How Businesses Can Cut Costs & Maximise Efficiency
As the global economy grapples with a cost-of-living crisis, small businesses are feeling the squeeze. Rising costs for everything from energy to raw materials are putting unprecedented pressure on business owners. But, despite these challenges, there are steps that can be taken to weather the storm. We’ll explore practical strategies that small businesses can employ to cut costs, maximise efficiency, and continue to thrive in these economically challenging times.
Cost Cutting Methods for Businesses
The first step for small businesses to consider is streamlining their operation and production costs. This could involve automating repetitive tasks, using technology to enhance productivity, or even outsourcing certain functions where it makes economic sense. Cutting the fat from your processes lets your business save money by increasing productivity and removing wasted time.
Negotiating with Suppliers
Often the biggest of your upfront business costs, getting product from manufacturers is a necessary hit to your cash flow. If you have a good relationship with your suppliers, try to negotiate better terms with suppliers to cut business costs. This may be asking for discounts for bulk purchases or longer payment terms. It’s always worth having a conversation with suppliers about your business needs.
Reducing Energy Consumption
Reducing energy consumption can also lead to significant cost savings. Simple steps such as turning off equipment when not in use, using energy-saving light bulbs, or improving insulation can make a noticeable difference to utility bills.
Optimising Staff Costs
Staff costs can be one of the biggest expenditures for a small business. Consider if there are more efficient ways to manage staffing such as flexible working, part-time or contract roles, or using remote workers to reduce office space requirements.
Minimise Miscellaneous Business Expenses
Miscellaneous expenses, though often overlooked, can add up and have a significant impact on a small business’s budget. These can include subscription fees for various services, high-cost software, travel expenses, or event sponsorships. When looking to reduce costs, it’s crucial to regularly review these expenses and conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis to determine if there are more cost-effective alternatives. For example, consider using open-source or lower-priced software that provides similar functionality. If travel is a large part of your business, look into cheaper options like virtual meetings or economy travel. Remember, every penny saved contributes to your bottom line.
Implement Cost Saving Tactics
Once you’ve analysed your current expenditure, you can start reducing costs in the future by implementing cost reduction strategies. Have a cost control system that allows employees to suggest cost saving ideas, use thorough vetting and research processes before purchasing of new equipment, software, or office supplies to find other alternatives.
Getting a Business Loan
Securing a business loan can significantly alleviate the short-term financial pressure that small businesses may be experiencing during a cost-of-living crisis. This injection of funds can be utilised to cover immediate operational expenses, invest in other cost-saving measures, or even expand the business to generate additional revenue. Besides, the benefit of a business loan is that repayment terms can often be negotiated to suit the financial capacity of the business. This means repayments can be structured in a way that does not overburden the company’s cash flow, thus providing the business with the necessary breathing space to navigate its financial challenges.
In the face of a cost-of-living crisis, resilience and adaptability are key for small businesses. Rising costs pose a significant challenge, but you can eliminate unnecessary costs by streamlining operations, negotiating with suppliers, reducing energy consumption, optimising staff costs, and considering the strategic use of business loans. It’s about finding the right balance and adopting a mindful approach towards resource management. Remember that each business is unique and the strategies that work for one might not work for another. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand your business needs, evaluate the potential cost-saving measures, and implement the ones that align best with your business goals. Navigating a cost-of-living crisis may be tough, but with careful planning and strategic decision-making, small businesses can not only survive but thrive in the midst of economic challenges.
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