With the COVID-19 pandemic putting a huge strain on businesses, it’s no surprise that a number of companies are looking to cut costs, with 73% of decision-makers believing the crisis will result in more UK businesses downsizing to smaller office spaces in the coming 12 months.
As the lockdown begins to ease, it’s clear that things will never quite be the same again as businesses struggle to keep up with costs. But, making the decision to downsize your business is never an easy one, and can often lead to some difficult decisions. The reality for many companies is that, in order to remain competitive or to cope with market fluctuations and related trends, downsizing is the only option. This is especially key when faced with the current recession.
Business downsizing tips: how storage can reduce costs
However, the important thing to remember is to remain objective, and to do that, you need a firm plan of action. We share our top business downsizing tips and explain how self storage can go a long way towards reducing costs.
The benefits of business downsizing
It’s no secret that businesses are under a lot of pressure right now. From cash-flow issues, working from home and an inability to borrow money to changes in supply and demand. For many businesses a need to streamline operations and reduce upfront costs is the key to continuing to trade in such an uncertain climate.
While business downsizing is not always a choice, it can be great for freeing up financial resources and generating additional income, allowing for greater flexibility. It also comes with a wide range of other benefits:
- Improved efficiency: changing your processes to become more efficient allows your business to make the most of its remaining resources, essentially allowing you to accomplish more with less.
- Reducing waste: when you remove inefficient processes or positions, you reduce the amount of time spent doing ineffectual tasks, instead allowing for less repetition as there are fewer people doing jobs that may mirror each other.
- An increase in creativity: change forces creativity, and downsizing means that your business has to change the way it works and come up with new and different ideas and processes to ensure goals are still met.
So, how do you downsize your business?
First, you’ll need to decide your plan of action by starting with the main reason for downsizing.
- Are your overheads proving too costly?
- Have prices from your subcontractors or suppliers increased significantly with the current recession?
- Has a dip in sales affected your ability to raise capital to restock?
- Are your competitors able to undercut your prices?
The list isn’t exhaustive, but once you have a good idea about what’s causing your main issues, it’s time to see where you’re at with your budget.
As a general rule of thumb, setting a monthly budget will help you to forecast your expenditure for the business year ahead. One thing that is often overlooked is that a budget isn’t a set feature – you’ll need to update and correct it as the year progresses.
If you haven’t done so, revisit your monthly and annual budget to see where your overhead costs are possibly higher than you had anticipated. This allows you to see the stand out places where you can cut costs with business downsizing.
Once you’ve determined where you need to make changes, it’s time to implement them. When downsizing a business, it pays to be proactive – look to the future goals and the long-term problems your company is likely to face. The key is to minimise the amount of disruption to your business, to reduce the negative impact.
Our top tips for business downsizing:
- Implement a solid plan: before you do anything, having a clear plan in place is the key to minimal disruption and a smooth transition.
- Be transparent and honest: while, in an ideal world, businesses would never have to downsize or let staff go, this is often unavoidable. Remaining transparent is important – having meetings with your staff to let them know why you’re downsizing and what that will look like will help to dispel any rumours or speculation.
- Support your remaining staff: it’s no surprise that your employees will feel a level of unease and fear when your business is making cuts or major changes. Ensuring they feel reassured is the key to motivating them, and so businesses need to take the time to articulate any consequences of the changes and address any doubts they may have. Similarly, making sure your employees have the correct resources and tools to work both efficiently and effectively.
- Clearly identify new roles and responsibilities: when you lose staff or change your processes, the way your business functions may change drastically. Setting out a plan of action can help your employees to transition into new positions without losing momentum or ignoring business objectives. If you can, it’s a good idea to train your staff across various tasks so that they can support each other during the period of change. Increased workload is a major worry when it comes to downsizing and your team will have to work together to find better solutions to problems – after all the last thing you want is employees feeling overworked and undervalued.
- Focus on what’s important: at the end of the day, downsizing isn’t easy for anyone, but understanding the challenges and making sure you’re doing all you can to support your business and employees can go a long way towards keeping your remaining staff motivated and believing in the future of the business.
How can effective business self storage help?
Business storage is a great way to take stock of what you do and don’t need, and allows business to remain organised and function optimally, especially if your business has grown rapidly, or, equally, has been hit hard by the recession.
At Ready Steady Store we’ve worked with thousands of business customers in a range of industries, and one thing that regularly comes up is the price of commercial rent, and how it can put a strain on monthly overheads. One solution is to downsize your current business rental premises and use an offsite storage provider.
Most companies need some sort of space allocated for storage; whether it’s spare computers, desks and chairs, products, stock or other equipment, it’s likely that you’ll need somewhere to store these things when they’re not in use.
Typically, storage space has to be factored into the rental premise. For example; a factory that creates products for sale might have an entire section allocated to storing the separate parts that make up the product, another section for the packing materials and another to store the finished products before delivery. That’s three separate places just for storage, without even making allowances for the rest of the space that the company would need to make the actual products.
Why should you use Ready Steady Store for your business storage?
By using Ready Steady Store as your offsite storage provider, your company can store any unused furniture or equipment along with files, documents and stock. This helps you to plan your space allocation by ensuring only the essential items for your production or service offerings remain at your premises.
Storing with us also costs a fraction of the price of commercial property rentals. Not only do you not have to pay business rates on rented storage units, but you also don’t pay council tax either. Similarly, while you do pay VAT, if you’re VAT registered you can claim this back. In total this can save you a huge amount of money. If you consider that, in the first quarter of 2020, the West End of London had an average rent per square foot of £112.5, it is much more cost effective to rent a storage unit.
- No long term commitments: at Ready Steady Store, we offer a range of unit sizes, and you can scale up or down depending on your needs, so you only pay for the space you need. For example, if you’re downsizing your office now with the hopes of moving back into physical premises again in the future, you can rent a larger unit to store office furniture and equipment now, and then downsize this unit when you no longer need the additional space. Find out what size unit you need now with our handy size estimator.
- Drive-up units: at Ready Steady Store we offer unique drive-up self storage units for the ultimate convenience – you don’t even have to park or pop your items onto a trolley, simply drive up and load or unload your products or work-related equipment at a time that suits you..
- Secure and safe: All of our stores are monitored by 24-hour CCTV for peace of mind, while most of our stores also feature PIN code access for added safety, and 24-hour access to suit every schedule. Individual units are always locked by our customers themselves so you can be certain only you have access to your items.
- Manage your units online: by using our my account feature, you can manage your contracts and units from anywhere, at any time.
- Award winning services: We have won the Feefo Trusted Platinum Service award 2020, and we’re proud of the 4.9/5 Feefo rating our customers have given us.
We make it easy for you to store with us and have a variety of units available to suit any sized business, no matter what you need storage for. Got a question about our business storage? Get in touch with our team today for a free quotation or find your local store to find out your self storage options.