Not letting unnecessary expenses slide

POSTED: 19th October 2016
IN: Guides

Need to cut back on your business expenses? Before you start reducing your resources, take the time to assess whether you’re letting any unnecessary expenses slide.

When running a business, there’s a fine line between cutting costs and ensuring your staff still feel valued. However, if you need to cut back, there are a few changes you can make behind the scenes that could both help you to save, and maintain a good working environment. So, where is your business losing cash? To help get your finances in shape for the months ahead, we’re honing in on a few unnecessary expenses that may be slipping under the radar.

1. Reduce your cleaning costs

Cleaning bills costing your business a fortune? If so, maybe you should consider cutting back your five-day cleaning service to just three days a week. Although you may not want to eradicate your cleaning service completely, imparting more responsibility to your staff to keep areas tidy and be mindful of shared spaces could save your business a lot of cash.

2. Shop around for contracts

As well as reducing your usage of services, regularly shopping around for cheaper deals will also help you save more. Having a keen awareness of when your contracts, such as with your internet provider or energy supplier, are up for renewal will put you in a good position to negotiate cheaper rates, as well as giving you time to look if you could be spending less elsewhere. If a new business comes back with a cheaper quote, why not go back to your existing supplier to see if they can beat it?

3. Save on paper

Last year, a survey commissioned by Oki Systems UK revealed that of SMEs who were even aware of their printing expenses, 44% spend an eye-watering £10,000 per year or more on printing, with 47% producing more than a standard size box of printed paper per week.

Although going paperless may be an unachievable goal for many companies, utilising technology to save on your printing costs can make a big difference. Set your printer’s default setting to double sided printing, encourage staff to view work online rather than on paper and reduce the margins on your documents. They might be small savings, but they can make a big difference year on year.

4. Shrink your energy bills

The average small business spends around £2,566 per year on electricity, yet for some companies, this figure could be a lot less. To stop energy costs burning through your finances, see if there are any easy savings that you could already be implementing. Internal changes such as encouraging staff to switch off their computers or investing in motion sensor lights will all add up to big annual savings, however you could also instantly reduce your energy costs by switching your energy supplier.

5. Be smart about travel costs

According to travel industry surveys, approximately £10bn of the £24bn annually spent by UK companies on business travel is unmanaged. If your staff regularly have to travel to meet with clients, you might find you can make a few smart savings by simply giving the situation a little more thought.

Would it be cheaper for your staff to travel together rather than separately? Is it actually more cost effective to pay for a taxi rather than paying for your staff’s petrol costs? Could you, in fact, just have the meeting via video conference and cut out your travel costs entirely? By properly planning your business travel rather than leaving it up to individuals, you could see hefty annual savings.

6. Keep tabs on business expenses

Whether it’s taking clients out for lunch or throwing morale-boosting internal events, keeping a close eye on any extra expenses will ensure you’re not simply frittering money away. Set strict budgets for staff events, such as Christmas parties, and only allow a limited number of employees access to company credit cards. This way, you can keep track of any extra expenses and you won’t be left with any unexplained outgoings at the end of each month.

7. Capitalise on your in-house expertise

As many of you will be aware, forking out for staff training courses can be costly. As investing in your staff is essential for your company’s development, why not further enhance their training by making the most of your in-house expertise? Set aside time for more experienced members of staff to pass on their invaluable skill sets and help to ensure that your employees are still developing on a personal level.

With so many outgoings day-to-day, it can be tricky keeping track of all your business’ expenses. However, by simply being a little savvier with your cost cutting methods, you can easily sustain your business’ output while still ensuring your business is a great place to work.

Where does your business make its biggest savings? Let us know by joining in the discussion via Facebook or Twitter.

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