The road to growing your business often requires some capital to invest in new technologies, marketing or staff for example but it can prove to be hard to manage your cash flow to allow for such advances. Budgets set at the beginning of the year are rarely reviewed throughout the year and can leave you with a tight margin to work with. So you need more profit to grow your business but you need that money in advance to make the growth happen, what do you do? Look at all of your business expenses and see where you can cut back, little steps and changes in your operational costs can really help to create those extra funds you want.
Take your Marketing Online
As more and more people are spending a lot more time online than they have in previous years online advertising has not only become significantly more relevant and effective but it is also a lot cheaper than your traditional telemarketing, PR and print advertising. Paid social and PPC advertising like Google Adwords offer you a great platform with a lot of reach and control. According to eCommerceMILO on average a click on Facebook in the United Kingdom will only set you back 29p, that small amount could lead you to a conversion, a pretty small investment for a potentially large return.
You always see the message at the bottom of people’s email signatures reminding you to be mindful of the environment and not to print that email unless absolutely necessary, it is time to take note of that common statement. You shouldn’t apply that notion to just emails, you should think carefully about the need to print a document every time before you hit print. Use email wherever possible in place of printing documents, if you need to give a report to a colleague just attach it to an email instead. Even when sending documents and letters externally, if it can be typed into or scanned and attached to an email instead of posting it out always choose email. Ditching the paper will save you money on printing costs, the purchase of the paper itself and you can reduce your postage costs if you send out less because you won’t be buying as many stamps.
Arrange for Online Meetings
So many services have been developed now that you no longer have to travel miles to have a great collaborative and productive meeting with a supplier or client. Web-based conferencing applications like GoToMeeting and Skype can you put you in touch with one person or multiple in, again, one or multiple locations, cutting the need to spend a lot of your time on the road and the associated expensive costs of such travel. Arranging meetings online can not only save you money through the travel associated costs but through the time you will save as well, it gives you back a lot more of your time allowing you to be more productive and essentially get more done. Those who you meet with will thank you too, it is a lot more convenient for everyone to arrange and join a Skype meeting, it is a lot easier to fit a virtual meeting in the diary.
Move to the Cloud
The cloud can give your business a lot of freedom, you don’t need to be tied to one location because anything you store in the cloud can be accessed from anywhere as long as you have permission and an internet connection. So the cloud provides a lot of benefits for different aspects of your business but how do these benefits translate to savings? With the cloud you aren’t restricted by hardware and physical servers so you don’t then incur the cost of needing to maintain and upgrade all of your IT infrastructure. The cloud is also easily scalable to your needs, you can change your cloud storage plan as and when you need to, so when your business does grow you can just pay for what you need rather than investing in very costly servers which you may not even then use to their full potential. Without all of this hardware it won’t be taking up lots of space in your office and you don’t need a whole room to house it all, you will have enough room to expand your team or the opportunity to relocate to an office which is more suited to the size of your business and your budget.
Cut Back On Energy Usage
Doing your bit for the environment as well as your budget. You might not think that flicking a switch off here and there would make much different but it does, leaving equipment on standby costs UK businesses almost £1 billion a year. It doesn’t take any more time to shut down your computer rather than press the standby button, so put a policy in place in your office to make sure all of your employees completely shut down their computer at the end of each day and turn off any other equipment as needed. If you switch out your old incandescent bulbs to CFLs you’ll be saving energy too, CFL bulbs use up to 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs, you will save even more if you switch to LEDs. As CFLs and LEDs use a lot less energy they have a much longer lifetime too so you’ll need to replace them less frequently, another area of savings.