Some of these points may seem like minor savings to you but they do all add up. By cutting these costs you might be surprised by what you are actually saving in the long run. We are proud of each and every entrepreneur and small business in South African and want to see them flourish. We want growth and we want success!
- Meet with a tax consultant. There will be an initial cost but the company will save money in the long run as consultants usually have ways and means to save money – all above board, of course. Ask your consultant about qualifying for the SBC (Small Business Corporation) option which means paying less tax.
- Ask employees to only print out necessary documents. If you have a colour printer, print in colour only when the job calls for it, the rest of the time the document settings should be on black and white. Print on both sides of an A4 paper.
- Outsource jobs instead off employing more staff. This way the job will get done, your company will get the recognition and you are making money. Another option might be to employ representatives that work on a basic and commission basis. A sure way of getting your sales up is to introduce a sales incentive to your staff – sit back and watch them perform.
- Cut projects that are not making money and focus on the ones that are paying the rent. By focussing your time and energy on projects with potential your end result will be a solid, profitable product.
- Be creative with your advertising campaigns. There are so many ways to get the word out there without having to pay R6000 for a full page advert. Advertise on websites that are promoting free advertising, launch a competition etc. Get your staff involved in a creative brainstorming session that will bring forth fresh and innovative advertising ideas.
- When arranging a staff meeting that involves a meal, go for a set menu or opt for an in-house meeting with light snacks. No need to go overboard as the aim of the meeting is not to indulge but to have a productive meeting.
- Purchase all refreshments, stationery and cleaning products in bulk. Keep these babies locked up or they will grow wings and fly away.
- If you own a one-man business and are renting your office space you can save by re-locating and working from home. Another option would be to share a spacious office with someone in the same line of work (not competition!). This might work well if you can find someone that compliments your area of expertise and brings new business such as a graphic designer and a printer or an architect and an interior decorator/landscape artist.
- Get in the habit to e-mail rather than phone as this will save on phone costs – it all adds up. Company phones can be issued with a call limit and top-up option. This also cuts out the nuisance of monitoring phone calls at the end of every month.
- Reduce the amount of staff loans by working in conjunction with a trustworthy and dependable loan company that can carry the risk or set a limit on the amount that the company is willing to loan a staff member. Another option would be to charge interest as this in itself will bring down the frequency of staff loans.
- Company vehicles. Now this one will hurt quite a bit but they will eventually get over it. Start introducing a more fuel efficient vehicle instead of costly 4×4’s. By reducing the petrol allowances they might automatically go for a lighter vehicle.
- Plan ahead if you are sending staff on training courses or seminars. By planning ahead you will save money on flights. And while we’re on the subject of flights – there is absolutely nothing wrong with an economic flight. As for the accommodation, set them up with comfortable but basic accommodation instead of an exclusive B&B.
- Review all current agreements like insurance, security and ADSL contracts. Get quotes from other well-known companies and see how it compares. If it means saving money, the way forward might be to go with a different company. If you are satisfied with your current company and their service, you can always negotiate a better deal. Don’t cross over before you’ve done your homework on the other company. Browse HelloPeter’s website to see how this specific South African company in question deals with complaints.
- If your company has quite a few computers on their network that require constant maintenance, a contract in the form of a retainer might be a good idea as opposed to paying the computer technician’s call-out fee every time he pops in.
- If you are looking at buying a new printer, opt for a laser printer instead of an inkjet. Not only are they more economical but they are actually faster which means increased production. You don’t pay for brand-new cartridges as the laser printer’s cartridges get refilled.
- Save on electricity by switching off unnecessary lights during the day and have the staff switch off their computers before they leave for home.
Please send us your thoughts on this. We’d like to hear your weird, wacky and wonderful ideas on how to make small businesses survive the recession!