No matter what industry a business is in or the size of said business, there is likely to come to a point where times are hard, and finances are tight. This is undoubtedly a stressful time for any business owner and can really put a strain on the day-to-day running of an organization.
In order to stop your business from ending up in such a situation, there are several things that a business owner can do in both the long term and the shorter term. Some of the most effective ways that a business can save money and thus have money in reserve for when the tough times hit, are listed below.
1. Encourage home working
By having any staff that you employ working from their own homes, it means that there is no need for your business to have a physical location, such as an office or co-working space, to operate out of. The fact that you no longer have any rent or utility bills to pay for will result in considerable savings over the course of a year. There are also secondary benefits to staff working from home in that they have a better work-life balance and so are happier and more productive as a result. With less people having to commute to a place of work, home working is also much better for the environment too.
2. Shop around for everything
Whether it is a piece of office equipment, raw materials for the production process, or basic utilities, as a business owner you should always shop around for the best deal, as doing so can be really cost-effective and see your business save lots of money. Websites such as Utility Bidder are a great way of comparing gas and electricity rates for businesses. By switching to a cheaper tariff, over a full year, you as a business could potentially end up saving hundreds of pounds.
3. Use online banking
Traditional methods of business banking (i.e. using bricks and mortar branches) are subject to lots of different fees etc. However, by switching to using online banking instead, you can avoid having to pay those. In addition to the cost-saving, you will also save time and effort as you no longer have to visit a physical branch to perform certain transactions. This time you can spend working on growing your business and making it more productive.
4. Hire freelancers/contractors
Rather than committing to hiring a full time or even part time member of staff and having to put up with all of the costs involved in doing that, hire a contractor or a freelancer instead. You can bring them in for a set period of time or even just to work on a particular project until it is complete. Doing this provides you with a greater level of flexibility over how you use staff and means you are not paying someone even when there is no work for them to do, like you would have to with a properly employed member of staff.