The coronavirus pandemic has piled the pressure on businesses from virtually every sector. So, if your company is going to survive, you must take the necessary steps to keep your finances in order.
After working exceptionally hard to achieve the desired levels of revenue, it would be a disaster to let overheads stand in your way of success. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that you find ways to tighten the purse strings without compromising productivity or output.
Here are 25 simple improvements that can be made right away:
1. Reconsider your recruitment process
Great employees are an SME’s greatest asset, but staffing budgets are a major expense. If freelancers or outsourced services can reduce the staffing costs (and need for more equipment) it’s a huge bonus. Paying full-time, permanent employees when you don’t need them would be a very bad move indeed.
2. Open your arms to remote working
Remote working is a particularly smart move right now as it makes it easier to maintain social distancing. However, it can aid your finances on a long-term basis too as employees will use their own facilities. They may work better in their own surroundings without colleague distractions too. Perfect.
3. Change energy suppliers
Whether it’s an office, store, or warehouse doesn’t matter. Electricity, gas and water supplies are a continued overhead. Comparing the tariffs offered by different suppliers may save you a four-figure sum over the course of the year. And, yet, you’ll receive the exact same volumes of energy.
4. Switch web host service
On a similar note, switching web hosts can save a few hundred dollars every year without losing quality. It is important to analyze the market to ensure that the provider will deliver a reliable and powerful service. Still, when you keep using the new customer deals, you’ll gain far cheaper rates.
5. Lose unnecessary insurances
If your company is currently paying multiple insurance companies, it’s possible that some of the items aren’t needed. For example, equipment may be covered by the buildings’ insurance coverage. Check the contracts and make a few enquiries. It could potentially save big money without losing any coverage.
6. Save on workwear and equipment
Regardless of your industry, all members of your team should represent your brand in a strong way. Their appearances are vital, which is why quality attire like Uniform Advantage color scrubs are key additions. Choose affordable items that last. Accessories like lanyards and business cards are the same.
7. Lose unnecessary meetings
Time is money, and unnecessary team meetings are a major waste of both. Learning to cut hour-long sessions to 20 minutes also prevents the threat of digression.
Team messaging Apps and project management software enables you to maintain clear communication. Utilize it at all times.
8. Reduce business travel
On a similar note, you can save a lot of money by cutting out long haul flights and other journeys. Video conferencing enables you to complete most tasks. While some meetings must be held face-to-face, reducing the frequency will serve you well. It aids the social distancing practices too.
9. Keep employees hydrated
A coffee machine or water dispenser may require a small investment. However, the increased productivity gained from improved hydration should not be ignored.
Even a 10% improvement from each staff member could reduce the need to hire extra staff members. And people will feel respected.
10. Protect assets and people
Replacing stolen goods, whether stock or equipment, will cost you a lot of money. Meanwhile, lawsuits stemmed from personal injuries are another major blow to your capital.
So, putting the right safety and security measures in place. CCTV, electrical safety hooks, and clear signage are just some of the items.
11. Stop intellectual theft
While physical and digital security are essential ingredients in the recipe for success, they aren’t the only key factors. Protecting intellectual data is an even greater issue.
Prevention is the best form of protection and will save you from expenses, including the time and expense of repairing the damage.
12. Integrate new tech
Automation can clearly save you a lot of money by increasing the rate of productivity. In truth, though, you can take efficiency to a whole new level by using 3D printing and other modern processes to save time and money.
In turn, this should translate to less financial waste and quicker problem-solving.
13. Team up with other businesses
Skills trades, joint promotions, and shared resources are just some of the ways that other firms can help you. Mutually beneficial partnerships prove that it doesn’t have to feel as though it’s your company versus the world.
The key is to avoid competitors but still find brands with similar target markets.
14. Use marketing analysis
By now, you’ll be fully aware that digital marketing is essential for cost-effective promotions. Still, your PPC, SEO, and content strategies still need regular reviewing. The insights offered by Google Analytics, Facebook Analytics, et al. are incredible. Listen to what those tools say, and CPAs will soar.
15. Embrace the power of recommendation
As far as cost-effective marketing is concerned, referrals and affiliations are perfect. You only pay the partners after they’ve generated sales on your behalf. This means that no risk is attached to the methods. Customer reviews are another powerful tool that can be achieved without spending money. Use them.
16. Check clients thoroughly
For most businesses, accepting repayment plans is necessary to generate sales on bigger products. Sadly, clients defaulting on payments can significantly harm your finances. Stop losing money with TransUnion credit checking software. You may lose the odd sale, but it’ll reduce financial waste.
17. Add virtual customer care
Customer retention rates will influence revenue. Likewise, the client care solutions will impact your costs. The use of chatbots, website FAQs, and virtual receptionist services are all good ways to enjoy cost-effective care. Better still, if it stops distractions, this allows you to achieve more in the working day.
18. Choose off-site IT and data storage
Outsourced IT delivers better results for the business and offers 24/7 coverage. However, it also saves you from needing an extra floor for IT departments and data storage elements.
Instead, your on-site machinery will be limited to the equipment that staff members actually need to perform.
19. Go paperless
Switching to paperless invoicing and contract systems is great for the environment and your pocket alike. Moreover, this encourages you adopt a winning mindset where further eco-friendly updates may be used.
This could range from upgraded staff bathrooms to better workplace insulation.
20. Rethink your delivery services
If your company delivers items to a local or international audience doesn’t matter. This is one aspect of business where you can save big money. Teaming up with companies that offer partial truckload deals as well as full truck will reduce the costs. It’s another move that has a good impact on the environment.
21. Ask clients for their views
Everything you do in business is geared towards the customers. Sometimes, then, the best thing you can do is ask what they want. Survey Monkey forms can provide telling insight. While not all info will be useful, it’s far better than constantly guessing. If nothing else, clients will feel valued by your brand.
22. Learn to negotiate
When working with other businesses and suppliers, the power of negotiation can make a big impact to your bottom line. Not all agreements can be changed to more preferential terms.
Still, if you can save yourself an average of just 10% just by talking things through, it would be crazy to ignore the rewards.
23. Maintain healthy workspaces
Faults around the work environment can cause a huge waste of money. Whether it’s lost heat energy, water leaks, or faulty machinery that slow you down doesn’t matter. Smart tech can identify a lot of issues and adapt to the scenarios. When supported by regular reporting, you will see big improvements.
24. Analyze all service subscriptions
When paying for bundled items like software packages, the truth is that you might not use every item. Unless the products are already bespoke to your needs, a full audit can unlock potential cutbacks. As such, you can find that money is saved without impacting the subscriptions that you actually use.
25. Trust your gut
Finally, you must learn to listen to your instincts. While analytics and research do play key roles in various aspects of business, too much hesitation will cost you dearly. Therefore, if you are confident about any aspect, it’s best to go with your gut before the opportunity passes you by.
When trying to manage a successful business in this difficult era, a tight grasp on spending is vital. AS well as incorporating the above ideas, then, you must learn to track the situation. Accounting isn’t an issue that can be limited to annual reporting. Implement it on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
While spending less won’t guarantee success for your SME, it will lay the perfect foundation to build upon. You’ve got this!
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*Photos by Karolina Grabowska.