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Running your business

Five simple steps to control your costs

  1. 01

    Know your numbers

    Although growth is a great opportunity for increasing profits, it also absorbs working capital. Keep proper records of your accounts and you’ll be able to monitor patterns and trends, as well as watching your income and spending. Your records could show that you have a problem with bad debt, which you can claim the VAT back on.

  2. 02

    Get the best deal on fixed costs

    You simply can’t avoid some costs, but you can work on them to get the best deal. You could use a broker to negotiate deals on utilities or other services. Or for some fixed costs, think about reselling to save or make money. If you’ve got empty office space then could you rent it out to increase your revenues?

    Business premises

    Business premises can also represent a large fixed cost to your business, so it's worth thinking carefully about the type of premises and whether to buy or rent.
  3. 03

    Make your marketing spend work hard

    Costs like marketing are often the hardest to get right. Raising your profile also takes time, so you’ll need to be selective. Think about how to spend your marketing budget - could telesales or social media be better for you than appearing at conferences?

  4. 04

    Think about your financing options

    There will be lots of financing options open to you. Leasing is just one, but also think about things like research and design tax credits – they’re designed to incentivise companies who invest in research and design, and not limited to science-based activities as you might think. Travel grants are another possibility to help with expansion and export.

    Security and / or Director’s guarantee may be required. Product fees may apply. To apply you must be a UK resident aged 18 or over.

    Business finance options

    You might need a combination of a bank loan and finance from somewhere else to grow your business. Discover the finance options we could provide and how they can help.
  5. 05

    Don't scrimp on staff

    Looking after your staff isn’t just about money. It’s also about taking time too, for things like appraisal, or skill sharing. Giving your workforce the opportunity to learn new skills, or improve on ones they’ve already got, can pay dividends to your business as well. Our article on upskilling your employees has lots of advice if it’s something you’re interested in doing. You could save money on staffing costs by getting freelance staff in for a fixed number of days a month if projects become bigger or deadlines are moved forward.

Business planning and growth

It’s a new year with new challenges. We have guidance on Brexit, money management and preparing for the New Now.