In these tough economic times it’s even more important than ever for businesses to find ways of cost-saving. Whether it’s large businesses looking to streamline their processes, or smaller, more agile businesses rethinking their whole business model, businesses need to consider these things constantly in order to survive.
Introduce remote & flexible working
Due to the Olympic Games taking place in the capital last summer, many of London’s businesses were asked by the Government to implement flexible and remote working for their employees. The aim of this was to keep London’s economy ticking even while the city was even more congested than usual. Allowing employees to work flexible hours based on travel arrangements, to work remotely from home or to work while on the go can be a great way of reducing the cost of running a business.
Anyone with a decent broadband connection can be granted to access to all the important data through cloud computing services, and increasingly professionals are carrying around their own devices – such as tablet computers and smartphones – which can easily be used for work. Of course time tracking; communication and leadership are important issues for business managers considering implementing these working practises, but the savings which can be made, not to mention improved productivity and happiness of staff.
Know commercial law
Boning up on commercial law might be boring, but it is also essential for businesses to know their obligations and responsibilities. A good place to start might be to contact the relevant industry association, who may be able to make businesses aware of commercial laws that apply specifically to their industry. Advertising could be a relevant area for your business. Obviously it’s crucial that all advertising is accurate and does not mislead customers, while there are specific laws concerning online and telephone marketing practises, including spamming and cold calling.
One alternative is to have a commercial law specialist handy – so forming a business relationship with an expert commercial law company or lawyer is pretty handy. Not all law companies provide commercial law expertise, but I found one company, Stevens & Bolton LLP, that provide commercial and corporate law advise and services. Make sure you shop around and find the right guys for you.
There are also important employment laws to ensure that ex-employees don’t take a chunk out of the business when they decide to leave through an employment tribunal or worse. Providing a safe working environment for employees is required of a business, and failing to react to workers complaints about eye strain or Repetitive Strain Injury could result in lost working time, sick pay and even compensation.
If you’re considering launching the business online but are concerned about the costs associated with developing a fully-functional ecommerce website then consider using online services such as eBay or Yahoo! Auctions to make sales. Items can be listed for very little and the auction sites provide the full functionality to advertise products and make sales.
Time your payments
Ask the business’s suppliers if they offer any sort of incentive for early payment. This can be a great way to reduce costs, but if the suppliers don’t offer an incentive, then there’s absolutely no motivation for you to pay before deadline, which means the money can sit in the company account for longer accruing interest and working for you.