A simples guide

Top cost saving ideas for small businesses

When you run your own small business, you need to be good at planning, you also need to save money where you can. But when you’ve been up and running for a while, it can be hard to see the wood for the trees and savings might be hard to find. So if you want to get some good ideas about how you can cut costs without cutting corners, this is the guide for you.


Go green and stay in the black

We’ve all heard about how turning off the lights and switching appliances off at the mains can save us money, but that doesn’t stop us leaving lights on and computers running when we leave the office. If you’re an employer and you’ve noticed those little green lights blinking away long after everyone else has gone home, you might want to do something about it. Leaving a flat screen monitor on all day cost you around £50 a year, switching them off or leaving them on standby could reduce this to less than £15 (and increase the life expectancy of your equipment).

Photocopiers left on all night use enough energy to make 5,000 A4 copies and simply swapping regular light bulbs for energy saving ones could save you 75% in energy – meaning lower bills. As basic as all these solutions sound, they can add up to some serious savings – plus you’ll be doing your bit for the environment, it’s a win-win.

Review your utilities

You could also make some business cost savings by looking at your energy tariffs. If you can’t remember the last time you compared deals on your electricity or gas, then you should probably get cracking. While you’re at it, think about sealing up drafts and making sure non-essential appliances are on timers, it’ll mean you make the most of the energy you use and only use what you need.

energy calculations

Maintenance costs

We’d never tell you to scrimp on maintenance but think about what you fork out for – cleaning the office is probably pretty high on the cost list. Do you really need someone to empty bins and hoover the floor every day? Most employees won’t be bothered about emptying their own bins and just how messy can a floor get when it’s only adults (who are supposed to be working) using it?

Virtual network

If you’re running your business from an office, do you really need to? Could your employees work from home or perhaps only use the office part of the week – saving you money on running it?

We’re lucky enough to have a world of modern tech at our fingertips and sharing folders, work and access to documents has never been easier with cloud based hosting. There’s also Skype and teleconferencing so employees are always never far away.

You can even rent office space or meeting rooms from business network groups. You’ll be charged a small fee but it means you get a professional environment for meetings without any of the hassle of maintenance – giving you some serious business cost reductions. You can even hire a virtual PA who can forward on any calls and manage your diary.

Negotiate and barter

Money talks but negotiating skills will get you heard. Why not try using the power of persuasion with suppliers in order to lower cost prices – just because something’s always been a certain price, doesn’t mean it can’t be improved; or even barter your skills in return for theirs. Depending on the type of business you’re in you could find it mutually beneficial if for example one you is a graphic designer and the other builds websites.


If a member of staff leaves it can leave a big gap in your business, especially if yours is a small enterprise. But instead of jumping in and employing someone else straight away, why not see if the work can be mopped up by others or if getting in a freelancer solves the problem more cost effectively. Freelancers don’t need expensive pension contributions, paid annual leave or sickness days – you just pay them for the work they do.



Apprentices are a great way of bringing in enthusiastic, new talent. You’ll usually need to allow your apprentice study days when they go into college for formal tuition, otherwise their learning will be alongside your experienced staff. You’ll need to pay apprentices the minimum wage and allocate at least 20 days holiday each year but it could be a far more cost effective way of getting the job doneOutsource

Comparethemarket for the best deals

Of course, with a business, comes responsibilities and you’ll need to make sure you’ve the right insurance. And the best way of getting value for money is to simply compare the market – we’ll do the searching for you so that you can get back to being the boss – job done.

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