Running a small business is no easy feat. Making sure your incoming cashflow is keeping up with your outgoings is a major stumbling block for both entrepreneurs that are just starting out and owners that have been doing it for years alike.

In reality, the majority of small businesses close. Not because they genuinely run out of money, but because the stress of ensuring that they don’t, simply gets too much. What perhaps started out as a passion project or a way to earn income on something that you exceled at is sucked of its joy and with that goes your enthusiasm for it.

HeraldScotland: credit: Pixabaycredit: Pixabay 

We have pulled together ten top tips that can save your small business money. On their own, the savings may not always seem much, but implement even just a few of them and you will be surprised at what you could be saving.

Every business is unique and when it comes to small businesses, the requirements can get even more specific. What is universal though is the old saying of ‘look after the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves’. Identifying, avoiding and cutting down on  unnecessary costs might just give you a pleasantly large surprise the next time it comes to balancing your books.

HeraldScotland: credit: Pixabaycredit: Pixabay 

1. Know what you are subscribed to. Regularly take stock of any services that you are subscribed to. When you do, be sure to note how much you are using them and if they are genuinely paying their way.  If you are signing up for a free subscription be sure to set a reminder to cancel before the trial runs out so you don’t accidently end up paying for a service you don’t want.

2. Buy refurbished equipment. Similarly to a new car, you are paying a premium for a product that will start depreciating as soon as it is out of the box when you buy all new equipment. Many retailers, and even brands, offer refurbished items that have been checked over by experts and come with warranties for much less than a new item would cost.

3. Do you need all your equipment? On a similar theme, how much of the equipment that you already have do you actually need? If you have unused items sitting dormant offload it and make a little bit of cash while doing so. Less equipment can also mean less supplies and maintenance costs. If you find yourself, in fact, needing more equipment be sure to pay attention to tip number two above!

HeraldScotland: credit: Pixabaycredit: Pixabay

4. Consider a coworking space. The upkeep of having a permanent space to work from can easily add up, especially if your business is just starting to bridge the gap between home office and needing a dedicated space. By hiring a desk, or desks at a coworking space, you are only paying for the space when you are in it, not to mention the perks of being around other entrepreneurial minds outlined in the Harvard Business Review report about the benefits of co-working.

5. Do a bit of bartering. Not all transactions need to be cash based. If you are in need of a service, can you offer something in return other than money? Perhaps a sign painter will create a new sign for your café in return for catering a lunch for them. If you are in the digital realm, could you optimize a lawyers website in return for them drawing up a contract?

6. Know your suppliers and always haggle. If you have your own office or shop, whether you are renting or own them outright, there are certain utilities you are always going to have to contend with.

Don’t fall into the trap of sticking with just one supplier or accepting what they offer straightway. A little bit of research could end up saving you a lot of money. Before you sign on the dotted line, know what other companies are offering. The easiest way to get a discount is to quote another companies price, it makes it easier for the company you are talking to to match or beat it.

We are used to shopping around for the best broadband deal but did you know you can also save by being canny with your water supplier for example? If you are operating multiple locations, a supplier like Castlewater can consolidate all your charges into one bill making it easy to keep track of what your outgoings are.

7. Don’t be afraid to turn down clients or projects that don’t work for you. When you first start out it can be hard to say no to work. But it is important to remember that not everything is worth it. If you are faced with a particularly difficult client who is more time consuming than all your others put together, or a project that is on the very edges of your expertise by saying no you will most likely free yourself up to take on more lucrative options.

HeraldScotland: credit: Unsplashcredit: Unsplash

8. Cross train small workforces. When you have a small team, taking the time to cross train people on all aspects of the business will keep things operating smoothly should anything unexpected happen. Staff taking holidays, lengthy absences or sudden departures can all be mitigated by other members of the team having at least a working knowledge of systems and tasks. 

9. Consider open source software. The push by software companies to subscription based services has left many small businesses struggling with annual costs that once were one off purchases. The good news is that now, more than ever before, there is a proliferation of open source software that can save you hundreds in fees yet give you all the functoriality that you need. Check this list to see if you could make the switch.    

HeraldScotland: credit: Unsplashcredit: Unsplash

10. Experience isn’t everything. One of the biggest costs in business is wages. When hiring for staff, advice often points to hiring experienced people and you are going to have to pay them accordingly, which can cause a serious dent in the budget of a company just starting out.

Invest time in the interview process and look for individuals that show the kind of smarts that make up for any lack of experience. The enthusiasm of individuals like that shouldn’t be underestimated either, after all, experience doesn’t always equate to passion. A less experienced individual can grow with your company and as cashflow increases, so can their wages.

No matter what your business does, remember that help and advice is available. There is no need to suffer in silence when the answer to your question could be just a few clicks or a phone call away. Take a look at this handy list of helpful resources to keep your business thriving.

This commercial content is compiled via expert opinion. Clicking in certain hyperlinks within this article will redirect you to a 3rd party.