As the old saying goes, every business needs marketing and innovation to stay successful. But then a bit of cost-cutting does not go a miss either!
Not only does taking steps to reduce your expenditure streamline your operation, but it enhances your profitability as well.
As we approach the end of the year, it is always a good opportunity to take a moment to evaluate how your business is performing and identify ways it could be improved.
In today’s unsettled economy, it is more important than ever to keep an eye on your company spending, as even the smallest increase in returns can have a positive impact on your bottom line.
With that in mind, to kick start your retrenchment activities, here are 12 easy ways to cut costs as a business.
How to Cut Costs in Business
The 12 cost-cutting measures below could be adopted by any type of business – small, medium, or large – to save money immediately.
For some of these methods, you will see the benefits of these reductions straight away, while others might take a bit longer for the benefits to manifest.
However, as all of these will positively impact your bottom line, they are well worth implementing as soon as you can.
1. Reduce employee hours
On the face of it, you might think reducing employee hours might also lower productivity. However, some studies suggest this not to be the case at all.
Indeed, several companies are now allowing their employees to work either four-day weeks or nine-day fortnights, to keep them fresh and engaged in their work.
Productivity levels aside, the one thing most business leaders can agree on is that the less time an employee spends in the office, the less money an owner will need to fork out, for costs relating to things like electricity, kitchen supplies and heating.
When this is scaled across several employees, for every working day of the year, it can soon add up to quite a saving.
2. Payment costs
All businesses that accept payments via any method other than cash should regularly keep track of the costs they absorb when receiving payments.
It is particularly true if you are using Eftpos or any other payment gateway, and you should consider payment fees and surcharging when doing so.
Again, like with insurance, the simple act of switching providers can save you quite a lot of money year on in.
3. Encourage more WFH
In the same way as reducing employee hours can lower office-based costs, so can encouraging your staff to work from home, one or two days a week.
If you can work it, so that at any given time only 75% of your workforce is currently in the office, this not only saves money on the previously mentioned electricity, kitchen supplies and heating. But also provides an opportunity to save money by…..
4. Downsizing your office space
If you only have 75% of your workforce in the office at any one time, then it follows that you only really need 75% of your office space from which to operate.
By downsizing your office space to another location, you could save a significant amount of money on rent, as well as other costs like electricity, heating, and insurance.
You will also not need to purchase as much in the way of equipment on computers, furniture, and other fixtures. Which will save you money, in the long run, on purchasing or replacing these items as well.
5. Use more freelancers
Instead of hiring more full-time staff to save money on wages, you could always take on more freelancers.
With freelancers, you will not need to pay them superannuation, parental leave, or sick leave. Instead, you can pay them a flat rate for the project you give them.
Platforms like Upwork or Croudie Network can connect you with high-quality freelancers that are skilled copywriters, developers, graphic designers, and admin professionals.
Overall, they provide an invaluable cost-cutting resource most companies do not exploit.
6. Become fully online
If you are serious about saving money for your business, the first thing you should consider, if you are a brick-and-mortar operation, is whether it is viable for you to operate solely as a fully-fledged online business.
If you can do this, you could save a small fortune in rent, electricity, insurance, employee wages and a host of other operational costs.
Whilst you might be reluctant to give up your street presence, if you look at the profitability of your physical store, it might make good financial sense to do so. Especially as some of the money you save on these areas can be put into further establishing your online presence. Another thing why online businesses are growing is because most people are using smartphones and mobile eCommerce statistics show that mobile purchases are almost half the percentage of all eCommerce sales, so better think of strategies to build your online presence and build customer interaction for more sales.
Insurance is vitally important for business, as it can protect you from unexpected expenses which arise from legal claims, workplace injury or damage to your property.
However, insurance tends to be something you ‘set and forget’ and then pay via direct debit on the same date every month when it is due.
It is always a clever idea to source quotes from several insurance companies regularly. To ascertain if they can provide you with a cheaper offer than what you are getting from your existing provider.
This simple act can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. So be sure to make a point of doing it at least every 12 months.
8. Postage costs for orders
If you run an online business, then the chances are you will be shipping lots of orders out to customers.
It could be local, state-wide, nationwide, or even internationally. All of which could result in you incurring very high postage costs.
Switching to a new shipping provider thus could provide you with plenty of cost savings over a year. Be sure to gather several quotes to determine if this is a good move for you.
9. Re-evaluate your marketing efforts.
Businesses tend to spend a lot of money on marketing activities, in particular marketing activities that are non-profitable. So, it follows there will be plenty of opportunities to cut costs.
Paid advertising might be an integral part of your promotional mix right now. But if it is ineffective, it is essentially a waste of money.
It is a worthwhile exercise to take the time to understand how effective your advertising strategy is, eliminating campaigns or activity that is not providing your business with a good ROI.
For instance, instead of focusing resources on promoting a product on your website that has not sold in months, use that money to build an email list of customers. You can then send them targeted emails with discount incentives that might facilitate sales.
Similarly, instead of spending money advertising in magazines or directories, make a concerted effort to grow your social media following and create online shops on Facebook and Instagram for them to visit.
10. Go Virtual
Technology has come a long way in the last decade, just as business thinking has also advanced too.
Today, the adoption of virtual technology has become a valuable way of reducing overall business costs.
Tools like Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams have led to a significant reduction in travel budgets, as more companies are facilitating introductory meetings with each other online, as opposed to face-to-face. Thanks partly to how the COVID-19 pandemic proved businesses can still be effective by conducting remote activities.
Similarly, the likes of Microsoft Sharepoint and Google Drive have centralised the process of storing company documents on the cloud, which has significantly reduced the cost of funding office staples like printer paper, ink and even photocopiers or fax machines.
11. Rent out some of your office space
Another innovative way to save on business costs is to rent your office space.
Depending on its layout you could offer a hotdesking facility, where you can charge people a small amount to use a spare desk on your premises, as well as your WI-FI and photocopier or fax machine.
Alternatively. should your space be big enough, you could even allow a business to set up a retail space within it, for example, an art studio or a small coffee or flower shop.
By renting out your space to another company, you can offset the cost of funding what would otherwise be an empty and unprofitable space.
12. Hire an expert in cost-cutting
Lastly, if you have implemented some of these strategies and still want to find more ways of cutting costs, you can always hire an expert.
A certified public accountant can run a complete audit of your business, analysing every single cost with a fine-tooth comb to help you determine strategies to reduce your expenditure.
It might cost you a bit to employ their services, but they will be very comprehensive in the work they do for you. They could also potentially save you thousands of dollars. Not just in terms of the money you outlay but also in tax deductions.