Genius money-saving ideas for the smarter small business

Almost all small enterprises are watching the pennies – after all, a penny saved is a penny earned… It’s an old-fashioned saying but it’s still relevant and nowadays there’s all sorts of ways to save money that your granny wouldn’t have dreamed of. Start off with these bright ideas.

Promotions

Slip a little something extra into your regular mail to save on postage. Try putting vouchers in with invoices, or discount coupons in with your newsletters, for example.

If you have a few happy customers, encourage them to go public in return for a freebie or a big discount. A headshot and a paragraph in your newsletter or on a flyer can get the message across.

Online smarts

If you’re not already using your URL on just about everything that leaves your office – including you and your staff members – then start now. Letterheads, business cards, shirts, promotional items all get your name out.

Shop clever

You can buy used office furniture, or ex-display items to fit out your office space. Watch out for auctions and comb the classifieds to find some bargains. Another good way to save money on equipment and your IT support is to sign up to Probrand’s IT Marketplace as you get support as well as discounts on the latest hardware and software.

Ship clever

Use overnight shipping to send out orders as this is usually more competitive. When it comes to your own orders, try to stay patient as by waiting a bit longer – a day or two – you’ll keep your delivery charges down.

Location, location, location

One major expense is office space, but you don’t have to break the bank to keep a roof over your head and have a few perks. Look at using a co-working space – you get a receptionist, your own mailbox, broadband, even some potted plants – for a fraction of the cost of a private office.

Work with what you have

If your business is homebased, you can use a portion of your rent, mortgage interest and utilities as a deductible against your annual tax bill. It might only be a few hundred a year, but everything helps.

Make your bank deposits as early in the day as you can so that they’re credited to your account that same day and start earning interest.

Talk to your suppliers

It’s always worth talking to your accountant, or your materials supplier, your courier, insurer and so on to see if they can offer a discount or suggest ways to reduce your spending with them. After all, it’s better to retain you as a client than to lose you.

Ask suppliers if they can offer discounts for early payments or for payment-in-full. For utilities, however, pay them as late as you can without getting a fee or a shirty reminder as those funds will be in your account for an additional two weeks or so, earning you interest.

Shop around

Whatever it is you’re looking at, get at least three quotes – even if it’s for paper napkins. The time spent searching and talking will pay for itself many times over if each monthly order is a few pounds cheaper.