Six simple steps to saving business costs

1. Marketing
One of the simplest ways to save cash when marketing is to join forces with complementary businesses operating in the same market as you. That could mean splitting advertising and promotion costs for events, or including others’ materials in a direct mailshot to help cover postage and printing. Trade shows and publications, or even LinkedIn, can help you identify non-competing businesses who might be willing to collaborate with you. If you use direct mailshots regularly, spending time periodically cleaning your lists could also save hundreds or even thousands of pounds in production and postage costs over the course of the year.

2. Post and delivery
On the subject of postage, there are some elementary ways to save money that can be easily overlooked. Making it a company policy to fold correspondence into A5 envelopes rather than A4, and having two post trays: one for first and one for second class, can lead to significant savings. Franking machines can also save money – although you’ll need to ensure the volume of your post covers the lease costs.

3. Meetings
Offsite meetings carry a number of costs in the form of travel, expenses and venue hire, as well as taking key staff out of the office for extended periods. Although face-to-face time is sometimes essential, there will be other occasions when free video call facilities will do just as well. You should still ensure that onsite and virtual meetings remain concise and only involve the appropriate staff members.

4. Staff
Staff usually represent the single biggest cost for a business – but you can often save money without laying people off. It’s critical for any business, large or small, to keep hold of its best employees, as recruiting skilled staff is much more expensive than retaining them.

If you do need to trim your staffing budget, you might consider offering reduced hours. Employees may be reluctant to bring up the subject themselves, but there may well be some who would like to work part-time. If you make it generally known that you are open to discussing this, you may find you can reduce your wage bill without having to lose a good team member.

Meanwhile, if you need to recruit, there are plenty of options for hiring low-cost labour even with the new National Living Wage rules, such as using apprenticeship schemes and interns, or outsourcing tasks to freelancers.

5. Cashflow
Poor cashflow management can cripple your business at worst, while at best it means incurring unnecessary costs. There are numerous ways to improve your cashflow, such as invoicing quickly, offering early payment discounts, making payments easy for clients, and agreeing clear payment terms.

6. Taxes
Taking advantage of the reliefs and tax incentives available to businesses, such as capital allowances and Research and Development (R&D) tax credits, can help to save you money. Contact us for a review of your business tax arrangements to ensure you are making the most of any tax-saving opportunities.

In the day-to-day running of a business, it’s all too easy to get into set routines and not notice areas where your business is leaking cash. Taking the time to review your processes and make adjustments to the way you do things could result in significant improvements to your bottom line. We can help you with this process.

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