Keeping the costs of an SME down can be the ultimate difference between success and failure. There are many more ways to cut costs in your business than lowering annual bonuses or restricting the coffee and biscuits. You need to think a little differently.
Here are six ways to save on running costs you may not have thought of:
Buying in bulk = bulk savings
Buying your office supplies in bulk can lead to yearlong savings. An SME’s stationary, kitchen and bathroom needs for the year can easily be calculated. Look at your average yearly consumption of coffee, tea, sugar, food, toilet paper, soaps, printing paper, toner and stationary. Shopping around for wholesalers or negotiating discounts for bulk purchases can save a company over 10% a year. Contacting the manufacturers directly could reward you with the biggest savings. Furthermore contact your service providers to see if there are discounts on paying yearly upfront as opposed to monthly.
Mobile and broadband
The age of expensive broadband and mobile costs is long gone and businesses have a multitude of providers and packages to choose from. If you are unhappy with your service and price you should be looking elsewhere, and if you’re looking at saving money for your business, this is one of the first culprits to examine. Sites like Broadband Choices aggregate all the providers and deals in one place allowing you to easily find the best price and packages. Compare your SME’s needs to the deal to make sure the company is not paying for unnecessary add-ons.
Partnering up on projects
Often overlooked, partnering with another business can drastically reduce project costs. It doesn’t need to be a competitor, you can break down a project and ensure you stick to your core focus and partner with another company to focus on the rest. You can also ask the partner for a “finder’s fee”, a commission for bringing them business, increasing your profits.
Going green to save green
Going green is something every SME should do to protect our environment, and even more so if you are looking at cutting running costs. A study by the Carbon Trust in 2013 showed that most employees were more concerned with energy costs at home (92%) than at work (42%). With a small investment in employee energy saving education, a company can see a huge 10% saving on energy costs. Most of the education revolves around behavioural changes such as using video conferencing instead of business trips, reducing lighting energy and small power energy usage and lowering the office temperature by 1%.
Today’s young workforce are finding it harder and harder to infiltrate their desired career paths. The well-known conundrum of being unable to get work because of lack of experience and unable to get experience because they can’t get work, is alive and well. By offering unpaid or low paid internships, you help your interns gain the experience they so desperately need and benefit from cheaper labour. Additionally, when the internship is up you have a new potential employee, who is already trained and familiar with your company.
Sub-let your extra space
According to Freelancers Union, it is predicted by 2020 half the labour force will be freelancers. If you have unused space in your office, even just a desk and chair, you can rent it out to freelancers. Not only will you have the benefit of the extra income to cover running costs, you can also outsource relevant work to your tenant/freelancer. Conversely, if you do not want to pay for an office, co-working spaces are booming. Offering all the advantages of an office, such as board rooms, receptionists and workstations, but at a fraction of the cost. Co-working spaces offer a multitude of customizable usage options to suit your needs, and your pocket.
Ensuring you keep a close eye on your company’s expenses as you grow can have a major impact on your ability to survive inevitable tough periods of business. We hope these less obvious cost cutting ideas have shone some light in your business and you have spotted some juicy savings. Good luck.