Announcements today that the economy is in a double-dip recession will not come as good news to the British economy, as hope for a brighter future looks dim.
Official figures released today show that the economy shrank by 0.2% in the first three months of this year, which followed contraction of 0.3% in the last three months of 2011.
So what does this mean for UK businesses, especially the private sector that is trying so hard to drive the economy out of this situation? Well, one positive note to take from this report is that these stats only account for 40% of the full information that will be used to reach later figures, so things may not be all doom and gloom.
But it certainly looks like our penny pinching; belt squeezing ways need to continue, at least for a short while. Here we give some of our top tips to help small business reduce costs
1. Use technology
- Use teleconferencing and web conferencing services (such as ours!) to keep in touch with colleagues, clients and suppliers, reducing travel costs and time spent away from the office.
2. Go paperless
- The cost of printing (paper, ink, printers, postage etc.) may seem like small costs, but over a month the costs can really mount up. Try going paperless, sending emails and making calls, filing all your documents on a shared server to allow colleagues to share documents electronically, can greatly reduce costs.
3. Focus marketing activities online
- Create a business blog, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn page to get your messages into the public domain and interact with your audience. At the same time online advertising costs are a fraction of the price of print or outdoor.
4. Allow remote working
- Allowing employees to work from home means you greatly reduce your overhead costs in an office, less electricity, less floor space and less tea and coffee!! The benefits of offering remote working, doesn’t only just benefit you, but it also makes your employees feel valued and gives them greater flexibility which in turn means higher levels of retention (less training costs, as you have a lower turnover!).
5. Create and stick to your business budget
- We all create a business budget and divide our money between different activities, but it is so important in these times that we stick to these budgets. Make a commitment to reduce debts, stick to the plan of how much you intend to spend on different activities such as marketing, software, wages etc. Go back and use this budget, don’t just write it and file it, look at it weekly/fortnightly, check you are on target and if not, make cutbacks where necessary so that you don’t exceed your budget.
How is your businesses fairing during the recession? What do you think the future holds? We guess now, we sit and wait for the final figures and see what happens in the future.