Here at Inspire Payments, we’re committed to helping SMEs keep their overheads as low as possible. With rising inflation and a cost-of-living crisis, there’s never been a better time to take stock and see where you can cut your small business costs.
A few simple alterations to your premises and habits can help trim your overall business costs without compromising on the quality of your service or products.
Here are five simple tips you can ‘add to your cart’ to help you cut your business costs:
Consider opening an online store for your small business you don’t already have one. Allowing online payments for your products will boost your brick-and-mortar business, so look at in-store and online as two coexisting experiences that can complement each other.
By merging offline and online, you can both reduce costs and increase sales at the same time. Here are the benefits:
- Reduce operating costs and save space in the physical store
- Have a wider choice available to your customers
- Reach more people and increase sales
- Remain open 24/7, selling even during your store’s closing hours
- Taking online payments is quick and easy with few staff required.
Control your energy
Just like you’re probably doing with your household bills, think about how you can lower your business utility expenses. Small habits can make a big difference to your energy bills. Here are some cost cutting ideas:
- Turn down the heat! Dropping your thermostat by just one degree can save around £55 a year and reduce your carbon footprint by 300kg – that’s equivalent to driving 754 miles in an average petrol car. If your premises are larger than average, you could save even more.
- Ensure you switch off your lights, cash tills and other equipment when you leave your premises at night – this can save you a lot of money 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 a similarly bright LED bulb or up to £7 per 100 watt incandescent bulb.
Shape up your shipping!
Delivery can cost: try and trim down the process to save time and money:
- Offer in-store pick-up: a convenient option for anyone living in the area and a choice that will bring you zero cost (and they may spot another purchase potential when in-store)
- Choose 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 (a choice that your environmentally conscious customers will appreciate).
- Reduce packaging sizes: cutting down the size of your packaging can also shrink delivery costs. For multiple orders manage your box sizes so that you only need one delivery instead of many.
Rent out unused floorspace to another vendor for displaying their merchandise. You could charge other local businesses a fee for putting up a pop-up store in your space, and both of you would benefit from increased foot traffic. A win for you both!
You can also use your space to host industry-related events. These are square metres you’ve already paid for, so why not use it to generate some extra revenue?
‘Checkout’ other ways to market your products
If you’re still using flyers and adverts, there are other simple and cheaper ways to reach customers that have a positive impact on the planet and your pocket.
Be where your customers are! Make sure your business is on the same social sites your target audience uses, such as Facebook and Instagram. It doesn’t cost you a penny and your posts and offers can be easily shared with ‘likes and follows’.
Using word of mouth marketing to grow your business is proven to be the best lead generator. A referral from a satisfied customer helps to build credibility and loyalty to your small business.
Inspire Payments is part of the Verastar Group, which provides a wide range of essential services including telecoms, broadband, utilities, insurance, and payment services, to over 160,000 small businesses.