office space

Keeping your business lean

It's been a tough time for cashflows, and a lot of small businesses are looking at ways to cut down on their expenditure. Government grants, the furlough scheme and rent holidays have gone a long way to easing the financial effects of COVID-19, but if your business could still benefit from being a little leaner going forward, there are plenty of ways to do so.

 

 

To rent or not to rent

coworking office

To rent or not to rent

A large portion of a firm’s outgoings is often rent on a workspace, and now is the time to assess whether you still need it. If your staff perform well from home, could you do without it? If you need an address but don’t require everyone to work together, examine co-working or hotdesking opportunities, which provide a postcode with a much lower price tag. And if you’ve got extra space, look into renting out a desk or two (following social distancing). Don’t forget to look at other, associated costs, too – for example, rented parking spaces for your office or premises. 

Increase team productivity

team in office

Increase team productivity

A firm’s largest single costs will be the team it employs, so always keep an eye to boosting productivity or moving to a flexible labour model. Think carefully about hires, do you need a full-time generalist, or can you bring in specialist freelancers to do the work to a defined budget. Explore the possibility of taking on part-time employees who have chosen to scale-down a working week, parents with children for example who need to fit around school timetables, who might be more focused during their working hours.

Getting around

zipcar flex

Getting around

Following on from parking spaces, look at whether your business still requires any or all of its company vehicles full-time. With so many flexible and affordable options to rent vehicles or car sharing  – including Zipcar for Business – there’s no reason to keep a number of vehicles insured, taxed and maintained if you’re only using them part-time. Alternatively, look into a cheaper, more efficient vehicle, such as an electric of hybrid one, or into bicycles, scooters or other micro-mobility choices with lower costs and greener credentials.

Limit those ongoing costs

online meeting

Limit those ongoing costs

The cost of leasing equipment such as printers, photocopiers – especially if you’re not using them much in this digital age – can be hefty. Look at the channels you use and decide if you could build same awareness via online channels such as email and social media. If you’re paying for software, such as CRM or design programs, the price tends to be based on the number of users; can you downgrade the number of people who have access to them. Or examine open-source or online alternatives, too: for instance, Google Docs can take the place of Microsoft Word. 

Check rates for banks and utilities

searching internet for business deals

Check rates for banks and utilities

With so many providers offering competitive switch-over deals, it’s a good time to compare utility rates to see if you could be saving money. Ensure heating and lights are turned off, as well as machines or computers, when you’re not on-site, and consider installing a smart thermostat and LED or energy-saving bulbs. When it comes to your other accounts – the really important ones – why not also compare business and savings accounts rates with different banks or building societies, to see if you can’t make your money work harder?

Why Zipcar for Business?

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Save money

Get up to 29% off standard rates. Everything’s included – Congestion Charge, fuel, insurance, maintenance… and we’re ULEZ compliant.

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Drive on-demand

Book instantly and drive by the minute, hour or day, 24/7. Choose from thousands of cars, vans, and luxury vehicles.

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Flexibility

Using Zipcar means you can scale your fleet to suit your changing business needs. It’s easier and cheaper than having your own vehicles.

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Account Management

You’re in good hands. We’ll help you make the most of the service as well as take the hassle away on everything from booking to billing.

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