When you run a small business, it can be hard to keep on top of every aspect all the time. Sales are always going to be a key part because let’s face it, without sales, you wouldn’t have a business. However, the finances of your business are another crucial factor for its future success.

Poor margins and astronomical running costs, for example, will not be sustainable for very long, so you must monitor your company finances regularly. The lower your outgoings, the higher your profits will be, so cutting costs without affecting productivity is the route you want to take. Here are 4 easy ways to reduce costs and save money.

Premises

If you are renting premises but feel they are a lot bigger than they need to be, it might be worth considering moving to something smaller – assuming of course that you aren’t tied into a long lease. Make sure you are realistic about the space you require and be sure to include any future expansion plans within that.

Running costs and rent levels should be a lot lower for smaller premises, but don’t be tempted to go too small. Working in a cramped environment does nothing for your mindset, nor will it aid employee productivity.

If you haven’t already thought about working from home, it is worth some serious consideration. The money you could save each month could be well worth the switch. There are, of course, pros and cons, but if you have a decent amount of unused space at home and like the idea of rent-free premises, it’s worth figuring out whether it’s a viable option. Your household bills will of course rise, but the increase can be offset against your income for tax purposes at the end of each financial year.

Staffing and procedures

Another area where cost savings can usually always be made is in terms of staffing and procedures.

If you need additional help, but can’t justify another permanent salary, considering recruiting temporary staff during your busiest times. Employing staff part-time is another great way to maintain efficiency but save on overall costs.

Ensuring that training takes place regularly can also save you money in the long run. Over time, employees can deviate from standard procedures, and processes can end up taking longer than they should. Once or twice a year, review everything, and if there are ways to make procedures more efficient – do so. This will not only improve productivity but will ensure your staff is using their time efficiently.

Time tracking software is an extremely popular tool that could help to save you a lot of money. It’s particularly useful when employees are working on several different projects at a time, or you need to calculate billable hours for customer invoicing. Not only can it track how long a project has taken or is expected to take, but it can also track non-billable elements so you can see how effectively your staff are using their time. For a fairly minimal outlay, the financial rewards can be extensive.

Running costs

Runnings costs for premises can add up so it’s wise to evaluate whether any changes can be made. Motion sensor lighting, for example, is a great way to ensure that only occupied working areas are lit. The impact it can have on your electricity bills can be extensive. Similarly, implementing a switch-off policy whereby computers, printers, and copiers, etc. are switched off every evening will not only help you to save money but will benefit the environment at the same time.

When you are looking to buy new office equipment, consider buying second hand instead of new or leased. You may be able to get the exact products you need but for a fraction of the price.

Stationery

When was the last time you checked to see how much your stationery supplies were costing every year? If you haven’t added it all up in a while (or ever), work out how much you spent, and you may be shocked.

Stationery is one of the things that many companies tend to overlook, which results in costs not being monitored, and staff buying whatever they like. The result is an overabundance of post-it notes, costly printer inks, pens, and other supplies that, more often than not, never get used. Appoint one member of staff to monitor stationery stocks and make sure that any orders over a certain figure are signed off. You might be surprised at how much you save.