Running a business can be tough and right now its even tougher - rising utility rates, expensive shipping, and overall rising costs make it extremely difficult. Whilst i believe you need to spend money to make money, making sensible decisions in keeping costs under control have never been more important.
Here are some ways to cut costs when running a business.
- Design packaging that is more economical
- Save on office space
- Track costs diligently
- Save money on shipping and postage
- Buy in bulk.
- Participate in loyalty programs.
- Automate processes
- Bring tasks in-house
- Keep less stock
- Go through your apps and delete unused ones
- Use free apps and software
Design packaging that is more economical
- Look at cheaper post packs or envelopes
- Cut back on some unncessary paperwork or details that are normally included into your packaging
- Brand packaging yourself with stickers rather than have it professionally prinnted.
Save on office space
- If your business is able to have remote workers and you’re willing to allow employees to work from home, then telecommuting could help you to save on operational costs by reducing the needs for space using a hotdesking approach
- A move towards a paperless office could save money by reducing your need for storage space and allowing you to downsize
- Shared workspaces can can be cheaper than leasing independent property, though you’ll have less control over your utilities and will likely have to pay for a fraction of a shared service.
Track costs diligently
- Keep a budget and review it regularly, it can help you stick to your target expenditure but also highlight areas where you can save more money.
- Use a google shared document such as a google sheet to share the budget with your team, or to be able to access it from your phone or your computer. The more easy it is to access, the more likely you are to track it and follow it.
- If you don't have a budget you can keep lists of expenses, noting all your spend down is a way to be more aware of what you are spending on hence make savings
Buy in bulk
- Of course, a great way to save money is to make purchases in bulk. However, when you do this, make sure that you're saving money.
- Not all items need to be bought in bulk. For example, if your team doesn't drink a lot of coffee, you don't need to make that purchase in bulk. However, if your team can drink through bulk coffee quickly, then buying it in bulk will save you money. It just depends on your needs.
- To save money, evaluate which items should be bought in bulk and which items can be bought on a smaller scale.
- Analyse your vendors and see if you can get items from a different vendor for a cheaper price.
Save money on shipping and postage
- Save money on shipping and postage by delivery local packages where possible.
- Some local councils or government schemes offer cargo bikes that they lend out to businesses
- Offer pick up of packages
- Processes that you do everyday or regularly can be automated or grouped or batched together and done in a more efficient way. This is not an immediate idea when it comes to money saving, but you may be surprised. For example, if you need to go to the post office and you previously went everyday you might consider only going twice a week and saving up all parcels so you only go on set days. This will save time, and time is money, so you are saving money.
- Another process that you could make more efficient is using scheduling software such as Later, to schedule your social media across several platforms. I use later but there are many other similar apps or software that do the same thing. The idea here is that by scheduling several posts all at the same time, you save time on getting thing set up. You can also often cross-post chunks of text by copying and pasting them for use on different social platforms.
- Start streamlining processes by writing down all the things you do during a typical week, write everything down. At the end of the week sit down and look at your list and analyse where processes can be tweaked to save you time.
Bring tasks and jobs in-house
- Outsourcing can make sense if you don't require a full-time employee to do a task. However, bringing your efforts in-house might save you money if you're outsourcing several projects that could be assigned to one person in-house.
- To decide if you need to bring efforts in-house, take a look at your current outsourcing budget, and compare it to the cost of one part-time or full-time employee.
- You may be able to also bring your marketing in-house which will also save you money if done in the right way
Keep less stock
- Keeping less stock also cuts down on storage costs.
- Eliminate products that do not sell well from your product offering
Use free apps and software
Here are some examples of free and open source software that won't cost you anything. You may be able to save money on expensive subscriptions to software such as photoshop.
- Canva – You’ve probably already heard of it, but the free version is brilliant for design.
- Figma – Collaborative design tool.
- Feather icons – Create cool, open-source icons.