If you’re a business owner, one of the smartest things you’ll do is keep a consistent eye on your business budget, finding ways to reduce it in any way you can. One of the skills you need to learn if you haven’t already is how to be a frugal business owner. There are always going to be ways you can save, and spending frivolously is a no-go. Buying sports cars and brand new computers might make you feel good for a while, but if you experience a few quiet months afterwards, you’ll have reason to panic. Some of the biggest business owners out there have been extremely careful, refusing to even take themselves on luxurious holidays until they had been going for years.
Take a look at 15 ways you can save a huge chunk of your business budget below – and remember, just because you’re saving doesn’t mean you should splurge it elsewhere:
- Make Sure Your Advertising Is Doing What It Should Be
One of the biggest drains on a business budget is the marketing budget. If your advertising isn’t doing what it should be doing, then you need to change it. You’re wasting money if you’re not getting results, so tracking your results is essential. Make sure you know how to do this and don’t just take anybody’s word for it. You should know what your goals are, so this way you can figure out whether you’re on track to meet them or not.
If you’re not getting the results you want, it may be worth discussing this with your marketing company before making any changes. Sometimes, results can take a few months to come to fruition. That being said, you shouldn’t waste too much time with the wrong company/wrong strategy. Use your intuition!
- Hire An Accountant/Financial Advisor
When you hire people who are experts in money and finances to help you, you’ll have a much easier time of managing your business budget. Having somebody can look at your finances objectively will be a massive help to you, as you may not be able to see what needs to be done sometimes even if it’s right in front of your face.
- See If You Can Outsource or Hire Remotely Before In House
Before hiring an employee in house, see if you can outsource one or hire remotely first. This is likely going to be the cheaper option. Not only that, you won’t have nearly as many responsibilities and things to pay for when you do this. Having another permanent mouth to feed is a lot of responsibility, much of that financial.
- Negotiate With Your Vendors
See if you can negotiate with your vendors, whether they are new or whether you’ve been working with them for a while. If you’ve been working with them for a while, hopefully you’ve built up a rapport with them and they will be open to discussion regarding pricing and deals. You may have a harder time negotiating with brand new vendors, but if you’re confident it’s a good service then you shouldn’t worry too much – they may be more open to negotiations later on down the line.
- Embrace Telecommuting
This won’t be possible for every business or for all employees, but it can be a massive money saver. Keeping things virtual eliminates the expense of office space and everything that comes with that. You will likely be able to convert at least some of your staff to working this way.
6. Hire Equipment Before You Buy It Outright
You probably don’t need to splash out a lot of money on equipment right away. Why buy new when you can look into crane hire instead? This way, you can make sure you’re actually going to use a piece of equipment before you hand over the cash. Not only that, hiring equipment will probably present fewer problems than buying, at least at first.
7. Become A Greener Business
When you become a greener business, you not only help the planet, but your business budget too. You can do this by vowing only to work with other green companies, cutting back on plastic, recycling, reusing, and taking other measures to make sure you’re being kind to the environment. Make sure everything you do aligns with your environmentally friendly values, and ensure that everybody else is on the same page, too!
8. Negotiate With Your Landlord
See if you can renegotiate your lease in order to save on costs. This is one of the biggest expenses that a small business often faces, so cutting down the cost could make a substantial difference.
9. Cut Down Employee Time
Perhaps you can’t go completely virtual, as suggested earlier. However, you may be able to cut down on the working week. Working 4 days a week rather than 5 works better for both business owners and employees. You’ll save on utility bills and operating costs, and you’ll have a lower salary cost for the business as a whole.
10. Focus On Lean Meetings
Holding meetings on site can be very expensive in terms of travel and hosting. Virtual meetings can even cost you a lot of money in terms of billable hours and salary costs. By keeping meetings to a minimum and only including the people absolutely necessary, you’ll make sure employees time is well spent and that the costs are kept low.
11. Cut Down On Maintenance
Having the office cleaned every so often is a good idea – a healthy office means healthy employees, after all. However, having it done by a professional every day probably isn’t a good idea. Reducing the frequency of your maintenance costs will make a big difference, too.
12. Review Even The Little Expenses
Make sure you review even the smaller, seemingly insignificant expenses. They really add up in the long term, so make sure you eliminate anything extraneous.
13. Know Your Customer Like The Back Of Your Hand
If you know your customers well enough, you should know all kinds of things about them. You’ll know what they do and don’t want, how they browse your site, and everything else that can help you to set up a better strategy that allows you to market to them.
14. Turn Off Your Computers
Leaving your computer on can cost you hundreds each year in unnecessary energy consumption. Now think of how many computers are in your office and see if you can do the math! Ensure everybody in the office turns off their equipment too and that they are on the same page with it all.
15. Select Office Space With Natural Light
Choosing an office space with plenty of natural light creates a more positive environment for employees, and in turn this results in higher quality work. Working behind a computer all day minimises access to the sun, but sunlight is a must for productivity and a good mood. A well lit office could make a huge difference.
16. Hire Capable Employees With Little Work Experience
Being smart about the people you do need to hire in house will also go a long way to helping you reduce your business budget. When you hire curious, capable people who are early in their careers, you’ll save money. This might initially seem like a bad idea, but people with little work experience are looking for entry-level positions and salaries, and of course, this will save you a good amount of money.
There may be times when a more experienced candidate makes the most business sense, but often you just need to give somebody with little work experience a chance and they will want to do well. Everyone had to start somewhere, and they could become a very valuable employee.
Make sure you set all of your hires up for success by training them and checking in with them as often as you can. You should want to help them by identifying the gaps in their knowledge and training experience.
17. Work On Retaining Your Best Employees
If you have a team of high performing employees, you should want to retain them. Employee retention is important – if you’re constantly losing people, you will need to replace them and take care of more training, as well as spending time on the interview process, and this all costs money. Keeping your employees happy also means they are ambassadors for your business, recommending it to friends and family. Unhappy employees that resent you and the work will not help your reputation, so it should be a priority to treat your employees well. Do everything you can to keep a great team member. Make sure you check in with them regularly to understand what they need from you. You’ll save yourself so much hassle and guesswork in the long run!
You should have plenty of ideas now to save a substantial amount of money – make sure you’re always looking for ways to reduce your budget and you’ll remain covered no matter what happens.