Friday, August 16, 2013
With many businesses facing tough times economically, owners are being faced with difficult decisions in order to keep the company’s head above water. Cutting costs in business can sometimes mean cutting jobs, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. Often there are many other cost cutting measures that can be explored before businesses have to resort to a reduction in staff. Here are some top ideas for reducing your outgoings as a business without cutting back on staff or productivity.
1. Be more energy efficient
With ever increasing business electricity prices, energy is often one of the biggest expenses in a business premises, and without knowing it many small businesses are wasting money every day. Simple measures such as switching off lights in unused rooms, powering off machinery instead of leaving it on standby and upgrading electrical appliances for newer, more efficient models can all add up to make a big difference over the course of a year.
2. Renegotiate your rent
If you have been renting your premises for a few years, talk to your landlord about your economic challenges. The commercial rental market is facing tough times too, and many landlords will be agreeable to reducing your rent payments or paying a bigger proportion of the utility bills rather than facing the loss of a good tenant. (for more tips on how to renegotiate your rent, click here)
3. Stop paying for things you can do yourself
If you are paying for a cleaner to take care of your office each week, consider doing some of the chores yourself. If you split the cleaning tasks between your employees then it shouldn’t have much of an impact on their work time to take care of business. There might be some grumbles at first, but most employees would rather pitch in and help rather than take a pay cut or lose their job.
4. Brainstorm cost cutting measures with your staff
Because your employees are ‘in the thick of it’, so to speak, they will know better than anyone else where there is wastage occurring and where improvements can be made. Schedule a brainstorming meeting with your team and find out from them where they think you should be focussing efforts to improve efficiencies.
5. Shop around for utilities
Whether it’s your energy provider, your IT company or your broadband contract, comparing the offers available to your business can help reduce your expenses significantly. With online services making it easy to compare business electricity prices and other services, it only takes a few moments of your time to potentially save your business hundreds of pounds a year.
6. Go paperless
Keeping hard copies of everything is a resources intensive process, and somewhat archaic in the modern, environmentally conscious world too. Printing things out means purchasing paper, ink and machines to print with, and the cost of the ongoing maintenance of the machines, not to mention storage of the printed materials, can soon start to mount up. Going paperless might be easier than you think, and if you maintain a virtual archive in ‘the Cloud’, you shouldn’t need to increase your data storage costs either.
7. Consider homeworking
Depending on the nature of your business, you may be able to consider letting some of your staff work from home for some of the time. Companies large and small are realising the benefits of hot-desking in the office to reduce the amount of space they need, and reducing overheads by letting homeworkers access the servers and their phone calls remotely. Employees enjoy the freedom this gives them and, in most cases, will actually be more productive in the peaceful home environment than they are in a hectic office fraught with interruptions and distractions.