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Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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Smart Ideas To Help Your Business Save Money

 

With ever-increasing costs an almost daily part of life at the moment, it is up to businesses to continually look for ways to keep their profits viable without compromising quality and service. There’s a wealth of smart ideas that can be implemented by businesses big and small that will save them money without cutting corners, leading to customers losing compromise. By looking at all areas of the company budget, it should be easy enough to pinpoint any areas where improvements can be made or in the future.

As awful as the covid-19 pandemic has been in so many ways, one area that it has been beneficial in is that it has shown many businesses and public sector departments that remote working from home is a very legitimate option either full time or as part of a blended model. The cost of supplying employees with appropriate IT devices for use at home has been more than offset by being able to give up office space for smaller spaces, and the associated costs such as lighting and heating reducing in line with this. If your business has not switched to any form of homeworking and has employees for whom it would be a realistic option, consider offering the possibility to those employees.

A high cost for many businesses that have to maintain a fleet of vehicles that cannot be readily filled up at a commercial service station using a company fuel card is the cost of buying in the fuel itself. Even when fuel costs fluctuate at only a minimal amount, costs can creep up at a significant rate due to the volume of fuel such a company is buying. One way to mitigate this is to re-evaluate how a company is buying its fuel as many oil companies can supply DERV in bulk, usually offering a discounted rate on bulk orders making it a desirable option. Keeping up a comprehensive maintenance schedule for the vehicle fleet will also ensure that they continue to run in the most fuel-efficient way possible and cut down to the possibility of needed to spend money on expensive repairs.

Training new staff members is a costly yet necessary exercise so that they can do their job correctly and in the most efficient manner possible for their role. A happy workplace tends to have low staff turnover and therefore does not have to allocate a large proportion of their training budget to training new staff, whereas a business with low staff morale finds that they have a high staff turnover. This is an expensive state for a company to be in as it is not just the training of new staff that needs to be covered, but also the advertising and recruitment process to find new staff to hire. By allocating a portion of the budget being sucked up by this cycle of advertising, hire, train, repeat to rectifying the issues causing low morale, you’ll start keeping staff on the payroll for longer and break the high turnover cycle.

Reconsider your marketing strategies to make sure that they are up to date and working to the full advantage of your business. Suppose your business is not signed up to social media already. In that case, you're potentially missing out on reaching a broad audience as advertising through social media has become far more mainstream than it was a decade ago, in part because of the variety of social networks now available and partly because more and more business is now regularly done online meaning it is straightforward to link up with other online parties. One of the significant benefits of using social media for commercial advertising is that it is relatively inexpensive compared to traditional marketing strategies while allowing you to target your advertising to your target audience, cutting down on wasted time and resources aiming at a broad audience that yields a low return.

Where a physical office still needs to be maintained, take a look around inside and check if there are any swaps that can be made to bring overheads down. Don't take the coffee and tea away from the staff room as that would be detrimental to morale, but look in places like the stationary cupboard. Do you need to use the best quality paper in the printer? If not, change to a lower grade of paper that costs less to buy, as a few well-aimed changes can shave a valuable amount of money off of the stationery budget.

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