We’ve compiled a list of 100 ways to save your business money by cutting costs in key areas.
The list is broken down into a range of subject areas.
Click here to see our infographic.
Outsourcing a business function to a specialist, third-party company saves money on wages, pensions, and office space. By outsourcing additional services (i.e. accounting) can make your core services more efficient and save money.
- Change rosters
Readjust your employee’s hours to maximise their productivity and give a better service to your customers. If possible, use flexible working to ensure staff are refreshed and motivated.
- Hire interns
An Internship gives inexperienced employees the chance to develop their skills whilst providing you with low-cost labour. interns are intelligent, skilled and enthusiastic. Internships also provide an opportunity to trial potential employees for an extended period.
- Cap redundancy compensation
Set a cap of 20 years’ service when remunerating redundant staff and set a minimum length of service term.
- Skills matrix
Map the skills of your workforce and utilise them in their best areas. Tracking the skills and qualifications of your team means you can identify any skill gaps which may require more training to ensure all staff are at the same proficiency level.
- Reduce employee turnover
A culture of effective, and open, communication, that engenders employees with a sense of responsibility helps retain staff loyalty, but if you want to buy their allegiance, company-wide benefit schemes work. This can save time and money spent on training new staff.
- Job-share scheme
Job-shares utilise two sets of employee experience, lead to higher staff retention, and result in fewer days lost through sickness. This can be beneficial for employees who require less hours, and will be valuable for your company as reduced work days will make staff members more motivated and therefore more efficient when in office.
- Automate tasks
If a software solution exists (such as an accountancy or stock handling system), take advantage, and it may pay dividends in the long run.
- Offer more overtime
Instead of hiring more people, offer your current workforce more overtime. Spending an amount of money on overtime can be small in comparison to the costs of a salary, equipment and company benefits including sickness pay.
- Enforce annual leave
Don’t allow employees the option to carry over days from one year to another. Managing staff resources allows you to plan better. If the option to carry over holiday days exists, this can negatively impact you when a staff members leaves as they may have additional unused holidays carried over which need to be paid by you, unnecessarily.
- Hire freelancers
Hiring freelancers cuts costs significantly, and allows you to increase, and decrease, your workforce according to need.Experienced freelancers would also benefit your company as they will have accumulated a range of experience from different business, they can therefore share best practices with your company.
- Ask employees for ideas
The workers, who are carrying out day-to-day activities, offer closer scrutiny of company procedures.This will make your employees more open to change when they are involved in the process and may feel more valuable to your business.
- Create savings culture
Set out an ethos, in company literature, of efficiency and dynamism.
- Move your store online
Is there a real need to keep a physical store front open, when you can minimise overheads by selling via an online shop?
- Move your operational hub to cheaper premises
Consider whether you can operate your business to the same level of efficiency at a site in an out-of-town location.
- Centralize services
Does it make more sense to centralise a business function in one location instead of having it spread over several sites? It may cut replication and staff numbers. It is usually less expensive to rent and operate one premise as oppose to multiple locations.
- Encourage homeworking
Not having to provide desk-space for employees can allow you to a rent smaller business property and save money on business rates. This can also reduce home staff absence (in particular, unwarranted sick days) and improve productivity.
- Lease equipment
Paying a monthly, fixed, leasing cost ensures your equipment is current and in good working order. Leasing computer equipment can prove more beneficial when you have a high staff turnover as you only pay for the technology you’re using instead of investing capital in assets that aren’t getting their full use.
- Monitor energy costs
Smart meters can be installed to measure gas and electricity use. This means you can track your energy usage and your received bill will be accurate, not estimated.
- Go paperless
Discourage employees from unnecessarily printing out emails and documents, in order to save on paper costs and photocopier click-rate rental costs. You can also go paperless externally by setting all customers up initially to receive documentation on a portal system instead of through the post, with an option to opt out.
- Renegotiate maintenance contracts
Ensure service providers are reaching their agreed levels of service, and renegotiate service levels to suit your budget, if need be.
- Shop around for insurance
Business insurance operates just like regular insurance, and it’s well worth shopping around for the best deal when it’s time to renew.
- Local government schemes
Take advantage of all the support available to you from a regional government body. Gov.uk is a good source to provide you with information of grants available to you and your local area.
- Go green
There are government schemes available that encourage businesses to consider their emissions, energy use, and the technology they use in exchange for tax concessions.
- Work from home
Claim for any costs incurred by working at home. If you are self-employed, claim tax relief on mortgage interest, council tax, home insurance, and general repairs.
- Cycle to work scheme
A salary sacrifice scheme that benefits both the company’s wallet and the employee’s health.A cycle to work scheme allows an employee to save up to half the retail cost of a bike, improving the physical health of employees can also improve their emotional well-being and improving attendance.
- Salary sacrifice low emission cars
Company cars with lower C02 emissions pay less tax.
- Be organised
Set aside specific times and dates to pay your bills; don’t let the constant hustle and bustle of running your business lead to mistakes. By organising bill payments, you can avoid late fees or unnecessary interest charges by changing payment dates to match received invoices from customers.
- Pay yourself properly
Remember each year to check your tax code, just in case you end up paying the wrong amount.
- Pension schemes
Making greater pension contributions means you’ll also pay less tax
- Claim against tax for business critical equipment
If a piece of equipment is essential to the running of the company, its cost is deducted from your company’s profits when you pay your taxes.
- Donate to charity
If you make a charitable donation, you will pay less corporation tax.
- Renegotiate terms
Regular dialogue over paying terms may result in a better deal for your company, as suppliers will be willing to accommodate you in order to keep your business.
Making larger purchase orders can give you leverage to demand a lower price per unit, from suppliers.You could then either use these savings to increase your profit margin or lower prices to become more competitive and sell more goods.
- Pay quicker
Paying your outstanding invoices immediately allows you negotiate a cheaper price for your goods, as suppliers are often beset with debtors who are bad. Use your reliability as a bargaining chip.Simply Factoring Brokers offer a service called Supply Chain Finance that can allow you to do this.
- Reduce waste
Make more economical use of materials to repurpose and recycle.
- Streamline product feature
If an aspect of a product is functionally unnecessary, and incurs extra production cost, is it worth including in future iterations?
- Look out for bargains
Periodically, suppliers will need to sell stock at a reduced price in order to clear shelf space. Take advantage of any spare space in your warehouse and stock up.
- Maximise your warehouse
Organise your stock more efficiently; re-purpose, or rent out, unused space.Improving your lighting efficiency is also another way to save money in your warehouse, using motion detectors ensures you are only paying for electric costs when you need to.
- Long term supply agreements
You can arrange lower prices for goods if you agree with the supplier to purchase them for a set period of time.
- Buy local
Transport costs add up; lower this expense by sourcing goods locally. Although you may be able to find deals online, shopping locally and in person provides the opportunity to haggle for great deals and to develop lasting relationships with suppliers.
- Buy non-branded items
Cut down on unnecessary cost by sourcing non-branded components where possible.
- Online advertising
For a greater return on your marketing budget, invest more in online activity. A strong online presence gives you better visibility to consumers and business decision-makers.Online campaigns can be tracked more easily than traditional media, so you can see if your campaign has been successful and try a range of different approaches to see what works well. It also provides an opportunity to interact with customer to build closer relationships.
- Repurpose content
Take a subject you’ve already written about and create an infographic or video about the same subject. Because information is condensed and visually pleasing, infographs are more easily shared than ordinary text content on social media platforms. You can also feature your brand to create greater brand awareness.
- Turn print to pdf
Replace direct mail with email marketing campaigns. Email marketing is more easily monitored and can be shared with a larger number of people at a lower cost than direct mail. Any content that you share online can also be re-purposed for your social media feeds easily, saving time.
- Adopt an automated CRM system
Use your website to capture leads and regularly feed the information through a CRM system.These systems can store hundreds and thousands of clients, as well as store historic data which will help to maintain relationships. A CRM system will also make you aware of how many leads your email campaigns are generating.
- Hire the right people
Hire experienced staff to minimise errors and the cost of rewrites.
- Analyse web statistics
Analyse your website’s bounce rates, and adjust the content on your website accordingly, to keep your audience’s attention and channel it to ‘call to action’ pages.A bounce rate is a metric which measures the amount of people who visit your website and immediately leave without clicking onto more information or interacting. When you then add content or make changes to your website. A bounce rate can be a good way to analyse if the change is more effective at keeping visitors on your website longer, increasing your likelihood of a sale.
- Eliminate duplicate content
Essentially plagiarising yourself lowers your Google ranking. If you need to replicate information, try and say it in a different way, or through a different medium, such as an infographic.
- Create content plan
Having a structured annual content plan allows you to budget more effectively. Creating a plan keeps all content targeted to a specific audience and meets all your company goals and objectives, preventing any wasted time and resources.
- Content marketing
Write optimised content that ranks well with search engines. For example, including key words in your title and create lengthy content which ranks well on Google.
- Use social media
There are a plethora of social media platforms on which you can create a company presence, and reach new audiences. Social media platforms are simple to set up and free across most site, creating more of an online presence which improves brand awareness.
- ROI and budget reviews
Regularly analyse the return on investment you are getting from a particular campaign. Is the budget you are allocating justifying the return?
- Get in the news
A success story in a local newspaper can help tap into their readership, both in print and online.This can be done by updating local newspapers of any changes such as the taking on of new staff and moving to a larger premise for example.
- Set a travel budget
On essential business travel, set a budget and make it a challenge to stay within it.
- Print in black and white
Print-outs in black and white use considerably less toner and printer consumables.
- Print on both sides
Double the use of your paper resources by utilising both sides of the paper.
Planning the delivery of key messages saves time and resources.
- When you move to a new premise, be sure to inspect
Creating a list of issues in your new location and notifying your landlord can save money at the end of the rental. Regardless of whether the issues are fixed during that time, date and time proof will prevent you from paying for repairs you are not responsible for damaging.
- Use of work phones for personal use
Save money by banning the use of work phone for private use.
- Personal mobile phone use
Create a mobile phone use policy for workers to adhere to whilst at work. Banning phones completely may mean that employees are still distracted and instead use their computer to access information, so limited mobile phone time may be the answer.
- Core working hours
Set a block of hours in the morning and afternoon when employees cannot use flexi-time. This ensures times of maximum productivity and availability during the working day.
- Pool Cars
A pool of lease cars, for business use, works out cheaper than paying to have a car each and again is beneficial as capital isn’t wasted on assets which aren’t being used.
- Use mugs instead of disposable cups
This saves costs on consumables.
- Lighting sensors
Proximity lights, that turn on when they sense activity, save on electricity.
- Don’t hoard stationery
Only stock the amount you need.
- Buy second-hand office equipment
You can make massive savings by purchasing second-hand equipment from online auction sites.The same can be done for office furniture to make additional savings.
- Audit equipment
Catalogue everything you own. Something is less likely to be stolen if it’s known that it has been accounted for.
- Keep desk space clean
Making employees responsible for the cleanliness of their work environment can cut down on the need to hire external contracts.
- Set subsistence allowance when on trips
Have a set allowance for employee meals, when they are on business trips, instead of allowing them to claim back any receipt amount on expenses.
- Clocking-in machines
Ensures employees are working their contractually agreed hours. Depending on the business type you can also implement systems which will record when a computer or phone is logged out.
- Don’t leave monitors / PCs on standby mode.
This saves on energy costs and reduces your carbon footprint.
- Electric hot water taps
Cuts the cost of having to heat up and instantly produces hot water.
- Look into factoring invoices
Selling your outstanding invoices to a factoring company helps you receive up to 90% of the value of that invoice within 24-hours, with the remainder, minus fees, arriving when the invoice is settled. Factoring gives your company debt-free, working capital.
- Negotiate better rates on overdrafts and loans
If your company is able to get approval for a loan or overdraft, it is worth contacting your bank and trying to arrange more favourable terms.
- Arrange better terms on transactional charges
Your high-street bank may also make concessions regarding credit and debit card transaction fees.
- Contact late payers regularly
Keep up the pressure on debtors or, alternatively, engage in the services of an invoice finance company who deal with late payers as part of their service.
- Set project budgets
Adherence to strict project management principles (like Prince2) can bring projects in on time and within budget. This will also allow you to set out project priorities, so if you don’t have the capital to fully complete a project in the desired time frame, you can complete the most important aspects and put the rest on hold.
- Keep up to date on tax laws
Monitoring changes can help you find out if you’re paying too much or too little.
- Carry out credit checks promptly
Regularly analyse the reliability of a customer to pay their bills.
- Get all your insurances through one provider
Many insurance providers will give you a discount if you use multiple services from them, as a loyalty incentive.
- Spread out your bills
Paying your bills throughout the month can temporarily help with cashflow, but look into factoring for a long-term solution.
- Bank online
Cut down expense and time by doing all your banking online.
- Integrate solutions into business processes
An online store can trigger business processes and automate online marketing responses.
- Invest in multi-functional devices
A good photocopier, for example, can also scan documents to a cloud-based repository, send faxes, scan and email documents, and some can even bind them.
- Utilise the power of the cloud
Cloud computing cuts the cost of running and maintaining the servers that your company software is housed on. Using cloud technologies you can back up and recover data, should something go wrong. It will also allow a range of staff access to the same data in order to make collaboration more efficient.
- Only upgrade if necessary
Do the new features of the software necessitate the expenditure? Does the update on one feature justify updating the full package?
- Use freeware when possible
A multitude of open-source freeware exists which can, in many cases, do the same job as software from a more established developer. Always be sure to compare paid packages against freeware available, you can even review the freeware to ensure the free software is popular and easy to use.
- Utilise intranet
Your local intranet, whilst supplying company communications, can help automate a number of administrative processes such as booking holidays, pool cars, and meeting rooms etc.It can also help employees to feel valued with recognition options available to set up, which can therefore increase motivation and productivity.
- Second-hand printer cartridges
Using refills can save you a huge amount of money, plus its environmentally friendly.
- Shop around for cheaper web hosting
Make use of introductory deals and all the individual benefits the provider offers.
- Upgrade computers regularly
An old PC is costly to run and maintain when compared to newer models. Leasing provides a good alternative to this because at the end of your leasing contract, you can update equipment.
- Consolidate, virtualise and streamline
Virtual machines save on server costs and energy costs.
- Asset management
Systematically analyse all of your assets, evaluating each item’s value to the business.
- Review procurement
Can a better price be achieved from another supplier?
- Review ITIL service-level agreements
Are the goals achievable? What impact does the SLA have on the business?
- Shared service hub
If you have various local IT hubs that aren’t working at capacity, it is a good idea to centralise the service into one place. This can help you save money on staff and premises, as the centralised team can conduct work remotely.
- Ask for customer feedback
Your customers will have a totally different perspective on your business, and will often point out issues that you haven’t considered.
- Use Skype and Google Hangouts more
They are free video conferencing tools.
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