The increased cost of living is putting the squeeze on everyone. While the news is full of stories about households tightening their belts around everything from food spending to ways to keep warm, this winter, little is being said about the effect on businesses.
With increased energy bills about to hit businesses hard, we have put together a list of money-saving tips and suggestions to help you save on your business bills and accounts.
Switch Water Suppliers
Switching energy suppliers is not easy at the moment and, in some cases, can leave you worse off if you are currently on a fixed rate plan. Water, however, is an essential utility that many businesses overlook. If you haven’t had a chat with your current water supplier in a few years, now is the time to do just that. Many businesses find they are paying more than they need to when they begin to dig into their water bills.
If your current water supplier proves unhelpful, it might be time to switch water suppliers. Look for a company that will actively help you save on your bill by conducting a water audit to find out where you could save water and money.
Subscriptions can be a money suck and a money saver. On the positive side, you may be able to save money by signing up for recurring deliveries of products you know you will always need. Amazon, for example, offers 5% discounts on regular deliveries of essentials like toilet paper, cleaning supplies and even office snacks; it’s a simple and easy way to cut costs.
On the other hand, it is easy for subscriptions to keep running long after they are required. Online apps and programs are common for this type of money drain. It could be that a different program proves more useful, and employees switch to that without anyone ever cancelling the old membership. Be especially wary of free trial memberships that ask for your card details. Set a reminder of when a free trial runs out, and be sure to cancel if you are not planning on using it further.
Barter Instead of Buy
A quick search on FaceBook will show you that bartering pages have seen a huge increase in activity lately. Whether swapping outgrown baby clothes for a bike rack or bottles of booze for bell bottoms, people work hard to get what they need without parting with cash.
There is no reason you can’t barter for your business needs. If you need service, say a plumber, could what you offer professionally be a fair trade? Say a year of plumbing assistance for a year of website support?
Can Coworking Work for You
The pandemic saw thousands of us work from home leaving thousands of empty office desks across the country. Some businesses have returned to the office in full force, while others have embraced the WFH ethos and say goodbye to having everyone in all at once.
If your business no longer needs full-time space for everyone, could coworking be a money-saving solution? Renting the desks, you need when you need them may be the ideal solution for infrequent full team meetings or the days when you need to be face to face with colleagues.
If you own your office space and now find you aren’t using it to its capacity, you could be the one offering desk space for rent. It’s an easy way to create an extra revenue stream during these times.
Taking the time now to cross-train your staff can save you money in the long run. Frequently tasks can get put on the back burner if someone is unexpectedly off or even on a planned holiday. Consider how long it would take for staff to be able to pick up where another team member left off in a pinch. With robust cross-training in place, productivity will not grind to a halt should one person not be available. On a similar note, ensure that passwords for accounts and programs can be accessed should the person who normally uses them be unavailable.
Keep Your Meetings Short and Sweet
We’ve all been there: the meeting that could have been an email or the dreaded 3-hour epic that should have been done and dusted in under an hour. Your employees’ time is valuable and costly, and more time spent in meetings can mean less time getting work done. Sometimes, something needs to be hashed out, which can take time, but if you regularly find that your staff are spending a third of their time in meetings, it is time to re-evaluate how necessary they are.
The reality is there’s no silver bullet to instantly save yourself lots of cash (in business or at home). Many companies already tightened their belts during the pandemic to stay afloat and now are being asked to do it further. However, we hope this list has given you some new ideas where you can save a little extra this quarter.