For many businesses, penny-pinching hasn’t exactly been a choice lately, with lockdown regulations forcing the part-time closure of companies across all industries. However, in recent weeks we have seen life gradually return to somewhat normal as the government allows the reopening of many entertainment venues and businesses – including pubs, bars, restaurants, cinemas, and several more. Although this is the news businesses across the UK have been waiting to hear, it’s important not to get too carried away with the excitement of it all and instead, continue with the money-saving techniques that have been vital for the survival of all businesses during lockdown.
Despite the economic turmoil that lockdown has plunged the UK into, many businesses have managed to stay afloat throughout it all. Online giant Amazon has even managed to increase its net sales by 40 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 in comparison to its 2019 stats.
Naturally, as business owners reopen their doors to the public, you might expect the crowds (at a one to two metre gap, of course), to be flooding through the doors. However, don’t let this expectation blow all other possibilities out the water – it’s vital that as a business owner you always plan strategies for both the best and worst outcomes.
So, why not continue some money-saving techniques as your business reopens its doors to the public again?
Here, we discuss some money-saving tips that will help ensure the reopening of your business, regardless of what industry it is a part of, can do so while limiting the risk of negative cash flow results.
1. Continue Your Cost Cutter Measures
Although the coronavirus pandemic forced businesses to monitor and keep track of their overheads even more so than usual, there is something business owners can learn from this. Rather than abandoning your business’ Covid-19 plan, continue revising the strategy and further your approaches to keep costs low as you reopen your doors.
First, determine whether there are any changes in your short- and long-term budgets now that we have entered the post-lockdown phase. This will help you grasp a clearer understanding of your current and potential expenses and help create multiple post-recovery plans.
Next, decide which products or services are not essential. For example, those working in the food industry may decide to operate at a reduced menu temporarily to cut costs on suppliers and cooking equipment. As for those operating in the service sector, rather than reopening your office spaces back up full time, choose to divide the week between working from home and in the office. That way, electricity and water bills can be cut.
There are many tactical approaches and strategies you can continue to use as post-lockdown continues. As a business owner, preparing for all possible scenarios, regardless of a pandemic or not, is something that should always be valued.
2. The Budget Treats Challenge: Business Edition
The budget treats challenge is all about saving money without cutting out the fun stuff that comes with many work cultures. Nowadays, building a strong corporate culture that helps develop employee relationships is essential for both internal and external business success. With this said, for those staff meals out and beer-garden days in the sun that have been dearly missed, it’s important for business owners not to rule these out of the budget now that entertainment venues are reopening.
However, succeeding at this challenge works on the logic that there is always some form of money-saving going on. For example, there are many entertainment venues that offer discounts such as happy hours, cinema deals, restaurant discounts, or two for one deals. So, if you’re not wanting to cut staff nights out completely but at the same time save on cash outflows, look out for all the deals and discounts you can find!
3. The Little Vices Challenge
Vices; all businesses have them. Whether it be an extra ‘Thank you for your purchase!’ sticker stuck on the packaging or an excessive amount of gift wrapping, there are some things that right now, businesses and its customers could go without.
However, this doesn’t mean to say that businesses can’t find some alternative methods to help compensate for the part-time loss of these vices. For example, rather than using an excessive amount of gift wrap packaging, decide what is essential and place a greater focus on making the design and layout of the packaging look equally as good with what you have. Creativity is key.
Although the marketing of your business should never be considered as a vice, there are some effective ways to reduce your promotional costs as well as continue with this process. For example, for those operating in the takeaway or fast-food industry, rather than spending large sums of money on printing out menus and posting them through people’s doors, email or text them!
4. The 52-Week Savings Challenge
The 52-week savings challenge is something that businesses can use to save for all those small expansion projects or new mini business innovations that the pandemic placed on hold. Whether this be to invest in new uniform for staff, or to purchase fancy wine glasses for the bar, this savings challenge could help your business achieve exactly that.
Put simply, the amount you save increases week-by-week, which is probably why it’s one of the most popular savings challenges. On week one, for every item or group of items you make a profit from, put £1 of this into a savings bank for your business. On week two, put £2 in, and so on. The amount of money you add into a savings account can vary depending on the size of your business and what products it entails of course, but hypothetically, this is how it works! If you choose to follow this exact method, your business will have an extra £1,378 in a year to dedicate towards those small projects and innovations you had in mind.
5. Review Your Office Overheads
Although this last money-saving tip will mostly apply to those operating within the services or digital sector, there are some pieces of advice other business owners can take on board. Opening your doors to employers will inevitably mean bills will increase. However, by making small changes such as purchasing used equipment, trying free softwares before giving employees the go-ahead to buy them, or buying recycled printing equipment such as cartridges could see you save greatly on your office overheads.
Ensuring your business stays afloat during this uncertain time seems like such a stressful process, but there are many instant strategies you as a business owner can implement to help cope with this. Regardless of a pandemic or not, it is vital that all businesses set clear goals to help them succeed and grow.