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Five ways SMEs can reduce their expenditure
03 Jun

If you’re running a business, you’re going to need to be reviewing and considering your expenditure regularly (well, unless you have a dedicated online accountant like Countable Accountancy doing it for you, anyway). Businesses accrue costs and, if you don’t actively monitor them and look to cut them wherever possible, you’ll soon find that money you could be investing in training, increasing productivity or your earnings is being wasted.

So, with this in mind, here are five tips for SMEs looking to reduce their expenditure:

1. Review your utility bills

Gas, electricity, broadband – they’re absolutely essential to any business – but that doesn’t mean you should simply allow your annual contracts to renew automatically.

Instead, make a note of when they’re due to renew and start looking at other vendors beforehand. You’d be surprised just how much you can save and, if you’d rather not go with a new supplier/vendor, you can contact your existing providers and use any better deals you’ve found as leverage to negotiate a better deal with them directly.

2. Claim your expenses

Whilst HMRC’s definition of what can and what cannot be classed as a business expense may be murky, businesses can make considerable savings by ensuring they’re claiming everything they can.

Yes, it can be difficult to decided whether or not something you’ve paid for is definitely a business cost, but there are several that pretty much every private entity can claim back; you can find a list of them here.

3. Review your marketing efforts

Letting prospective customers know about your business and the goods or services that you offer is, for obvious reasons, a vital business practice. Engaging and informing existing customers is equally important.

Sadly, whilst the practice of marketing your business is indispensable, far too many companies only stick to what they know and fail to seek out new, more cost-effective routes to market.

So, do a little research and see if there are cheaper and more effective marketing tools available to you. In particular, if you’re not using any of the various marketing methods made available by the internet then you’re almost certainly missing out. Digital marketing is typically much more affordable than traditional advertising and, thanks to advanced targeting options, is more effective too.

4. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate

All too often, we assume that a price is set in stone when there’s actually room for negotiation.

Consider what you might do to win a new customer. Would you be willing to offer discounts under certain circumstances? We think it’s safe to say that you would – and other businesses are no different!

So, whenever your discussing a deal with a vendor, supplier etc. be sure to check if they may be able to offer you a better deal. Even if the discount is small, maintaining this practice can have a cumulative – and therefore substantial – effect on your bottom line.

5. Hire a skilled accountant

Yes, I know, this might seem like shameless self-promotion but hiring a skilled accountant like those we have here at Countable Accountancy can have an incredibly positive impact on your income.

From ensuring that you’re claiming all possible expenses, reducing your tax bill, keeping your books in order and everything in between, a good accountant will not just save you money, but time too! This means that your profit margins will not just improve as a result of your business being more fiscally responsible but – thanks to the extra time you’ll have to deal with other things – from being more productive also.

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