How to cut costs without harming your business

Ask the staff for ideasInvolving your staff in the cost-cutting process lets them know that times are tough but that you are all in the same boat together. It also proves to your employees that you value their input. Plus, they may have some good ideas about cutting costs. By getting all of your stuff on board with cost-cutting, you could make a big difference to your overheads.

Stop the staff and client entertainmentIf you communicate this well to the staff, they will understand. For clients, ensure you keep in regular contact and look for new ways to add value without adding costs to your business.

Cut your company pension contributionIf your company has a group personal pension scheme, you could look at reducing the company’s pension contribution. This is only a short term solution for cutting costs, however. Read the small print for any other defined contribution schemes and see if you can lower your payments.

Reduce absenceLook at introducing a pro-active employee wellbeing program. Healthy employees lead to healthy profits. They are more productive, off sick less, plus claim less on company PMI & EAP schemes, thereby reducing your premiums. Remember staff absence can be one of your biggest hidden costs.

Negotiate lower supplier costsAsk suppliers for discounts or see if you can get a better price from a different supplier. In my experience, many suppliers will give a good discount in return for a client testimonial, a referral or early payment each month.

Staff travel costsJust by putting a stop on staff claiming for cab fares can sometimes cut your travel expenses in half. Sorry cab drivers, but its true!

Stationary Sometimes the best cost-cutting tips are the most obvious. Use both sides of plain paper in the office and introduce as many paperless systems as possible. Most businesses get through stacks of plain paper each month and this simple change will half your paper bill overnight. Plus it’s good for the environment.

Redundancies This is an obvious one, if a final resort. You don’t want to loose good staff that you will need when your business picks up. Before redundancies, see if any of your staff are open to reduced working hours/days in exchange for reduced salaries.

Related articles How to keep your staff happy "Negotiating is fine. Squeezing is not" Is your business in a mess?

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