VoIP services like Skype cut telephone costs, allowing you to speak to clients for free. Cheap rates are also available for international calls.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you need new business cards, head online and take advantage of companies offering 100 or so cards for free.
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.
Don’t leave electrical equipment on standby when not in use; turn devices off, and make sure your employees do the same.
By investing in eco-friendly equipment, you’ll save money on your energy bill and reduce your carbon footprint — win win.
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.
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.
Fluorescent CFL bulbs consume 75% less energy than standard light bulbs and run longer. A simple change that will save your business money.
A programmable thermostat will automatically adjust to an ambient working temperature, so you can be sure your heating system is working efficiently.
Maximise natural light by making sure windows and skylights aren’t obstructed. Limiting the need for artificial light will cut your energy costs.
Local government often provide tax incentives to encourage businesses to operate in an environmentally friendly way. Find out more about environmental tax relief here.
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.
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.
The Government offers a number of grants for businesses which employ specific parties, particularly apprentices. You can find out which grants are available here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Businesses can access a wealth of government-backed finance and support, including grants, loans and free consultancy. Search for tailored financial support here.
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.
The Government has set up a great resource for businesses, offering advice on everything from tax to licensing applications. Visit the full site here.
Whether you need to redesign your website or create a press release, hiring freelancers is a cheap way to get the services you need.
Employing inexperienced but talented people will cost less, and university job sites are the best place to find them.
If you need to train your staff, e-learning courses tend to offer better value for money and eliminate any travel and living expenses.
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.
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.
Giving incentives might sound counter-intuitive to saving money, but perks boost productivity, and ultimately your profit margin.
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.
Spend £25 on Google AdWords, and you’ll receive a further £75 to spend on the site. Get the offer here.
Shop smart, and you can get superfast business broadband for as little as £25. Use comparison sites to access the best deals.
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 0161 837 3395.
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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