LatestDeals.co.uk was co-founded by Tom Church in 2016. The company is a deals community that aims to help people save money by offering the best prices on consumer products. Over the past 6 years, Tom has grown the business and it now has more than 2 million members, and a team of 30 people.
Here, Tom shares 5 tips for saving money as a small business owner, following his success growing Latest Deals to a 7-figure revenue company.
1. Research Grants You May Be Eligible For
If you have a new business or you’re in the process of setting one up, it’s worth researching if you’re eligible for any grants to help get you started. For example, if you’re aged 25 or over unemployed and thinking of starting a business in Wales, you may be able to claim £2,000 to help with start up costs through the Barriers to Start Up Grant. The good thing about grants is that usually you don’t have to pay them back, but it’s worth looking into your options carefully before applying for one. They can be highly competitive, and can come with different requirements, for example you may need to match the money, or you may need to hold off on starting the project until your application is accepted. It’s definitely something you should look into carefully, and decide whether the pros outweigh the cons for your business.
2. Hire Young Staff and Train Them Up
Obviously having good people on your team is crucial to the success of your business, but hiring experienced candidates means paying higher salaries. For specialist positions where expertise is essential, there may not be a get around, but where possible, look to employ intelligent young people, even if they don’t have much experience. It’s better to invest time and energy in training them, rather than paying a high salary for someone more experienced. Once you’ve assessed their skills, you may find other roles for them to fill within the company as well, and can give them experience across different parts of the business.
3. Embrace Open-Source Software
If your company has a website, I’d go with open source software. Latest Deals went down that route and it was definitely the right decision. The plus points of open source are that it’s fully customisable, and it’s free! Private software that you pay for can come with cool features, but if you’re starting out and looking to save your cash, it’s an easy call to make. We found that being able to adapt and change the site quickly in line with what our customers wanted to see was a definite bonus at the beginning of Latest Deal’s journey. Using an open-source codebase allows you to do that.
4. Get Creative With Your Advertising
When you talk to people in marketing, they’ll tell you that paid advertising is the only way to go. Unfortunately, it’s also really expensive, and tracking results to see if it has actually been profitable can be difficult. Latest Deals has grown over the past six years, and we now have more than two million members. All that growth has been organic, and we have never paid for advertising. My advice would be to get creative, we tried everything! Knock on doors, be active on social media, talk to people, and so on.
5. Say Goodbye To The Office
Perhaps the biggest money-saver for Latest Deals in recent years has been giving up our office space. Pre-pandemic we were paying £500 per desk, per month for offices in Central London. This was a major expense we felt was worth it for the social aspect and productivity. Fast forward to life after lockdown and while our team was working remotely, we didn’t notice a change to staff efficiency. Latest Deals is now fully remote and as well as saving money, it also offers a much better work life balance. Check in calls with employees and clearly defining their roles and your expectations means you don’t need to sacrifice anything by working from home.