It’s that time of year again. Now that the Christmas rush has died down and we’ve entered the quieter months, businesses will start to see a slowdown in trade.

While this isn’t any trader’s favourite part of the year, it’s not all doom and gloom, and thankfully it doesn’t last too long.

There are several things you can do to ensure the January blues don’t heavily impact your business.

Here are some ways to lower your costs over the quieter months of 2023.

Inventory control

Focusing on your business’s spending is the first crucial step in lowering costs. The first area to look at would be your inventory and stock costs.

As you can expect a decrease in footfall, it will pay to keep tighter control over the products you’re buying. The best way to do this is by cross-referencing your ordering against your sales.

For example, if you work in the hospitality sector, you’ll be able to determine which items are selling more than others and adjust your ordering to reflect the demand.

You could go one step further and compare suppliers. If you find one that can provide the same service at a lower price, it may be worth switching over.

Staffing costs

When your takings start to dip, it may affect how much you can actually afford to spend on your team.

If you do have to cut back on your staffing costs, the best way to go about it is honestly and sympathetically. We’re not saying you should let people go, not by a long shot. But it is important to clearly communicate with your team that due to the slowdown in trade, it’s not financially viable to offer such things as overtime.

If you have a number of employees who usually work a lot of overtime, it’s best to approach them in a friendly way and explain that it won’t be possible for them to continue doing so at this moment in time. You can always follow up with reassurance that overtime will become available again once the busier season begins.

Tackle your energy usage

With the rising costs of energy the country has seen over the past few months, it’s increasingly important to lower your usage.

It’s much easier for some businesses to do this than for others. If you’re office-based and have the ability to offer flexible working patterns, you could encourage staff to work from home more often.

This will be an easy way for you to lower your electricity and heating bills, as lighting and computer usage will be less frequent.

Make the most of reliefs

Sometimes saving isn’t just about the money you will or can spend, but the money you already have spent.

Many businesses will find they can claim tax relief on a number of allowable expenses. This especially rings true if you’re self-employed.

Office supplies, marketing costs and even some staffing costs are claimable from HMRC. You can find a full list of eligible expenses on the Government website.

Also, if your business is looking to make advances in a scientific or technological field, you could benefit from claiming R&D tax credits.

Helpful advice

We understand that the start of the year can be challenging for many businesses. We’re here to support you and offer advice on the best ways to save money while you wait for the busier months to come around.

Get in touch to discuss the best ways to lower your business costs.