The last few years have been challenging in ways we have never experienced before. Small businesses have been left to fend for themselves. As a business owner, you want to maximize the value of every dollar you invest in your business. Even when business is booming, it is important to avoid overspending and to be prepared for the unexpected.
Might now be the time you focus on ways to grow your business, save money, cut costs, and find new ways to generate more business? Here are a few ways your business can thrive during difficult times:
Rely on technology to increase efficiency
With staffing issues and the cost of labor increasing to all‐time highs, it’s important to hire those you need most and outsource wherever possible. Before you hire a person to fill a role, research whether there are online tools, software, or companies with technology providing the same skills at a lower cost. On a positive note, technology rarely asks for a pay raise or a sick day!
Manage your time wisely
Ever heard the saying “time is money”? Well, it’s true! Avoiding unnecessary meetings or repetitive tasks can improve efficiency, because it allows your staff to complete their to‐do’s during their workday. Let’s face it, nobody wants to work more than they must. Allowing you and your staff to allocate their time wisely will benefit you all in the long run. So next time you want to schedule a meeting, ask yourself “is this something urgent or will an email suffice”.
Let your staff work remotely
When employees are required to go to the office, that often increases your costs, as well. Paying rent, electricity, supplies, maintenance, and cleaning services can add up. Allowing your staff to work remotely allows you to cut back on many of your bigger expenses, such as renting office space, without losing efficiency or productivity.
Think outside the box when hiring
We know supplies and rent are major expenses, but let’s not forget the biggest expense, compensation. Labor costs are one of the greatest factors in any business. If your business is declining, you may struggle to pay your employees. If your business is booming, you may be inclined to offer your employees a raise. Hiring recent graduates or even getting an intern allows you to offer experience to someone who really needs it without breaking the bank completely. The compensation of a recent graduate is much lower than someone who has been in the industry for 20+ years, and plus age is just a number right? Who says a 21‐year‐old cannot work the same as someone in their 40’s.
In addition to recent graduates, people who have been out of the workforce for extended periods of time can also be a great resource to consider when expanding your staff. Retirees who are looking for a part time gig or even something to get them out of the house for a few hours, make for a great opportunity to hire someone with experience at a lower cost. Parents rejoining the workforce are also a great consideration because they are often eager to show that they have “the right stuff” and typically understand that they can’t ask for similar pay.
Take advantage of social media
Want to expand your marketing footprint? You do not need to spend a fortune. Instead, explore your options. Social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are free resources for you to build your brand. In a digital world, social media marketing is the most attractive form of content disbursement. It is easy, fun, and best of all, it’s free! So, forget the Advertising Agencies and Salespeople convincing you that their software is the best out there. Focus on your clients’ needs and base your content on that. Start typing and let your ideas flow freely. All you need is a little inspiration.
Cut back on unnecessary supplies
In the office, as an owner you are required to make sure the office is fully stocked with supplies, make sure the printers have paper and ink, internet connection is secure, or even making sure you have coffee in the kitchen. It’s time to take a step back and ask yourself if you really need all this stuff. In the world we live in today, almost everything can be done electronically. These little purchases add up in the long run, and even eliminating one small expense such as printer paper or ink can make a difference at the end of the year.
Changes in our economy and the way our customers spend money and behave are allowing businesses to scale up while scaling back on expenses. Find new ways to be efficient and more productive. Taking advantage of these opportunities will allow your business to thrive, and, who knows? You might make your life and the lives of your employees less stressful.