In a brave attempt to increase the bottom line, many business owners pay themselves less and less. There is good reason to try and save as much money as possible, but there are better ways to go about it. Here are some tips that you can immediately start implementing to shave off thousands in expenditure every year.
- Take a good look at monthly expenses
This time of year seems as good as any to review your monthly expenses in the business. Particularly have a hard look at insurance payments. Your vehicle depreciates in value every month and most insurance premiums stay the same. Call them today to value your car at this time and ask to adjust your premiums accordingly. If you don’t get a good answer or dislike the service you get, call another company. A little effort goes a long way if you can save the business thousands per year.
Also take a good look at your security expenses. There are many small security companies vying for the same customers out there. Do a little research and cross over if it seems worthwhile. Even a saving of just R100 per month equates to over a R1000 per year in total savings.
Similarly check out printers and copiers, toners instead of ink, and coffee machines vs good instant options. Tech support used to be a huge expense on call-out rates, but these days you can buy weekly support from as little as R280 per month.
- Swap products or services for the things you need
You can always barter your way to a better bottom line if you want to avoid cash outlays or move some slow-moving stock. Bartering can be time consuming and you must really get value from the deal. Your bookkeeping services can be bartered for your client’s labour law services and many similar deals have gone on with great success. Also, providing products for local celebs to use and share their experience via Social Media can save you thousands on marketing budgets (with strict conditions, of course).
- Get your rewards
There are many companies offering rewards to loyal clients these days. If you have vouchers, don’t forfeit it. Plan and use it within the expiry date. Also check out banks and other institutions’ rewards programmes and sign up. If you are not signed up, you cannot expect any extras. Use your vehicle’s service plan right up to the end date. Many people postpone their last service, just to realize that it’s too late to claim it.
- Use shareware – it is free, after all
These days you can save yourself thousands by downloading well-known shareware that can be easily integrated with existing software. It helps to have some savvy techies around, but do it once and learn from your experience. It is after all the age of demonetization and there is a free counterpart for almost any programme out there that you might need in running your company. After a successful download and installation, go to YouTube and look for good quality tutorials. Guess what? They are also free of charge!
Similarly don’t overlook free trials and consultations that become available to you. You are under no obligation to buy, but this gives you a good overview of the product and its processes, and some free trials are available for up to a month. After a month on trial you usually get a very special offer if you decide to join.
- Optimize your buying power
The concept of group (or bulk) buying has always been a good way to save money and sometimes people even form ‘buying clubs’ in order to get discounts. If you have many friends in your industry, you might consider taking orders and negotiating for better prices from suppliers so everyone can benefit.
The massive power of the internet to connect people into ad hoc buying clubs was first introduced by Groupon in the United States. Unfortunately Groupon closed shop in South Africa in 2016, but there are a few similar sites (Catch of the Day/Dealzone/OneDayOnly). These can be used with great success for getting your hands on discounted tech products or kitchen appliances, and even ‘open box’ cellular and electronic products that you might need in your business.