Smart savings for small businesses for the New Year
Money-saving business advice for the New Year to boost your finances
It’s that time of year again - the New Year is here and we’ve got the opportunity to focus on what’s important and set goals for the months ahead. While quitting smoking or hitting the gym are great for your own personal well-being, it’s also a good time to think about what actions you can take to tackle your finances, however well established or profitable your small business is. Why not take advantage of that seasonal sense of optimism and enthusiasm and kick your business up a gear, minimise your outgoings and maximise your profits.
Time is a resource
It might date back to 1748, but Benjamin Franklin’s advice that “time is money” never loses its potency. In business, it pays to understand what activities give you the best return, and equally, where your weaknesses and potential losses are.
For example, if finances aren’t your strong point, you may find that investing in an accountant could save you hours that could be more effectively spent elsewhere. With their expertise regarding tax, an accountant could uncover financial savings that you never knew existed.
Use this New Year to give your business a thorough overview and identify where you could benefit from outsourcing or delegating work.
The little things add up
Getting back to basics and reviewing your regular expenses for everyday office items could be a great way to uncover where you’re potentially wasting money. You could see if there are better deals to be had by considering your costs over the next year or two and bulk buy what you need.
One such regular office expense is printing. Working out your printing costs can be a little complicated, which is why Epson’s online calculator is so helpful. It reveals what is the most cost-effective long-term-printing solution by letting you compare the top 20 best-selling printers against its EcoTank printer, taking into consideration the purchase price of the printer and ongoing inks costs. It highlights the massive savings that can be had by investing in EcoTank, which has a higher purchase price than other models, but comes with high yield inks that can keep the user printing for up to two years1.
By adopting a long term approach you could shrink your outgoings, plus save time and stress by not running out of things.
Have you fully explored and exploited the potential of social media? There are lots of opportunities online to market your business without the costly overheads that traditional advertising can incur.
Considering that almost 90% of marketers say their social marketing efforts have increased exposure for their business, and 75% say they’ve increased traffic3, investing efforts into social media could really pay off.
While it’s generally free to join these sites, managing social media can be time-consuming and needs thorough planning. Like many business activities, it’s essential to set out with a clear aim, identifying who your customer is, where you’re mostly like to reach them, and what they engage with. This insight will ensure your efforts are effective; whether it’s engaging with other professionals via LinkedIn on business topics or exploiting picture-led resources with Pinterest and Instagram. But don’t forget, time is money so consider delegating this activity.
Bring your good habits to the office
With rising fuel prices, most people have become accustomed to using energy responsibly at home to minimise their bills – but, there’s often a disconnect when people get to the office. From switching things off when they’re not in use, to only using the heating when it’s necessary and replacing old, inefficient lightbulbs, it makes sense to bring this common sense to the office. Whether you have a small team or work on your own, why not set targets for reducing your energy usage, and even incentivise good behavior?
You could also check to see if the devices you use most frequently are the most efficient solutions available. For instance, Epson’s business inkjet printers are an outstanding 96% more energy efficient than competitors’ laser models2 , while also delivering on quality, speed and affordability.
By taking a step back from the day-to-day, you could implement positive practices that could reduce your energy bills, without affecting your business.
Utilise free resources
It can be easy to go for the most convenient solution when you’re busy rather than scouring the internet for low cost or free options, but it can pay off to check what’s available. Lots of technology companies offer basic or starter services for free, and so this is one area where you could make savings.
Staying in touch with clients is one of the most important things you can do in business. But if you have clients based all around the world, it’s easy for the cost of international calls to spiral. Companies such as Skype offer a range of international voice and video calls services for free, letting you stay in touch for less. There’s no need to compromise on how you present your business either. Mail Chimp offers a free starter package for sending out professional looking newsletters to 2,000 or fewer subscribers, and up to 12,000 emails per month4.
So what’s stopping you? Get with the spirit of the season and put in positive plans to make this coming year even better than the last with our money saving tips.
12 years' of ink based upon user’s average monthly print volume (TNS Research –June 2013)
2As tested by BLI, over two months to April 2015, against a selection of competing machines, as commissioned by Epson. Energy consumption calculated in wH for five minutes printing, compared to laser printers and copiers. For more information visit www.epson.eu/inkjetsaving
4Correct as of December 2016 www.mailchimp.com/pricing/entrepreneur/