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How to reduce costs as a sole trader

by Jake Martin

3 min read

As a sole trader with no guaranteed pay cheque, your business’s financial success is of the utmost importance.

It’s essential that you are profiting as much as possible and reducing expenditure at every opportunity.

One of the simplest ways to boost profitability is to implement a cost-control strategy.

Here are seven straightforward ways to lower your expenses and give your business a greater advantage.

1. Outsource non-essential functions

Outsourcing is a fantastic way to save money. By reducing fixed costs and capital investment, outsourcing will instantly reward your bank account.

Additionally, with less in-house maintenance required, you can focus your efforts on more worthy business endeavours.

2. Cut back on utilities

Expenses such as rent, electricity, insurance and other everyday upkeep are necessary when running a business, and there are always ways to save. Sit down and carefully evaluate your current consumption, looking for any potential areas of improvement.

Are your insurance plans still the best value for what you need? How can you save energy around the office? You’ll be surprised at what a fresh and prudent perspective will lead you to discover.

3. Boost value perception of products or services

When evaluating the benefits of business offers, you want customers to realise it’s not only worth their hard-earned money, but it’s the best option on the market in a given price range. Make their decision an easy one by proving the value of your product or service.

To accomplish this, consider methods like rebranding to refresh your image, displaying client testimonials, updating the price range, offering free trials or promotions, and enhancing communications with your target audience.

4. Move your accounting to the cloud

Cloud accounting services like QuickBooks Self-Employed easily and securely allow you to access your finances at any time, from a mobile device.

It will streamline your accounts, provide unparalleled flexibility, and save you a great deal of time and money so you can focus on more important (and profitable) tasks.

5. Make use of social media as an economically friendly marketing tool

Marketing can be a huge expense for startups, so take advantage of social media as a means to spread the word about your business and connect with your target audience.

The main platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Snapchat – are entirely free to join.

Additionally, if you do decide that you’d like to invest in social media advertising, it’s usually reasonably priced and much cheaper than hiring an ad agency or marketing firm.

6. Ask for discounts

Part of being a smart business owner is not only scouting out the best deals, but creating them.

Discounts can go a long way towards cutting costs, so don’t be shy and talk to your suppliers to see if there’s an arrangement you could work out.

Promise them referrals for a percentage off their fees or negotiate a mutually beneficial trade agreement. Don’t be afraid to get creative.

7. Share costs with neighbours

Split bigger costs, such as the advertising of your building, with neighbouring businesses. Establish relationships with those nearby, and when relevant co-host events such as networking evenings, holiday parties, seasonal sales and informational sessions.

Collaborating with another organisation will automatically lower your expenses while providing your business with the exposure it needs.

For sole traders, cutting costs wherever possible will quickly lead to tangible savings. A few savvy moves here and there will go a long way in not only keeping you afloat, but seeing your small business prosper.

To read more articles related to becoming self-employed, visit here.

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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