5 Tips That Can Help Save Unnecessary Business Costs
Want to save on unnecessary business costs? Then consider these five top tips for reducing your expenditure, from paperless offices to embracing online marketing, from reviewing the software you use to considering your insurance needs. Follow these tips to save your business pennies and pounds.
1) Create a paperless office
Make yours a paperless office, and you’ll soon save on your business costs. Consider making a move to digital invoicing, bill payment and pay slips. Only print things out when it is necessary to do so and when you do, print on both sides of the paper. Aside from the cost of office stationery, like paper and ink cartridges, you’ll also save on postage costs too. When you do have to post things, use the second class post or install a franking machine, which can work out cheaper per item posted – but you’ll need to consider whether the amount of post you have, warrants the cost of hiring the machine. To reduce on postal costs further, consider keeping your customers and colleagues up-to-date with what's going on by creating an email newsletter, which brings us neatly to the next point.
2) Embrace online marketing
Embrace online marketing over more traditional types of advertising to save on business costs and help your company be found and chosen. Local Search engine optimisation is becoming increasingly important for companies in building awareness of their brand and in helping them to stand out from their competitors. Here are a few tips to get you started, firstly ensure your name, address and phone number are consistent wherever you use them, or this could lead to confusion and weaken your online presence. Then, sign up for as many local directories as you can and fill in your ‘Google My Business’ page. You'll often have the chance to edit these directories yourself, so create unique text on each one (while keeping the name and contact details consistent) and link them to your company’s website (helping to strengthen your link building). Next, ask your happy customers to leave reviews on these directories, as positive third party endorsements are a powerful thing when encouraging prospective customers to get in touch. Also mention any relevant industry standards you’ve reached, associations you belong to or awards you’ve been given.
When it comes to your company website, mention the key geographic areas you serve and organise your content so that you have a different key area mentioned on each page, utilising two of the following when doing this: page titles, headers, the metadata and image tags. If there are questions, your customers consistently ask, then integrate these into your web copy – as these questions are likely to be what they’re asking online too. Next, incorporate internal links between your web pages and external links to your positive online reviews. Phew, once you’ve done all that, then keep your website regularly updated by posting a blog, integrating a social media feed or adding case studies of projects you’ve worked on.
3) Software review
Consider the software that you have in the office - are there programmes or applications on your computers that you’ve never even opened, let alone used. Review the commercial licences that you’re paying for and consider whether you need to have them. You may find that there is some open software you could use instead, but check it’s available for commercial use. Have a chat with your colleagues about what they find most useful and together make a decision.
4) Invite bright ideas
On that last point, if you do have employees, then engage with them and give them the opportunity to contribute their cost-saving ideas. There may be something which is quite obvious from their standpoint that well, isn’t obvious to you, so listen and learn. Perhaps create an incentive and give a quarterly or annual award for the best money-saving idea. Recognise the expertise you have within your company and embrace it. It will be good your business and good for your employees too.
5) Your business insurance
Insurance is a significant cost and concern to businesses, from employee to public liability insurance, from product insurance to the cost of company cars, there is a lot to consider. To ensure you have the right business insurance, consider talking to an experienced insurance advisor, so you have policies that are tailored to your specific needs.
If you have employees, then Employers’ Liability Insurance is a legal requirement. Remember, your employees have the right to claim compensation if an accident or the long term effects of the job leads to their sickness or injury. Employers’ liability insurance protects you, your business and your employees, should they be injured or become sick as a result of your business activity – giving you all peace of mind.
If your company comes into contact with the public at all, then Public Liability Insurance is a must, whether you’re out and about meeting clients at their homes or if customers visit your office. Public Liability Insurance also covers you for unexpected eventualities, such as a trespasser entering your property uninvited. In legal parlance, your insurance should encompass ‘invitees’, ‘licensees’ and ‘trespassers’, and usually covers costs such as medical bills, repairs, disruption to business, loss of income and compensation. If you’re not sure that your insurance cover is adequate or you think you might be paying too much, then you can speak to a public liability insurance specialist to find the right insurance package for your business.
When you’re busy running a business and you’re concentrating on your next deadline or your customers’ needs, it’s easy to get stuck in your ways and not look at the broader picture. But these five ideas might just make you reconsider how you do things and help you to make business savings over the coming months and years.