While regional economies such as Greater Manchester may have recorded robust levels of business confidence during the last quarter, the looming spectre of Brexit is continuing to place a drag on growth.
This is true throughout the UK, and there’s no doubt that businesses are growing increasingly concerned as the prospect of a no-deal Brexit comes into view.
The most proactive firms are taking practical steps to reduce their costs in preparation for a no-deal Brexit, however, and here are some ideas to help you cope with a volatile economic climate:
Compare Energy Prices and Avoid Unnecessary Waste
When looking to reduce your business’ spend, you should focus on the operational costs that accumulate over the course of the financial year.
Reducing the cost of electricity and gas should be your first port of call, especially during the winter months when your consumption and overall spend is likely to increase considerably.
To achieve this, you should use service providers like utilitywise, as they’ll compare commercial prices on behalf of your firm and help you to achieve the most cost-effective deal.
This will save your business both time and money, which can make a significant difference during challenging economic times.
Protect your Cash Flow
Let’s face facts; cash flow is the lifeblood of small businesses and this is often the first thing to suffer during an economic downturn.
Without a sustained stream of cash or working capital flowing throughout your business, you’ll struggle to achieve growth or even fulfill orders over time.
With this in mind, you’ll need to develop core strategies aimed at protecting your cash flow, including the creation of monthly cash budgets that enable you monitor your finances in real-time.
You should also strive to prepare these six to 12 months in advance, as they can then capture the time difference between recorded profit on your income statement and the amount of cash that actually flows into the firm.
Review your Inventory and Management Practices
For product-oriented firms, inventory is another huge cost that can place a significant drain on your business.
This means that finding ways to reduce stock holdings and the associated inventory costs can be extremely beneficial for SMEs, especially with Brexit lurking just around the corner.
The key is to identify policies that achieve this without compromising on the quality of goods or customer service, which is why you need to review your existing practices in detail before making a commitment.
You should also review your existing suppliers and contracts, in order to ensure that these arrangements remain profitable and beneficial to your firm.