Save money and reduce business expenses

Published by:
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK

You can save money in your business by reducing expenses. There are many different ways to do this, but here are some of the most interesting options.

Reduce consulting costs by doing your own research

Paid consultants can be very helpful when it comes to solving complex problems. However, you can save time and money in your business by educating yourself on these difficult topics. By doing your own research, you will be able to communicate more effectively with consultants. Consider seeking advice from online message boards and forums like or contacting the KVK Advice Team.

Rent equipment instead of buying

The sharing economy is a growing trend where you do not always need to own the products you use. Renting or borrowing items that you only need occasionally can be more cost-effective and sustainable. This approach benefits both the owner and the user by turning fixed costs into variable costs.

Downsize your business location

If you find that you no longer need as much space for your business, consider whether your current premises is still suitable for your needs. Moving to a smaller business location can help you save on rent and energy costs.

Switch to sustainable practices

Going green in your business operations can save you money. Switching from natural gas or oil to green energy not only benefits the environment but also reduces carbon emissions. And customers appreciate businesses that prioritise sustainability.

Use flexible workers and self-employed professionals

If you have permanent employees, terminating contracts can be costly and challenging. Do you have temporary staffing needs? Consider hiring temporary workers through payrolling companies, employment agencies, or self-employed professionals. Although hired workers may charge higher hourly rates, the additional work they provide will likely increase your turnover. This shift allows for greater control over labour costs as they become variable rather than fixed expenses. If you hire a self-employed professional, make sure to avoid false self-employment.

Refinance expensive loans

Your past loans may now have high interest rates due to market changes. In such cases, refinancing could be a viable option. Additionally, converting an overdraft facility into a medium- or long-term credit can also help you save money. Before cancelling existing financing, always seek advice from a financial adviser and ensure a smooth transition.

Refinance a mortgage

If interest rates have significantly dropped since you obtained your business mortgage, you may be able to reduce your monthly costs by refinancing. Keep in mind that penalty interest may apply based on the remaining fixed rate period. Consider additional expenses such as notary costs, advisory fees, and valuation costs when evaluating this option. Consult with a financial adviser to determine if mortgage refinancing is suitable for your situation.

Sublet unused space

If your current commercial space is larger than necessary, subletting can be a cost-saving solution. Review your rental agreement to confirm subletting is allowed. Work with your legal adviser to draft a comprehensive lease agreement that aligns with your own terms.

Use open-source software

Well-known software packages can be expensive. Fortunately, there are open-source alternatives available for many applications. Open-source software can be downloaded and used free of charge. This provides independence from single vendors while saving money.

Implement commission-based compensation

With a commission-based compensation structure, employee pay is tied to their performance. Remember that employees must still receive at least the statutory minimum wage or the minimum wage specified in the applicable collective labour agreement. However, they can earn additional income based on their individual results. Commission-based compensation allows total wage costs to fluctuate in line with changes in turnover. This makes them partially variable rather than fully fixed expenses.

Sale and leaseback arrangements

Selling equipment or commercial space and then leasing it back can generate funds for your business.

Change employment conditions

Employment contracts cannot be changed unless they contain specific clauses allowing for unilateral amendments. In exceptional cases where there are compelling reasons, known as compelling grounds, contracts may be modified with approval from both parties. Secondary employment conditions that are not mentioned in the employment contract may be easier to amend. These conditions are typically outlined in employment regulations. Remember that any changes may still require approval from the works council.

Outsource tasks

You do not have to handle every aspect of your business alone. Focus on your core competencies and consider outsourcing other tasks to external businesses that have the necessary equipment and expertise. In many cases, outsourcing can be more cost-effective in the long run. This saves you time and money.

Set up a contingency fund

While insurance can protect against major risks, setting up a contingency fund is another option. This fund serves as a reserve for unforeseen expenses. It allows you to cover unexpected future expenses when necessary. Contingency funds can be created for warranty claims, uninsured damages, obsolete stock, or unpaid accounts receivable. Consult with a financial adviser or accountant to explore suitable options for your business.


During periods of reduced turnover, managing business expenses becomes challenging. Bartering provides a way to obtain goods and services without spending money directly. However, remember that VAT may still apply. It is important to establish clear agreements upfront to avoid complications later on.

MKB Diagnosetool

Utilise KVK's MKE Diagnosetoole (in Dutch, SME Diagnostic Tool) to assess the performance of your company. By completing all the steps, you will receive an independent report with actionable tips and personalised advice tailored to your specific needs.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK