When you’re starting out in the world of business, every penny counts. New business owners need every bit of cash flow they can, so saving money where possible is a no-brainer.

And with 90% of all businesses being SMEs there are plenty of entrepreneurs that would benefit from cutting down on costs. 

The problem is, it can be difficult to know which things do and don’t demand expenditure.

Luckily, we’ve done the work for you, by collating five top tips to help your small business save valuable money. 

1.) Make The Most Of Free Tools

While certain tools, apps, and types of software can be costly, there are some that are completely free to use.

Scour the internet for free browser extensions or tools you can download to benefit your business. 

If you do your own marketing, for example, a free browser extension like Grammarly can help to improve your writing. 

Even many paid productivity or marketing tools offer a free package aimed at small businesses, so always check the pricing plans before ruling out a particular tool because of cost. 

2.) Hire Contractors

Let’s face it, staffing is one of – if not the – biggest expenses for business owners.

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Sometimes, hiring full-time staff just isn’t cost-effective, especially if you only need help with things like your marketing or IT during the busier parts of the year.

That’s where contractors come in. You can hire contractors – like the name suggests – for one-off contracts to fulfil a particular task or project.

You’ll enjoy all the value of the expertise while avoiding the need to spend tens of thousands extra per year paying full-time staff. 

You can post your UK contract jobs on websites niche to your industry or the world of contracting to find your perfect match. 

3.) Become More Efficient

One of the biggest causes of money loss? Inefficiency. The longer it takes you to carry out the tasks involved in running a business, the less time you’ll have to grow your business and generate profits. 

There are plenty of simple ways to become more efficient, including using automation tools and reducing the number of meetings you have in the workplace.

Next time you’re thinking of putting a meeting in the calendar, ask yourself ‘could this be covered in an email?’. 

If the answer’s yes, save yourself valuable time and discuss it via email. Other ways to improve efficiency include using automation tools and time management tools to keep productivity high.  

4.) Negotiate With Suppliers

If you work with particular suppliers regularly or order in large quantities, try to negotiate a bulk discount.

If you don’t ask, you don’t get, and most suppliers are happy to agree on a cheaper price for guaranteed regular orders. Remember, it’s worth asking the question, and the worse they can say is no. 

Before committing to a permanent supplier, it’s also worth shopping around for suppliers that do offer bulk discounts and working with them instead. 

5.) Allow For Remote Working

Renting office space is a huge expense. If your team can easily and effectively work remotely, save the cost of renting an office or desks in a co-working space and allow your team to work remotely, instead. 

Thanks to a rise in remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic, we now have more tools at our disposal than ever before to make remote working easier, such as video call and instant messaging software. 

Alternatively, rent a small office and consider a hybrid working system where some employees come in on some days, and others come into the office the rest of the time. 

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6.) Go Paperless

If you’ve ever had to purchase an ink cartridge, you’ll know that running a printer is much more expensive than you’d think.

An easy way to save money is to become paperless, meaning things that you used to print out, you’ll now access in a digital format. 

Not only does this help to save your company’s pocket, but it’s great for saving the planet, too. 

7.) Make The Most Of Social Media

Using a social media account to promote your services or products is not only one of the most effective forms of marketing, but it’s also the only one that doesn’t require you to spend money.

You can set up a business account and post entirely for free, which allows you to boost brand awareness and connect with your audience. 

The best part? If your customers create user-generated content in the form of social media posts, you can share them for the ultimate form of social proof. 

By investing in these cheap marketing strategies, improving efficiency, and saving rental, supply, and hiring costs, you’ll save yourself a ton of cash that will come in handy down the line.