It’s the new financial year and it’s time to cut your business costs or you’ll be pouring your profits down the drain. But what can an SME do to save money? A lot actually.

1.    Go Virtual

If you work in an office environment then you may be able to save huge amounts of money by allowing staff to work from home. This way you won’t need such a big space or even an office at all.

With modern technology such as email there is often no longer a need to print anything either. This saves on the ink and paper used and of course speeds up correspondence.

2.    Pay Up Early

Did you know that some suppliers offer discounts to companies that pay their invoices within days of receiving them? No? Well you do now. If you have the available cash this is a great way to grab a bargain, as well as build a strong and trusting relationship with your suppliers. After all, the best clients are always the ones who pay on time.

3.    Buy Used

Technology and machinery are developing at record speeds and items are becoming outdated quickly. It may make business sense to purchase an older version or a used machine instead of the latest releases. For example, if you need a business phone the new iPhone is coming out in autumn 2014, so around the end of September search for deals and you’re more than likely to find a 5S or 5C on offer.

This method can also be used when sourcing tills and payment machines, printers or even machinery; although make sure they has been serviced and well maintained.

4.    Use Free Marketing

Paying for an add in a local circular may not cost you a huge fortune but have you ever stopped to think about how many people actually read these, and if so, are they are even the target audience for your business? Switch to digital and you will have a wider reach that can also be tracked.

If you are marketing your business yourself then social media is a great place to start. All you need is a valid email address and it is completely free to set up a page. However it is an entirely different story if you want to include adverts. Email marketing is another great free marketing tool. Compile a mailing list from existing customers and send them the business’ latest news and offers. They may even forward it to friends.

5.    Speak to the Experts

You may be an expert in your field but financial advisors and brokers know everything you need to know about finances so they are best placed to get you the best deals on loans. They’ll teach you how to make your company irresistible to lenders and can look at any existing outstanding balances you may have. It may bea good time to re-mortgage or start invoice factoring.

There are many things an SME can do to reduce outgoings but let’s make a start with these 5. Let us know if they make a difference to your business!