If you want your small business to become more profitable this year, then start by taking a good hard look at your business overheads. All businesses, whether professional services or building trades have regular and essential outgoings that take your hard earned cash off the bottom line. Some overheads are essential, like indemnity insurance or your van insurance, but you can make savings if you’re prepared to keep your eye on costs.
All your business overheads can take a bit of scrutiny. You may find there are things you’d forgotten you were even paying for or other things that seem ridiculously expensive for what they are. Some costs you may not have looked at for a while, like your business insurance for example. If you automatically renew this essential protection for your business each year, you may be missing much better deals, talk to us here at constructaquote if you think you’ve been paying too much. To help you tackle the rest of your overheads we’ve put together a quick list of ways you can save money, keep your overheads down, improve cash flow and increase your profit margin.
If you haven’t looked at simple energy saving measures yet, do them NOW: switch the light bulbs to energy saving ones and switch them off when not in use. Turn all computers, printers and anything else that goes on standby OFF at night. Encourage tea breaks to stop endless kettle use, or only fill the kettle enough for your own cup. Look at where heat escapes in winter and do something about it. Same for summer and cooling. All these conservation actions can only go so far, the best ways to reduce energy bills is to find a better business energy rates by changing energy supplier. If you are using a lot of energy even finding a small reduction in rates can pay off over the year. Take a look at moneysupermarket for links to business energy comparison sites.
Car and van insurance
This can be costly and you may have a number of vehicles to insure, you may also want to insure the contents of your van if you are carrying tools or stock. To get the best deal on your van insurance, or your car insurance you must compare the market. At constructaquote we offer businesses like yours really great deals that are tailored to exactly their requirements. So if you want van insurance, van contents insurance or fleet insurance we know we can save you money. Call us and see how much you can save.
Transport and fuel
Even if the fuel duty has been held in the recent budget, the cost of travel and transport has skyrocketed. If your business is eating up miles but not getting paid for them there are a couple of things you can do. If you have a petrol engine, think about converting to LPG gas. It’s about half the price of petrol and you should make the cost of the conversion back in a matter of months depending on you mileage. If converting doesn’t appeal or won’t give you a good enough return on investment, reduce the number of miles you are making.
Get more of your stock or goods delivered to you – negotiate with suppliers so they include free delivery in the price. Reduce the miles you make by planning your week so you are not criss crossing the country or town with endless journeys. If your travel costs really are high, look at passing the cost on to your contractor or customer. If this is difficult or makes you feel uncomfortable, take a look at your standard terms of service or contract and perhaps look at including a clause for inclusive mileage costs and charging a set rate outside of these.
Office support services and admin
How much are you spending on postage If you can start to move all of your communications over to email you will save yourself a packet. Think of your franking machine as printing IOU’s to the bank and put it away or in the bin! If your business relies on mailings look at outsourcing these to a mailing house who may be able to negotiate much better postage rates for you.
What about your own stationery consumption? Can you stop over using the printer? Maybe put paper that’s used on one side only back into the printer for drafts? Or get a double sided printer so you immediately cut paper use by 50%. Telephony and communications can eat money for breakfast, lunch and supper – just by stopping calling mobiles from your office a landline and will save yourself a packet straight away. Take a look at your office support services – when was the last time you compared the cost of your cleaning service or even your accountant? Look for value and talk to your suppliers, you may be able to come to a new arrangement that suits you both and costs you less.