Welcome to our new apprentices
November 8, 2023
Cost-saving will be key for many businesses struggling to get back up to speed after the pandemic.
Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were hit hard and now face higher inflation, skills shortages and rising wages.
The Bank of England says the inflation figure could even hit four per cent by December. So, cutting costs can help get thousands of UK firms through these challenging times.
There are many options for businesses to cut costs, including:
Review your suppliers
Make sure you are getting the best value for money. Get a minimum of three quotes for your supplies, particularly in areas like communication, where there are often better deals to be had.
You should also give existing suppliers the chance to review their prices.
Your business is important to them, but don’t be afraid to walk away for a better deal.
Sometimes to you need to spend a little to save a lot. If you are operating on older systems or software, it may make sense to upgrade now so that you are more efficient as a business.
An example of this is digital invoicing and bill payments. These techniques could help to reduce administration costs and postage, while also helping you to avoid piles of paperwork – saving you time and money.
Many of the latest cloud accounting platforms allow you to digitise these processes, while also offering you many other benefits, including the option to go paperless.
Assess your workspaces
The requirements for your business premises may have changed during the last year, especially if many of your staff have moved to hybrid or remote working.
Assess whether your current commercial property still meets your needs or whether there could be cheaper alternatives elsewhere.
If you have moved entirely to remote working, you could do away with business premises altogether.
Quite often refurbished equipment can perform just as well as new and allow for considerable savings. This does not just apply to office furniture.
Properly refurbished computer equipment can also result in big savings as can equipment like copiers.
Be aware, some capital allowance tax schemes won’t allow claims made on second-hand machinery or equipment.
Use an accountant
It may seem obvious, but using our expertise could help you cut your costs considerably.
We can look through your books and spot cost-saving opportunities that you may have missed and make a detailed analysis of the day-to-day running costs of your business.
We can also help you find reliefs and allowances that help you reduce the costs you already have by offsetting them against tax.
If you are struggling with a cost crisis, act now. Cash flow issues are one of the most common reasons for business failure.
Is your business struggling with debt? Regain control today
Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were hit hardest at the beginning of the pandemic.
They had access to support, like the Bounce Back Loan, which was easier to access and had lower interest rates, but those only helped during the short term.
Now a growing number of SMEs are struggling with debt. The latest Bank of England Credit Conditions Survey shows that the majority of banks (44 per cent) reported an increase in loan defaults by small companies in the third quarter of this year.
This is twice the levels seen during the height of the pandemic.
There are options for businesses that have got into a debt spiral, including:
Deal with priority debts first, including:
Consolidate or refinance loans
It may make sense to consolidate several loans into a single payment or refinance an existing loan.
With inflation increasing, businesses should take advantage of the historically low interest rates that currently exist.
You should seek independent advice before doing anything around consolidating or refinancing loans.
Tackle late-paying customers
Late payments are the bane of most small businesses. Despite Government efforts to tackle this issue, it continues to be a problem for many.
Challenging customers about their debts can be difficult. However, businesses should strengthen their credit control processes so they are paid on time.
Focus on cash flow
Cash flow is the lifeblood of your business and there are some simple measures you can put in place to help keep it healthy.
Boost your revenue
As well as cutting costs, you can also tackle a cash flow crisis and pay off your debts by improving your turnover.
This can be achieved by:
Managing your income and cash flow can be challenging so seeking professional advice and insights could pay dividends.
Avoid debt in favour of other forms of finance
You could explore the following:
Make sure you’re getting fair treatment from lenders
You’re entitled to be treated fairly by your bank or building society.
The Lending Standards Board operates as an independent body (albeit one funded by its registered financial firms), with an independent board made up of non-executive directors.