For many businesses, penny-pinching hasn’t exactly been a choice lately. Lockdown regulations have forced the part-time closure of companies across all industries. Recent announcements have seen the UK return to some stricter regulations once again. Although this will inevitably take its toll on the financial capabilities for business across the UK, some of those money-saving practices you relied on previously can help to prepare for more potential restrictions.
The UK economy has been plunged into a state of turmoil in the recent months, and now local lockdowns in some regions of the UK could see yet another large financial slump. However, many businesses have managed to stay afloat throughout these unprecedented times. Online giant Amazon has even managed to increase its net sales by 40 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 in comparison to its 2019 stats.
As business owners have reopened their doors to the public once again, we have seen socially-distanced crowds flood through the doors again. However, don’t let this turnout blow all other possibilities out the water – including a second lockdown. As we see restrictions tighten once again in the UK, it’s vital that as a business owner you always plan strategies for both the best and worst outcomes.
So, why not bring back some of those money-saving techniques that have helped your business survive over recent months?
Here, we discuss some money-saving tips that will help support the survival of your business, regardless of what industry it is a part of, if lockdown restrictions were to affect its operations once again.
1. Bring back cost-cutting measures
Since the coronavirus pandemic forced businesses keep track of their overheads even more so than usual, there is something business owners can learn from this if faced by another lockdown. Rather than abandoning your business’ Covid-19 plan, continue revising the strategy and further your approaches to keep costs low.
Depending on which region you are based and the restrictions that are in place, determine whether there are any changes in your short- and long-term budgets. This will help you grasp a clearer understanding of your expenses and help create multiple recovery or survival plans.
Next, decide which products or services are not essential. For example, those working in the food industry may decide to continue operating at a reduced menu. This helps cut costs on suppliers and cooking equipment. As for those operating in the service sector, ensure that all employees who can work from home are doing so. That way, electricity and water bills can be kept low.
There are many tactical approaches and strategies you can implement back into your business operations to prepare for another lockdown. As a business owner, preparing for all possible scenarios, regardless of a pandemic or not, is something that should always be valued.
2. The budget treats challenge returns: business edition
The budget treats challenge was all about saving money without cutting out the fun stuff that comes with many work cultures. Nowadays, building a strong corporate culture that helps develop employee relationships is essential. With this said, for those staff meals out and beer-garden days in the sun that have been dearly missed, it’s important for business owners not to rule these out of the budget entirely. Instead, dedicate a small proportion of it to use at a later date when this is possible again.
However, succeeding at this challenge works on the logic that there is always some form of money-saving going on. For example, there are many entertainment venues that offer discounts such as happy hours, cinema deals, restaurant discounts, or two-for-one deals. Look out for all the deals and discounts you can find and save them for a later date!
3. Reintroduce the little cices Challenge
Vices; all businesses have them. Whether it be an extra ‘Thank you for your purchase!’ sticker stuck on the packaging or an excessive amount of gift wrapping, there are some things that businesses might be better off putting on hold for now to help reduce costs and plan ahead.
Rather than using an excessive amount of gift wrap packaging, decide what is essential. Then, place a greater focus on making the design and layout of the packaging look equally as good with what you have. Creativity is key.
Although the marketing of your business should never be considered as a vice, there are some effective ways to reduce your promotional costs as well as continue with this process if another lockdown occurred. For example, for those operating in the takeaway or fast-food industry, rather than spending large sums of money on printing out menus and posting them through people’s doors, email or text them.
4. Return of the 52-week savings challenge
The 52-week savings challenge is something that some businesses have been using to save for all those small expansion projects that the pandemic placed on hold. This savings challenge could help your business achieve exactly that once regulations ease again.
Put simply, the amount you save increases week-by-week, which is probably why it’s one of the most popular savings challenges. On week one, for every item or group of items you make a profit from, put £1 of this into a savings bank for your business. On week two, put £2 in, and so on. The amount of money you add into a savings account can vary depending on the size of your business and what products it entails of course. But hypothetically, this is how it works! If you choose to follow this exact method, your business will have an extra £1,378 in a year to dedicate towards those small projects and innovations you had in mind.
5. Review your office overheads
Although this last money-saving tip will mostly apply to those operating within the services or digital sector, there are some pieces of advice other business owners can take on board. After reopening your doors to employers over recent months, your bills will have inevitably increased. However, now that many UK workers are working from home again, placing those unnecessary purchases on hold, such as equipment, software, or printing equipment such as cartridges could see you save greatly on your office overheads now that the demand for these is less.
Ensuring your business stays afloat during this uncertain time seems like such a stressful process. But there are many instant strategies you as a business owner can implement to help cope with the threat of another potential lockdown. Regardless of a pandemic or not, it is vital that all businesses set clear goals to help them succeed and grow.