It’s not just sales that make or break small businesses. It’s control over costs too. A healthy bottom line depends on the combination of winning customers and minimising what you spend to do what you do.
We consider some of the best ways to save your business money.
Avoid unnecessary hiring
For most businesses, the biggest expense of all is salaries and associated employee costs. Don’t make the mistake of hiring full-time staff you don’t really need all the time or can’t keep fully occupied.
Instead of draining the coffers by hiring full-time employees for every role in your business, consider outsourcing to freelancers or third-party service providers. That way, you can benefit from their specialised experience only when you need it – and you won’t be liable for employee salaries, benefits and taxes.
At The Workspace, we don’t help with outsourcing. But we do help our members by providing a range of on-site business services, including a full reception service, printing and faxing, courier services and more.
Lease office equipment
Buying office equipment can be pricey. An alternative for a startup business is to hire printers, copiers and even computers from an equipment rental company, on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Once funds are available and your business is stable, you can purchase just the equipment you’re likely to need long term.
If you opt to run your business from a serviced office or coworking space at The Workspace, you’ll automatically have access to printers and copiers, along with high-speed internet and meeting rooms with video-conferencing facilities.
Network to encourage word-of-mouth promotion
Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to promote any business, and it’s free! Whenever an opportunity for meeting others and talking about your business presents itself, make the most of it.
An advantage to consider at The Workspace – our branches host regular networking events, which are a great way to make new connections. You’ll also be on the same premises as other entrepreneurs and small business owners, ready to learn about, support and promote one another’s businesses.
Consider a shorter workday or week
It might sound counterproductive, but studies have shown that working fewer hours per week can sometimes result in increased productivity. It’s also a way to significantly reduce employee costs and overheads.
How does this relate to what we offer at The Workspace? If you opt to run your business from our coworking facilities, you can choose a package with flexible hours, to suit you and other team members.
Don’t use landlines
Online VoIP alternatives to landlines save on line installation costs and on national and international call rates. VoIP can also make video conferencing much easier.
The Workspace can’t help with VoIP applications, but we do ensure that our members always have access to the high-speed internet needed to support it.
Use free online tools and apps
Literally thousands of free online tools – from productivity tools such as Trello to communication apps such as Skype, tools to help you fund your business idea and design apps – are available. These can help small businesses get jobs done, without requiring any spending.
Don’t rent space in trendy areas
The trendier the area, the more expensive the office space. Naturally, you’d like your offices to be in the city centre or latest trendy, revitalised area, but you may have to start off in a more industrial area to begin with.
An alternative is to benefit from the shared space model used by The Workspace. Our branches are located in key business districts, from trendy Melrose Arch and Sandton to Selby in Jo’burg’s CBD – but we succeed in keeping costs affordable.
Go paperless where possible
Paperwork and running a business go hand in hand but there are ways to go predominantly paperless. Make use of online forms and document sharing with Google. You can also use online invoicing systems, some of which are free.
Do charitable work to promote your business
For small businesses, investing time and energy in community service initiatives is a potential “win-win”. People (or animals) in need benefit, and your business can benefit through positive coverage, especially if you send out a press release that’s published or a local newspaper covers the event.
Use open-source software
There’s an open-source version of just about every program you can think of. For MS Office, you can use OpenOffice or Google Docs. For more complex programs such as Photoshop, there is a free version called Gimp that does exactly the same thing.
Buy used office furniture
Businesses close down every year. When they do, they usually have a bunch of second-hand office furniture to sell. You can check Gumtree for used office furniture or buy a whole set at an auction.
Market your business on social media
Marketing your business on social media is completely free, provided you don’t go with paid advertising. You might need to do some reading up to figure out how best to go about it.
Having a presence on social media can help you market your business and can also make it easier to communicate with your clients.
Avoid unnecessary meetings
Time truly is money, and that means that long, unproductive meetings are expensive for your business.
Coworking and office space at The Workspace
Save your business money by using a fully equipped, comfortable coworking space or a fully furnished, serviced office at The Workspace.
Everything you need to run a small business is already set up, from high-speed internet and reception services to high-speed internet, professional décor and furniture, office equipment, kitchen facilities and more.
This eliminates potentially hefty office set-up costs and can result in significant month-to-month savings for small businesses.