7 tips for managing your small business costs

With the cost of living and inflation on the rise, you might be looking for ways to cut costs and grow profits in your small business. 

7 tips for managing your small business costs

1. Know how to track and optimise your cash flow

Tracking your cash flow can help you know when it’s a good time to spend or reinvest, or when you should hold off, so your business is spending within its means. With the rising cost of living, your input costs (including things like wages, materials and supplier rate increases) can impact your profit margins, so you may need to adjust your prices to keep up. In the CommBank app1, you can enable Business cash flow view2, which shows you key insights to help you understand the health of your business accounts. You can also set Smart Alerts in the CommBank app and NetBank, where we’ll instantly notify you if your account balance is low, high, overdrawn or if you’ve just been paid.

2. Explore available grants and assistance

Have you checked whether your business can claim any government grants or rebates? You could be eligible for incentives around staffing, mentoring benefits, support for natural disaster recovery and more, to help your business get on the front foot. Our Benefits finder tool has helped over 24,000 businesses initiate claims worth more than $215 million (as at December 2022). Try Benefits finder3 for free to see if there's any financial assistance your business could access.

3. Review your utility providers

Utility providers are always competing with different deals and discounts. If you haven’t reviewed your plan or rate in a while, consider shopping around for a better deal on things like electricity, insurance, internet and phones. Check out More for your telco needs—where eligible CommBank business customers can receive discounted business nbn®, mobile and phone plans, with 30% off4 for 12 months and free hardware on eligible plans5

4. Keep your finger on the pulse

Staying on top of current news and affairs can help you spot opportunities to adapt if there’s a significant situation that could impact your business. Consider putting a plan in place for various events – such as natural disasters – and keep informed of political decisions that may result in policy or law changes, events that can impact consumer attitudes and any industry-specific news. Check out our Small business banking hub to help you get in the know.

5. Inform your decision-making with data and insights

Diversifying or updating your offering can help make sure your business stays competitive. There’s always new customer research and industry reports being published, but it can be tricky to know what’s relevant and where to start when there’s an abundance of information available. For targeted information especially for you and your business, Daily IQ6 in NetBank can help you understand your customer demographics with local spending trends and other useful business insights. If you’re thinking about levelling up, do your research and speak to customers to help you understand where and when it may be appropriate to expand your business.

6. Separate your personal and business expenses

If you haven’t already split your accounts, consider making this your top priority to set a good foundation. Separating your personal and business banking can help you better monitor everyday cash flow and stay on top of your overall financial position. And at tax time, it’ll be easier to track work and personal expenses, so you can accurately make claims and receive deductions.

7. Lean on experts for advice

Other small business owners can be a great source of knowledge when you need it, because they’ve often had to navigate similar situations. Whether online or in person, find a business community that aligns with you and get involved however you can. If you’re seeking professional financial guidance, around budgeting, loans or other money matters, consider speaking to a financial advisor or contact us for support.


Ready to start your business?

Open a Business Transaction Account7 available with a $0 monthly account fee option.

Things you should know

  • This article has been prepared without taking into account your individual or business needs and objectives. You can view the Terms and Conditions for Business Transaction and Savings Accounts, our Financial Services Guide and the Electronic Banking Terms and Conditions and should consider them before making any decision about these products and services. Bank fees and charges may apply. 

    1 The CommBank app is free to download, however your mobile network provider charges you for accessing data on your phone. Terms and conditions are available on the app. NetBank access with NetCode SMS is required. Find out about the minimum operating system requirements on the CommBank app page.

    2 Business cash flow is a tool for general information only and should not be solely relied on to make business, accounting, financial, tax decisions or to reconcile your accounts.

    3 You can access Benefits finder through the CommBank app or NetBank. To use Benefits finder, you’ll need to have an account with us and be registered for NetBank.

    4 Offer of 30% off a More business nbn® plan, SIM-only mobile plan and/or business phone plan for 12 months is for customers who sign up to either a 24 month contract or no contract option by 31 December 2023 and use a CommBank Debit or Credit card as their bill payment method. Offer applies individually to each eligible service activated by this date. Offer does not apply to other More services, including Business Ethernet, Enterprise Ethernet NBN or Business Fibre 1000. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers or discounts. 12 months is a promotional period commencing on the day your eligible service is activated. After this, the cost of your plan will revert to the Recommended Retail Price (RRP) current at that time. The RRP of More nbn® plans are subject to change in accordance with More’s terms of service. If you take up this offer on a no lock-in contract, you are free to cancel at any time without charges, but cancelling your service within the 12 month promotional period will forfeit any remaining months discounted at 30% off. Offer applies to monthly plan fees only and does not apply to any hardware charges not included in the plan, hardware installation charges, nbn® New Development Fee or New Copper Pair charges or any fees for services or usage outside of plan inclusions.

    5 If you take up a 24-month business nbn® plan or business phone plan, you will receive a modem and/or handset(s) (as applicable) at no additional cost if you maintain your service for the full 24 month contract period. Supplied hardware is subject to change, see the More website for current information. If you cancel your service before the end of your 24 month contract, you will incur a $220 (inc. GST) early termination fee. Additionally, you will be charged a hardware non-return fee if supplied hardware is not returned to More within 30 days of early service cancellation. More will provide you with a summary of the fees and charges payable by you at the time of cancelation and information on how, where and by what method to return the hardware.

    6 Daily IQ has been prepared as a research tool for general informational purposes only and should not be relied on to make business decisions or for account reconciliation. The information may be incomplete or not up to date and may contain errors and omissions. Any projections and forecasts are based on a number of assumptions and estimates, including future events and contingencies, which may be inaccurate. Daily IQ is available to business customers with a CommBank Business Transaction Account.

    You can view the Terms and Conditions for Business Transaction and Savings Accounts, our Financial Services Guide and the Electronic Banking Terms and Conditions and should consider them before making any decision about these products and services.The target market for these products can be found within the product’s Target Market Determination. Bank fees and charges may apply.