There is no doubt that this winter brings a lot of uncertainty for individuals and businesses alike. With energy bills skyrocketing, interest rates increasing, and inflation biting it can be tough to know how to mitigate this. We’ve come up with a selection of pain free ideas to help save your business money this winter.
- Seek three bids from suppliers
- Review your outgoings
- Switch it off
- Review your meetings
- Bulk buy where you can
- Embrace flexible working
There are also a number of low hanging fruits that you can look at to help reduce the running costs of your business. Some of these will save you small amounts, some of them will save a fair bit more. It’s worth speaking with local authorities and the local Business Gateway to see if you’re eligible for any grants or funding too.
1. Seek three bids from suppliers
It might take a little extra time but whatever it is, don’t leap into any sort of agreement before being certain that you’ve got the best price. It won’t take too long to get three quotes for something together but it will at least ensure that you’re getting a good price. Whether cleaning, accountancy services, or vehicle leasing, it’s worth making sure that your outgoings are trim.
2. Review your outgoings
Be pedantic about it. The Nespresso coffee machine in your office that employees use through the day; how much would it save to buy a big container of Nescafe from the local Costco instead? Are all your subscriptions necessary? Are the third parties and agencies you use still providing good value for money (or indeed even relevant to your business)?.
It’s a good time to start thinking if you can make cutbacks on services and small items without having any real impact on your overall business.
3. Switch it off
Review your energy usage in the office. Are you running devices that you don’t need? How much are you shutting off at the end of the working day? Is the equipment you use energy efficient? Could you be eligible for grants, funds, or loans to help upgrade your premises to become more energy efficient?
If you are able to reduce your energy bills through creating a new focus on sustainability and energy usage in your office, do so. Make it part of your culture to avoid energy waste.
4. Review your meetings
You’d be amazed how much time gets eaten into by either irrelevant or badly managed meetings.
If you are expecting people to commute to a central location for a meeting, make sure that there’s good reason for them to be there in the flesh. Could it be done over Zoom? Could it, to use the cliché, be an e-mail instead?
Create your agenda in advance, draw up who absolutely needs to be there, set a time limit for the meeting and stick to it. If you can host it online then even better.
5. Bulk buy where you can
If you’re going to keep needing it and it doesn’t go off, look to see how much cheaper it would be to bulk buy. Printer paper and ink, supplies for bathrooms, teabags, whatever is consumable and will last for a while. Even consider what can be changed to make it suitable for bulk buying; if you offer kitchen facilities for staff or visitors, look to see if you can look at UHT milk to take advantage of a longer shelf life.
This is all a series of measures that will help make lots of micro-cuts to your outgoings, but added up over time it will amount to a reasonable amount. Furthermore, if inflation continues to keep its grip on the economy then you’ll notice an even bigger saving compared to buying ‘little and often’.
6. Embrace flexible working
If you’re looking at conventional office space, consider if this is the most cost effective way to house your business. If you were to embrace hybrid working, could you look at running out of a smaller space? Might it be viable for some of your employees to work in coworking spaces, which could save money?
If you can cut back on the amount of office space you need, the distance you need to travel and indeed empower your staff to work outwith normal hours, then do so. Studies have shown that being more flexible with your working arrangements can make four fifths of your workforce more productive.
You can often find with private offices and fixed desk arrangements in your nearest coworking centre will include amenities included in your monthly rental agreement so you can be more confident in what you’ve got coming out of the pot each month.
For information on flexible working spaces across the east of Scotland, visit us at www.libertyspace.co.uk for more information!