Running a small business is expensive, and the costs you incur can leave little leftover in the bank. Fortunately, there are a lot of simple things you can do to minimise your expenses and economise your operations. Here are 9 creative ways to save your small business money.
1. Trade for goods and services
What you’re selling has value – people pay for it, after all – so don’t be afraid to use it to your advantage. Barter with other businesses that have goods or services you need, offering them your own goods or services in lieu of payment.
2. Buy used equipment
Buying brand new is often more expensive than buying it used. Keep this in mind when you’re looking for new equipment or furniture. If you’re outfitting an office, scour eBay and Gumtree first and opt for used furniture items wherever you can. If you’re in need of computers, tablets, mobile phones, or other tech, buy refurbished from reputable sellers; Apple even sell refurbished items on their website.
3. Share office space
The cost of renting your own office will take up a big chunk of your monthly expenses. If you don’t need a private space, rent a workstation or a unit within a co-working space to save money. Alternatively, consider working from home.
4. Cut back on utilities
Cut down on utilities by implementing a few energy efficient practices in the office. Instruct your team to switch off their computers when they’re not in use, cut back on air conditioning or heating, and ensure all light sources are equipped with compact fluorescent bulbs.
5. Do your own marketing
While using an agency to help with marketing activities comes with its benefits, it can be costly. Consider keeping some of these activities in-house, such as managing your own social media channels and email marketing. It might even be worthwhile to enrol in a marketing course to expand your knowledge, which you can always claim back as a tax deduction.
6. Manage your own accounts
Using cloud-based accounting software, such as QuickBooks Online, can help you to automate a number of financial activities, such as invoicing, payroll, and expense tracking. This way, you’ll save time and money – instead of hiring a bookkeeper, budget for an accountant on ad hoc basis.
7. Negotiate with your suppliers
When it comes to things like your internet or phone services, utilities provider, or suppliers, there’s always a better deal to be made. Take the time to negotiate for the lowest possible price or the best package, and regularly renegotiate as time goes by.
8. If in doubt, go without
Let this phrase serve as your mantra and forgo anything that isn’t a necessity for your business’s operation. Before you hand over the company credit card, ask yourself if what you’re about to buy is really needed to keep your business afloat – if the answer is no, forget about it!
9. Partner with others
Strategic alliances are an often overlooked, but extremely beneficial, way to get more bang for your buck. Consider partnering with businesses who are geographically close to yours, or who have a similar customer profile. Collaboration could take the form of sharing costs for marketing efforts, offering referrals to each other’s customers, or simply exchanging industry knowledge.
While finding ways to save money does take a little creative energy, if anyone knows best how to scrimp and save it’s a small business owner. Get started today and your business will be on its way to better financial health.