50 useful money-saving tips for your business

23 June 2016

Running a business is expensive, so it pays to scrimp and save where you can. By making simple changes to how you manage your business, you stand to save a shedload of cash and boost your bottom-line. To help your business save, here are 50 useful money-saving tips for a spendthrift business strategy.

Office overheads

Office overheads images

1. Take advantage of free VoIP services

VoIP services like Skype cut telephone costs, allowing you to speak to clients for free. Cheap rates are also available for international calls.  

2. Sublet spare space 

If you own business premises with extra space, you may be able to sublet it to another company. This can be a reliable source of income; just be sure it’s legally viable.  

3. Buy second-hand equipment and furnishings

Kitting out an office doesn’t need to cost the earth; buy second-hand furnishings and equipment from sites like Gumtree and eBay to keep costs low and keep on saving.  

4. Use cheap cloud technologies 

Cloud computing offers the functionality of an expensive system at a fraction of the cost. And because there are minimal upfront fees, it’s perfect for small businesses.

5. Search for deals and bulk buys 

Whether it’s pens, paper or coffee, you should look for the best deals on office essentials. Buying in bulk means one manageable payment, not lots of purchases that can add up. 

6. Don’t be afraid to barter

Bartering for goods and services may seem cheeky, but it could pay off, as companies are keen to offer discounts if they stand to win your repeat custom.

7. Cut down on meetings 

Look at how many meetings you and your staff has each week, and see if you can cut these down. Nine times out of ten, the time can be used better elsewhere.

8. Be flexible about home working 

Workspace comes at a premium, so be flexible with home working and allow your employees to hot desk where possible. Working from home is easy thanks to remote software and the cloud. 

9. Don’t be tempted by a posh postcode

Make a decision based on what is important to your business. If you don't rely on passing trade, consider a workplace that offers space over location. You could get twice as much space for your money by moving out of town.  

10. Get affordable virtual assistance

Need a receptionist but can’t afford to hire one? Consider investing in virtual assistance, which could work out cheaper than taking on a new member of staff.

 

Marketing & promotion 

Marketing and promotion image

11. Network locally 

Grow your business locally by networking with other companies and potential customers. Sites like Eventbrite are perfect for finding free networking events in your area. 

12. Use social media to your advantage

Social media is powerful and affordable, so use it to your advantage. Create Facebook and Twitter pages, and boost content as a form of cheap direct marketing. 

13. Collaborate with other businesses

 If you can’t afford a large marketing campaign, why not collaborate with other businesses as a form of co-branding? You’ll cut costs whilst reaping the rewards.

14. Create a Google+ local page 

A Google+ Local page is free to setup, and will make it easier for customers to find you when searching for goods and services in a specific geographical area.  

15. Host a website

Building your own website doesn’t need to cost a lot. Using sites like Go Daddy, it’s possible to host a domain for under £10 a month. 

16. Build a business network through LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a powerful tool for businesses, allowing you to connect and network for free. Plus, it’s great for finding and recruiting new talent.

17. Create a referral scheme

Word of mouth can be influential, so setup a referral scheme that offers discounts for customers who recommend you to friends and family. The increased custom will offset any markdowns offered.

18. Get sponsorship for events

If you plan to host a promotional event, attain sponsorship so you’re not left to foot the bill. Garner enough attention, and companies will be keen to piggyback and invest.

19. Start a blog

Creating original content on a blog is basically free advertising for your business. Post regularly and you’ll soon build an audience, which could lead to increased custom.

20. Claim free business cards

 If you need new business cards, head online and take advantage of companies offering 100 or so cards for free. 

Energy saving

energy saving image

21. Only pay for the energy you use 

By installing an automatic meter reading (AMR) system, you’ll avoid estimated bills and only pay for the energy you use — making it easier to budget throughout the year.

22. Turn off electrical equipment

Don’t leave electrical equipment on standby when not in use; turn devices off, and make sure your employees do the same.  

23. Invest in green technologies

By investing in eco-friendly equipment, you’ll save money on your energy bill and reduce your carbon footprint — win win.

24. Go paperless

 By ditching paper you’ll not just save money on the cost of materials, but will save time and energy. Cloud computing has made it easy for businesses to go paperless.

25. Get an energy audit

An energy audit will highlight areas of your business where you could be using energy more efficiently. Find out more about auditing your business energy, here.

26. Replace light bulbs with CFLs

Fluorescent CFL bulbs consume 75% less energy than standard light bulbs and run longer. A simple change that will save your business money.

27. Install a programmable thermostat

 A programmable thermostat will automatically adjust to an ambient working temperature, so you can be sure your heating system is working efficiently.

28. Make use of natural lighting

 Maximise natural light by making sure windows and skylights aren’t obstructed. Limiting the need for artificial light will cut your energy costs.

29. Take advantage of tax breaks for energy efficiency

Local government often provide tax incentives to encourage businesses to operate in an environmentally friendly way. Find out more about environmental tax relief here.

30. Encourage eco-friendly practises

By informing your staff of the benefits of eco-friendly working practices, and encouraging them to switch off devices and avoid using the printer, you can be sure your entire business is operating efficiently.

Finances

Finances 

31. Claim national insurance holidays

If you own a new business which started between June 2010 and September 2013, you may be eligible for a National Insurance contributions holiday. To find out if your business qualifies, visit the Government’s Business tax page. 

32. Take advantage of employment grants

The Government offers a number of grants for businesses which employ specific parties, particularly apprentices. You can find out which grants are available here.  

33. Use online accountancy services

Accountancy can be expensive, but there are now a number of online services which offer pay-as-you-go bookkeeping for less than traditional accounting facilities.   

34. Avoid expensive legal costs 

Don’t shell out for a lawyer or solicitor to draw up legal documents; templates for such documentation can be downloaded for free from sites like FSB.

35. Search for the best areas for business rate relief

Depending on where you set up your business, you may be eligible for business rate relief from the government. The amount you receive changes by local constituency and is based on the size and location of your premises.

36. Use business debt collection solicitors

Don’t waste time, energy and money chasing unpaid invoices yourself; for a small sum, you can invest the help of business debt collection solicitors to chase the debt on your behalf — leaving you free to concentrate on other areas of the business.  

37. Join a trade association 

Joining a trade association will not only bolster your credibility in the eyes of your customers, it lets you access free legal and finance advice. Find out more about professional associations here.  

38. Find tailored finance support for your business

Businesses can access a wealth of government-backed finance and support, including grants, loans and free consultancy. Search for tailored financial support here.

39. Spend time to review your operating expenses

Day to day business expenses can add up, so it’s a good idea to review your operating costs. Do this at least once a year to ensure the business is saving money where possible.   

40. Don’t forget the government’s business advice site

The Government has set up a great resource for businesses, offering advice on everything from tax to licensing applications. Visit the full site here.

Further tips and advice

 Further tips and advice image

41. Hire freelancers for specific tasks

Whether you need to redesign your website or create a press release, hiring freelancers is a cheap way to get the services you need.

42. Use local university sites to find young talent

Employing inexperienced but talented people will cost less, and university job sites are the best place to find them.

43. Save money on training costs with e-learning courses

If you need to train your staff, e-learning courses tend to offer better value for money and eliminate any travel and living expenses.

44. Download free software

Instead of buying every piece of software you need, take advantage of free trials and downloads. If you decide to buy, be on the lookout for discount codes.

45. Use your trade association to find cheap business insurance 

If your business is part of a trade association, you may be able to access cheaper, discounted business insurance. Look at the benefits of each association before you decide to join.

46. Offer incentives to your workforce

Giving incentives might sound counter-intuitive to saving money, but perks boost productivity, and ultimately your profit margin.

47. Buy recycled printer cartridges

Buying replacement ink or toner for the office printer is an annoying overhead no business leader likes forking out for. To save on this regular expense, swap new OEM cartridges for recycled alternatives. The difference in quality is negligible, while the cost benefits could be sizeable.

48. Claim free Google AdWords vouchers

Spend £25 on Google AdWords, and you’ll receive a further £75 to spend on the site. Get the offer here.

49. Don’t spend more than £25 a month on business broadband

Shop smart, and you can get superfast business broadband for as little as £25. Use comparison sites to access the best deals.

50. Use affordable car share schemes

Instead of buying a company car, use car share schemes that allow you to use premium cars when they’re required for business trips. Some options include Enterprise, CarShare or Zipcar.  

At Gazprom Energy, we supply gas and electricity to a huge number of businesses, and pride ourselves on being transparent and easy to work with. To find out more about what we can offer your business, visit the homepage or call us on 0845 873 2295.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within this article are those of our third party content providers alone and do not represent those of Gazprom Energy. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. Gazprom Energy accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations.


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