority can be held remotely through the magic of video chat tools such as Zoom and Google Hangouts.
While not quite the same as meeting someone in person, these tools allow you to have a much more meaningful conversation than you would over the phone from the comfort of your own office. That doesn’t just mean you save time on the actual meeting but cut out commuting time on trains or the cost of renting a conference room.
This is a great way to show people you’re not a business of time wasters looking for an excuse to switch off.
Re-think out of office days
Not all team bonding has to include a night down at the bar.
Everyone likes to let loose every now and again. Even if you have colleagues who don’t drink, they can get caught up in the jubilation and excitement of a big evening out, especially around the holiday seasons. Those nights though, as memorable as they might be, can end up being costly.
Now we’re not saying cut that sort of activity out entirely, but find new ways to bring your team together outside of work that doesn’t involve you splashing out on dinner and drinks.
You can volunteer as a company to help clean up impoverished areas near you or lend your skills as a business to people who need them. You can encourage office get-togethers where your business and the companies that share the same space as you get together and network for one evening a week. You can head out into nature for a countryside walk or hike.
There are lots of inventive ways to encourage team bonding without reaching too deep into the company pockets. While it’s nice to let a team know they’re appreciated by splashing the cash every now and again, they’ll also like the lengths you’ll go to to find new ways to entertain them and help them grow outside of the office.
If you took the time every month to properly go through all of your outgoings with a fine-toothed comb, you would easily spot the holes in your business you can fill. These are just a few ways to save money as a business that will hopefully give you a little extra while doing so.