5 cost-cutting tips for your small business

Farmer at work, conscious of cutting the cost of his bills

At Clear Business, we’re committed to helping small businesses to keep their overheads as low as possible. With rampant inflation exacerbating an already painful cost-of-living crisis, now is a prudent time to take stock and explore where you can reduce your small business costs.

A few simple alterations to your premises and routines can help trim your overall business costs without compromising the quality of your service or products.

Here, we’ve compiled five simple tips you can ‘add to your cart’ to help streamline your operations:

Sell online!

According to projections, almost a quarter (24.1%) of all retail sales worldwide will be online by 2025. In other words, if you don’t already have one, you need to create an online presence to promote and sell your goods.

Allowing customers to make online payments for your products will boost your brick-and-mortar business. As such, you should view your in-store and online environments as coexisting experiences that can complement each other.

By merging offline and online, you can reduce costs while increasing sales and capitalise on the following benefits:

  • Reduce operating costs and save space in your physical store

  • Make a more comprehensive choice available to your customers

  • Reach more people and increase sales

  • Remain open 24/7, selling even during your store’s closing hours

  • Take online payments quickly and easily with few employees required

Control your energy

As you likely do with your household bills, keep an eye on ways to lower your business utility expenses, too. Seemingly minor behaviours can make a big difference to your energy bills.  For example:

Turn the heating down!

Dropping your thermostat by just one degree can save around £55 a year and reduce your carbon footprint by 300kg – the equivalent of driving 754 miles in an average petrol car. Also, the larger your premises, the more you could save.

Switching off your lights, cash tills, and other electrical equipment when you leave your premises at night can lead to significant savings in the long run.

Swap ordinary light bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs. You can save £2-3 per year for every traditional halogen bulb you switch to an LED bulb or up to £7 per 100-watt incandescent bulb.

Shape up your shipping!

Delivery costs can mount up if they’re not monitored. Trim down the process to save time and money by:

Offering in-store pick-up. A convenient option for anyone living in the area and a choice that comes with zero cost. Customers may also spot other items when in-store and make further purchases.

Choosing eco-friendly packaging. As much as colourful and solid packages can be more eye-catching, switching to minimalistic, sustainable boxes like natural cardboard is cheaper and can be recycled more easily. It’s also a choice that the growing number of environmentally conscious consumers will appreciate.

Reduce packaging sizes. Cutting down the size of your packaging can also shrink delivery costs. Manage your box sizes for multiple orders so that you only need one delivery instead of several.

Become a space saver

Renting out unused floor space to other vendors so they can display their merchandise creates a nice little revenue stream. You could also charge other local businesses a fee for establishing pop-up stores in your space, leading to increased foot traffic that benefits all.

Another option is to use your space to host industry-related events. You've already paid for these square metres, so why not use them to generate extra revenue?

Check out other ways to market your products

If you’re still using flyers and adverts, know that there are simpler and cheaper ways to reach customers that also positively impact the planet.

Get to where your customers are by promoting your business on the same social media platforms your target audience uses. It doesn't cost you a penny, and your posts and offers can be seen by much larger audiences with likes, shares, and follows.

As word-of-mouth marketing remains the superior lead generator, with referrals from satisfied customers helping to build brand credibility and customer loyalty, treat every shopper as though they hold the key to your business success.  

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