The powers that be tell us that we have just avoided a triple dip in the economy. That may not mean much to small business owners and entrepreneurs struggling to survive or grow an enterprise. They now have increasing competition from new start-ups as people lose jobs, find it impossible to get alternative employment and decide to go it alone. All the headlines point to small and micro businesses being hit hard, and those owned by men or women aged 45+ the hardest.
Everyone has to find ways to keep costs down. Here are a few tips on how to shave small sums on a number of monthly bills that can add up to a significant amount over the course of the year.
Mobile Phone Contracts
Contact your provider and request a better tariff. If they are not helpful, threaten to cancel your contract and move to another phone company. They won’t want to lose you, and this will almost invariably get you a better deal.
Don’t commit to a contract longer than 12 or 18 months, even if the incentives to take a longer term contract are enticing. You always need the flexibility of short term contracts, so that you can make a change if you wish without incurring financial penalties.
Buy from Established Specialists
Some suppliers are deciding to diversify and extend their offering. You may like to support a current supplier by ordering a new service which has a temptingly cheap price, but can you afford to take the risk of something going wrong while they gain new experience and iron out teething problems? Will they have the expertise to put things right and how expensive will that turn out to be? Will their after sales service be up to the mark? In the long run, it may be cheaper to stick to the tried and tested specialist suppliers.
Buy Online if you Can
You often find the best prices online, and making purchases is quick and easy. You still need to shop around though and compare prices from a number of suppliers. Using price comparison sites wherever possible is a quick way to find the best deal.
Join a Local Buying Consortium
Do some local networking to see if any small businesses have formed a purchasing consortium. Your outsourced bookkeepers may know of one already. If you can’t find one to join, why not set one up? The cost advantages of ordering office supplies and consumables in the volume needed for several organisations are so obvious that it shouldn’t be difficult to find members. Your bookkeepers can advise you on how to organise it and keep the records needed.
These are just a few cost saving ideas that might be helpful. If you discuss them with your outsourced bookkeepers, they may also be able to suggest other ways to reduce your overheads.