Seeing your money drip away through monthly bills can be demoralising, particularly if you’re trying to run an economically-efficient business. But if you’re wondering how to save money as a business owner, you’re in luck - there are lots of creative ways to reduce your outgoings. Keep reading for the best franchisee tips on how to slash your bills.
When it comes to reducing your monthly bills, most people are familiar with the usual pieces of advice: analyse your usage, cut out unnecessary expenses and negotiate with suppliers. But there are many more inventive - and effective - ways to cut fixed costs when you’re running your own business within a franchise.
How to run a more efficient business by cutting your bills
As more and more businesses adopt flexible working practices, allowing staff to work from home more often, lots of franchisees will be able to downsize into different offices. You could save money by sharing a co-working space or simply renting a smaller property.
2. Buy, rather than rent
Some business owners see renting products and equipment as a cheaper alternative to buying them, but the fees add up over time. If you think you’ll use the items for long enough to make the purchase a cost-effective choice, there’s no reason to keep shelling out every month.
3. Prioritise energy efficiency
Being energy efficient not only reduces your bills, but also helps to protect the environment. Turn off electronics at the plug, swap traditional bulbs for energy-saving ones and switch off lights when they’re not in use. You could also install motion-sensors to avoid wasting energy when rooms are empty, and try to make use of sunlight, rather than relying on electricity.
These franchisee tips have two extra benefits: your electronics should need less maintenance and last longer, and your workforce will probably feel more energised working in natural light.
4. Find other solutions to stay warm
Paying for extra heating services is only one of the ways you can make sure you and your workforce stay toasty during winter months. If you can, consider upgrading your property’s insulation and keeping doors closed to retain heat. You could even add jumpers, fleeces or other accessories into your staff uniform code, if the franchisor allows it.
5. Get rid of your landline
These days, more and more people are relying on mobile phones, both for work and leisure purposes. If your business doesn’t use the landline that much, consider taking work calls on your personal phone or taking out an inexpensive contract for a separate mobile. You could alternatively set up a free business Voice over IP (VoIP) system to contact others.
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6. Downgrade your Wi-Fi
This could be an unpopular solution - but it’s worth considering. If you and your employees work on the computer all day and use the internet for your job, you’ll need a fast broadband connection.
But you may be able to get away with a cheaper Wi-Fi tariff if your business has a different focus. For example, you won’t need the most expensive solution if you just offer complimentary internet access as part of a restaurant, gym or other customer-facing business.
7. Take advantage of the open water market
Since 2017, around 1.2 million customers have been able to shop around for the best water tariff, rather than being tied to their local supply. If your business is eligible for the scheme, you could save money by finding a more cost-efficient solution.
8. Act on water leaks
Lots of business owners don’t check their water bills regularly. If you fall into this category, you could be oblivious to a water leak affecting your outgoings. According to the BFA, you can easily lose as much as 1,500 litres of water per hour if you have a burst pipe, which will cost you over £40,000 extra per year.
9. Sniff out errors
Even if your energy billing process is automated, there’s still room for mistakes - both within your meter reading system and your suppliers’ business practices.
If you put your detective hat on or consult an independent advisor, you could find billing errors, inaccurate meter readings, unnecessary third party charges or incorrect details in your contract. And if you’ve recently joined a supplier, there could be complications with the changeover.
10. Opt for less frequent cleaning and maintenance services
Paying for regular services like office cleaning and tech maintenance can have a significant impact on your monthly bills. So, making a small change such as reducing the frequency of the visits should help you save a lot in the long run.
11. Set deals with suppliers
If you can provide a valuable product or service to your suppliers, you could negotiate some form of deal to save you both money. This is one of the most popular franchisee tips, as you can lower your bills while creating valuable goodwill with another business.
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12. Switch to a cheaper card payment system
If you take customer payments through a card reader, you could save money by changing the system you use. These days, there are lots of inexpensive options out there, such as SumUp and iZettle, which have the added benefit of being wireless and are convenient to use.
13. Trial the four-day week
The concept of a four-day week is becoming increasingly popular around the world. If you have your reservations about employee productivity under the scheme, it’s worth considering the money you’ll save through water, gas and electricity bills.
Plus, it’s likely you and your employees will maintain their current work efficiency, as the prospect of a three-day weekend every single week drives high morale and productivity.
14. Review your employee benefits
If you spend money every month on underused perks such as gym memberships and office snacks, why not save funds by providing less expensive and more desirable benefits? You could offer your employees an extra day off or the chance to work remotely with flexible hours, for example.
Find more franchisee tips on running a franchise business
Point Franchise has an article catalogue bursting with handy hints and tips for running your own business under a franchise brand. You can find the information you’re looking for through the search box.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©