For most businesses lockdown has been a tough time, many will of faced closure and as we look to the future what can we do to save some money? Well just like our own personal finances we should be giving our businesses a financial health check, here are some ideas:
- Review all your expenses!
You can’t manage something which you don’t track. If you are not keeping a record of all your expenses, you should start doing it right now. Even a simple spreadsheet can help identify the greatest areas of spend.
- Check for unnecessary expenses
It’s often easy for us to overlook regular direct debits, ask yourself do you need that product or service? Does it add value to your business? If the answer is no, cancel it! For example, perhaps you purchased a magazine subscription a long time ago that you no one reads.
- Re-evaluate your marketing
If you’ve always spent money just on printed ads in local press, now might be the right time to review it, for sure printed press still reaches a certain audience, but is that still the right audience for your business? With more and more people spending time online due to lockdown, are you missing an opportunity? Overall you want to make sure you are getting return on investment. Many marketers offer a free review, maybe take advantage of this?
- Be a good neighbour
Could you work with a local business to partner on a promotion where you can both benefit and share costs? This could be the same with other resources such as clients, could a mutual client benefit from both your services?
- Negotiate a better deal
When that cash supply gets low, which is a common thing in case of small businesses, don’t close the door on getting what you need. Consider the age-old practice of bartering. As with any negotiation process, the worst answer you can get is a simple no, and you might be surprised by how quickly you’ll hear a yes.
- Look up to the clouds
You can save a lot of time and resources by adopting cloud computing. Employees can work remotely and use online collaboration tools to get the work done. For example, you can use Dropbox to share files, QuickBooks for managing finances online, Zoom or Skype to have virtual meetings. Show me someone who hasn’t used Zoom!
- Create a green recovery plan
Going green is not only a great move for the planet, it’s also a smart financial move, according to Shel Horowitz, author of ‘Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet’.
Horowitz recommends simple moves such as keeping equipment on a power strip and turning it off when not in use or replacing your existing printer with one that prints on both sides of the paper, thus reducing paper waste and cost.
Since the object of many environmentally friendly changes is to save energy, and you have to pay for the energy your business uses, if you can reduce energy use you will also be reducing your costs.
- Buy used equipment
Save between 50-70 per cent by buying used computer equipment, copiers and office furniture from the classified sites such as Ebay. You can negotiate directly with the seller and get a good deal.
- Outsource Non-Critical Tasks
There are a lot of tasks that can be outsourced these days. Rather than hiring someone part time/ full time, consider using a reliable freelancer to make you more efficient and spend more time on what makes you profitable.
The main take away from speaking to lots of different businesses is that you must do a financial health check on your business, its important to check how and where you spend money. To compliment this review I’d suggest you also revisit your business plan, I hope to do an article on this soon!
Do you have an idea to cut expenses? Feel free to share it in comments below.
Thanks for reading,
Celtic Financial Planning Ltd