Everyone is looking for money-saving ideas right now, and business owners are no different. While large companies are saving money by laying off employees, the small business must be more creative as its staff is often too valuable to let go.

In times of rising inflation and high prices, cash flow management is more important than ever. Regular outgoings may threaten to swallow up revenue and, with no prospect for borrowing money on the horizon, a business could flounder if it isn’t careful with the money it is spending.

So where can savings be made? Here are a few ideas that could help your bottom line:

Business rent
If your business rents office space, you could be paying too much rent. Office-based businesses could downsize by setting up some staff as remote workers and moving to a smaller space, or by moving to a managed office space which is cheaper because some of the facilities like conference rooms, kitchens and bathrooms are shared.

Business rates
Small businesses that occupy premises which come in under the £15,000 threshold for rateable value are entitled to a reduction in business rates on a sliding scale. Check that you are getting the correct discount from the council.

Energy costs
Utility prices do not look like coming down any time soon so it is up to the individual business to save energy in order to reduce bills. Make sure all lights are turned out after hours and that computers are switched off not left on energy saving mode. If you use bulbs rather than strip lighting you could replace them with the energy saving variety. Businesses should also watch their water usage and take steps to ensure that staff are all working towards a greener working environment.

Shopping around
Because running a business takes up so much time it can be tempting to take the first price that seems reasonable. However taking the time to shop around can be hugely beneficial and will ensure that you get the best prices with your suppliers, your bank, and on business insurance, petrol and manufacturing materials.

Business insurance
You don’t have to wait for your insurance to expire to get a cheaper deal. The savings you could make with a new insurer could more than outweigh any cancellation fee, so it’s worth checking your existing policy and doing some shopping around.

When searching for quotes you can get the lowest possible prices if you are aware of the things that push costs up. For example you might end up with some insurance covers you don’t need or a higher level of cover than is necessary for your business needs. Get a business insurance quote – click here.

Marketing
Even in a downturn, marketing is still an important function for the small business and it shouldn’t be cut completely. However this is a good opportunity to look at where you are spending and at your return on investment. Instead of conventional advertising such as printed adverts in newspapers the smart business is concentrating its effort online.

Web marketing is cheaper, it’s quick to get started, and you can see the results immediately. Websites can be set up for a minimal cost. Advertising in the many local directories and on local sites can be cheap and cost-effective. Pay-per-click is also an instant way to get your advertisement seen and you can control the cost to fit your budget. Get a free web analytics software such a search engine such as Google and you can track traffic and costs to maximise your revenue.

The most important thing to remember is that your business deserves a fighting chance and so you can’t be afraid to shake things up in order to find the savings. Just a little research and effort can make all the difference.

This article was originally published in Simply Business.