No matter the size of your business or its niche, it’s likely you experienced some financial challenges during the pandemic and resulting lockdown of 2020. Consumers and businesses alike are needing to find ways to cut costs and streamline after a tough financial year, and if you own a business in the food or hospitality sector, you might have had especially difficult challenges. Going into 2021, however, is the opportunity to cut down on expenses without undermining customer service or product quality. EPC for You has a few ideas to share.
Reassess your vendors
There’s no way to get around the fact that the marketplace is not the same as it was a year or two ago. If you’re still partnering with the same vendors as always, it might be worth your while to evaluate whether the collaboration is still working for you.
On the other hand, long-term business relationships are valuable, and if you don’t want to cut a good vendor connection for the sake of saving a few pounds, don’t be afraid to negotiate a little, or see what can be done to bring your bill down. Chances are there is some wiggle room when you consider that vendors want to retain your business. As a last resort, discuss your usual order with them and see if there’s not a more affordable option you may have overlooked in pre-COVID days.
Check your energy performance
The last thing you want is to fritter away hard earned profits on overhead costs that could be much lower. Though many business owners never spare a thought for their utility bills, you could actually save impressive amounts by lowering your energy usage. One great way to do this is to get an EPC or energy performance certificate. EPC for You evaluates your business and gives you an idea of how energy efficient your premises are. With this information, you can make improvements as necessary.
Consider whether your insulation could use an upgrade, or check on energy-hogging appliances so you can replace them with more environmentally friendly and energy efficient ones. Putting boilers and lights on timers and using LED light bulbs are small changes that can add up to big savings. Another option is to switch energy providers or negotiate a lower tariff, or, if you’re keen to make the investment, consider going off grid and having solar panels installed so you save on energy in a big way for years to come.
Think about remote work – permanently
While having employees work from home is not for every business, and while it does come with its own challenges, the fact is that remote working is incredibly affordable. Your employees save time and money on commuting, but you also save since you don’t need to pay for electricity and other overheads like cleaning or supplies. Granted, this switch requires a corresponding investment in digital infrastructure, and the transition may take a little time and training, but it can be done. Having a remote workforce protects you, making your business agile enough to survive in the event of further lockdowns or pandemics.
Cut unnecessary expenses
Whether you are newly launched or have been in business for many years, you probably have a few areas where frivolous spending is a little more than it should be. The trick is to get completely honest with yourself about every expense, no matter how small. You may be surprised to see how much you waste on things that bring very little overall benefit.
Take a close look at supplies that nobody uses, overpriced items for the canteen or kitchen, or things like paying for additional cleaning services that don’t make much of a difference. Shop around for cheaper rates on insurance, and check if you really need to be paying for certain software or rentals. You could instantly save money without making the slightest difference to yourself or your customers.
Reduce, reuse and recycle
Businesses all over the globe are sincerely appraising their green objectives – and not just because they save them money. One way for your business to save is to think creatively about how to consume less, how to reuse and how to turn waste into something valuable.
You may find that you save by upcycling or repurposing secondhand equipment, furniture or tools. For example, EPC for You has worked with companies who are now using eco-friendly office furniture that doesn’t have to be replaced as often – like a table that can have the top, worn-out layer removed to reveal a perfectly new surface underneath it. Other businesses have discovered savings by investing in a paper shredder that allows them to repurpose their paper waste into packaging material. What creative solutions could work for your business?