Building up a business successfully isn’t just about developing a quality service, creating a strong customer base, making investments to grow, and generating profits along the way.
Budgeting plays an important role in business development too. It can:
- Create a financial roadmap for your business operations
- Give you a pot of cash to save or use in emergencies
- Help you plan for future growth and expansion
It’s therefore a good idea to stretch your business budget to make your finances go even further. So how can you do this?
Getting the most value from your business
A big part of developing a profitable business is making sure every aspect of it brings you the best possible value. It’s therefore wise to check on everything in your business, from individual employees to the size of your offices. Perhaps you find there are too many people working on a single project, or your large fancy room to welcome clients isn’t really being used. Perhaps you’re also outsourcing work that your qualified staff could do in-house.
To make sure all your employees are bringing value to your business, it’s wise to have regular meetings so you know what your staff are working on, and what projects are progressing or are delayed, for instance. Timesheets, which allow staff to record the hours they’ve spent on projects, are also helpful in making sure they’re working to the best of their abilities.
Buying items and prioritising
When it comes to buying items for your business, it’s a good idea to first prioritise what you need. If you’re a start-up and have just purchased a stylish new office space, it can be tempting to buy those fancy luxury items you don’t need to go with it, like costly furniture or pricey decorative artwork. Instead, consider listing the necessary items you do need and avoid the nice-to-have purchases. Also, try to avoid costly brand-names. Quality and value for money are more important, so do your research and you may find items or equipment that can do the job at half the price of costlier leading brands.
It’s also a good idea to buy your commodity items in bulk, like pens, notepads, tea bags, and toilet paper. This can involve more planning, but can work out cheaper over the long-term, because you’re not buying items only when you need them. Look out for special offers at the major retailers and suppliers you use too. Consider signing up for email alerts at those companies, so you are sent details of new offers when they start.
Reducing waste and downgrading
It’s a good idea to keep an eye on waste to make sure you’re not overspending on items you use. Before you do a shop, perhaps keep a chart of all item levels so you know what the more popular items are.
Also, consider downgrading on the items and equipment you use. Perhaps you don’t really need colour ink on all your printers, and downgrading to black and white ink will save you money. Perhaps your state-of-the-art computers are expensive to run, and there is a cheaper alternative that will do the job just as well.
Using free marketing to build business
Marketing your business is crucial, but can be pricey. So it’s a good idea to make the most of marketing opportunities that are free to bring in new business.
Consider setting up social channels – a twitter feed, to tweet your company news, or LinkedIn to join in discussions on industry developments, for instance. Or try putting together a company newsletter that you can email your customers about new products and developments. Also make sure you regularly update your website with updates on company news and products.
Thinking about the future and the unexpected
While saving money is vital, it’s important to also know that stretching your business budget isn’t just about starving your operation. Sometimes investing in things you’ll need, perhaps six months or so down the line, from equipment to employees, can hold you in good stead for the long-term future. There are many kinds of financial support in the UK that can also help when the unexpected happens and quick purchases need to be made, from business credit cards to overdrafts and loans. Even payday loans in the UK can help provide you with money to pay for necessities quickly, such as fixing and replacing faulty equipment.
If you’re seeing a growth in new clients or customers, it’s also good to be prepared so you have the resources to take on the extra work when it comes your way. So it’s wise to think about the future of your company and regularly refer back to your business plan. That way you can ensure your business is progressing and you’re achieving what you set out to do.