If you’re running a small company there’s a pretty good chance that the current downturn has caused you a lot of stress and worry about whether or not your business can survive the economic crisis. After all, there are plenty of large organizations that are finding it difficult to cope at the moment so you might think that small businesses have an even lower chance of carrying on.
While there’s no getting away from the fact that times are hard and you might find that you’re having trouble keeping your existing customers, let alone extending your client base, there are some things that you can do to save on your overheads that might just mean the difference between weathering the crisis and going under. Below you will find some suggestions on simple ways of saving money that should be easy to put into practise and shouldn’t really have much effect on the way you run your company.
First of all, check all the taps on your business premises – one dripping tap can raise your water bill by up to £400 per year! If you find a drip or a leak, call a plumber and get it fixed – the charge might seem a lot of money to fix such a small problem, but it will actually save you money in the long run. It would also be worth putting up signs reminding your employees to turn the taps off fully after use.
If you have premises where staff are employed, then obviously they need to be warm enough to work during the winter. However, by turning down the thermostat by just one degree, you may find that you save more than 7% on your annual heating bill – a sum not to be dismissed.
Many organizations leave their office equipment on or on standby overnight and even over the weekend. Make it company policy that all office equipment needs to be switched off at closing time. This could actually save you quite a hefty sum on energy bills on an annual basis – the more office equipment you have, the more you will save. This would also be a much more environmentally responsible way of running your business and you can publicise this fact to your customers/clients. You might be surprised to learn just how important environmental impact is to your customers.
Another way of reducing energy bills is to make sure that lights are switched off in empty rooms – this will not only save on energy costs, but will actually mean than your light bulbs last longer, leading to even more savings.
If you need new furniture or equipment, consider buying used or reconditioned items instead of new. With so many businesses closing down at present, it’s always worth being on the lookout for equipment being sold at a fraction of the cost of new items. If equipment is being sold as a job lot, it would be worth talking to some of the other small companies in the vicinity to see if you could get them to club together in order to buy – this way, everybody would benefit from the reduced costs.
Following all of this advice may not lead to you making your fortune, but it could mean the difference between going under and still having a business to run in the future when things start to pick up again.
Article by Debbie who loves to write about personal finances, foreign markets and currency exchange.