Businesses have a lot of costs to worry about including operating costs, rent, staff, taxes and more. But there are plenty of ways that businesses can save money without compromising on quality or dropping standards. At Uncle Buck, we have put together a few money saving tips that can be used to save your company money when running a business.
Ensure you make the most of your current marketing strategy. The term known as “piggybacking” refers to including advertising material in other mailings, such as an invoice, which saves money on postage and other costs. Similarly, consider tucking coupons, flyers, newsletters and the like into the bag or package which contains a customer’s actual purchase.
Another option is to split any advertising costs with your neighbouring businesses, this is a win-win on both sides; you save money and so do they. You could even take the affiliation further by sharing things like mailing lists (if you have consent to do so), suppliers and distribution channels with businesses that sell complementary goods and services.
If you think that your company would benefit from local press, it is always worth speaking to your local papers about an advert. But to really save money, you should look at advertising specials where you might get a premium rate – even if this means committing long-term. A clever technique is finding out when the paper has been unable to sell advertising space and will be willing to accept your advert last minute for a heavily reduced rate.
2.Get your business online
You can cut your costs by setting up an online store, if you have not already. Basic website builders such as Wix, Weebly and Moonfruit allow you to put together a functional website at a very low cost. Simply the more time you spend on it, the more professional it can look.
With the rise of online shopping, you may find that fewer consumers visit your store. Hence, you may find that running a business online and paying £10 per month for hosting is more cost-effective than paying rent and hiring staff to run a storefront.
Some clever ways to market yourself online for free include posting regularly on social media. Setting up a Facebook, Instagram or Linkedin account is free and asking your colleagues or circle of friends to share your posts and pages can help you gain some visibility online, all for free.
Being pro-active online is key here as commenting on forums on behalf of your business and posting on Facebook groups regularly can help get your name out there and encourage new customers to visit your website.
If you are a local business, some other free ways to acquire business online include signing up to Yell.com, Google Business and being listed on other free sites that are trusted such as your local church and Rated People.
3. Make use of free software
On the website Download.com there are hundreds of software products for free through trial downloads, freeware and even limited versions of the full product. If you download some free trials initially, it will save you bit of money at first and will save you from splurging on a software which you find is not actually suited to your needs. A limited version of the full product may be enough for you, and you may be able to save money in the long-term by sticking with this version of the software.
Other examples include using Gmail.com or Yahoo mail which is free, rather than splashing out on an expensive email provider. Other free tools include things like Trello or Wunderlist to help manage all your day-to-day tasks with free trials available and no costs for a low number of users.
4.Hire interns and apprentices
By hiring an intern to work in your company, you can help someone gain valuable experience in the world of work and well as getting low cost help around the office.
Furthermore, rather than paying full time employees for certain jobs that get quiet at certain times of the year, consider hiring temps or contractors to handle these roles in the business and manage workloads accordingly.
On a similar note, there are a lot of opportunities for business people looking to hire apprentices and equally there are thousands of apprentices looking for work opportunities. In addition to receiving tax breaks, there are Government schemes that will pay 90% of the costs towards funding the apprentice’s training, requiring you to pay the remaining 10%. This works out to be a huge saving and their salaries tend to be quite low as they typically require the minimum wage in their first year.
5. Improve customer service
Keeping customers happy and consequently attracting new ones is an efficient way to save money. In fact, this is probably the most important way to save money as happy customers will continue to purchase from you, recommend you to their friends and reduce costs on sorting out problems and possible complaints.
Of course, most businesses encounter customers who wish to complain, but by improving the customer service, you can help to avoid a lot of the smaller problems.
So, to grow your customer loyalty, it is important to hire and train the right people who make an extra effort to please your customers. Whether this is a friendly smile when they walk into the store or a pleasant greeting when they contact you online, going that extra mile with their orders or simply remembering birthdays are free things that can go a long way to making your customers feel welcome.