Balancing the books for your small business can be challenging, particularly in today’s competitive environment. Companies are always looking for methods to improve their bottom line, while still providing professional service for customers. We have put together six smart strategies to save money without compromising on quality:
Ditch the Office
Renting office space is the most significant cost for any small businesses. If you want to secure a professional office space without splashing out the cash, consider some alternatives. Serviced offices, for example, are cost-effective, flexible options that are set up and ready for you to move right into. Look for serviced offices in prime locations in the central business district and utilize their professional reception and administrative services. You don’t have to worry about maintenance, and you gain access to a buzzing community of other small organizations.
Save on Staffing
If you are not sure that you need a full-time accountant or marketing coordinator, there are many options available. You can consider hiring someone part-time or take on a virtual assistant to meet your requirements. Hiring a virtual assistant will not only allow you to provide a professional face to the business without the cost of a full-time employee, but it also saves on office space. Most importantly, if you are currently having your regular staff answer phones and forward messages in addition to their other duties, outsourcing this function will free up valuable time for them to dedicate to more strategic areas.
As most employees will know, larger companies often struggle with inadequate systems and processes. Small businesses generally have strong communication and waste less time jumping through hoops to get things done. You can use this to your advantage. Work with your team to iron out any inefficiencies so you can get projects tied up as quickly as possible. This allows you to maximize profitability.
Focus on the 20%
The old rule that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers still applies. Have you sat down and analyzed which customers are driving your bottom line? By understanding who is bringing in the big bucks, you can be extremely targeted when pitching for new business. Don’t waste time trying to appeal to everyone – know your market well, and you will save yourself time and money.
Use the Cloud
Cloud computing is perfect for small businesses and can save you money on capital expenses, staffing and software upgrades. Plus, it gives you access to functionalities you may not have previously been able to afford and usually allows you to access your business data and applications anywhere, anytime, on any device.
You will no longer need to maintain expensive servers. Contrary to concerns raised over data security, large cloud computing vendors have more sophisticated data security than the average small business. They will also manage data recovery issues, so you’re covered in case anything goes wrong.
We all know that big companies equal massive buying power. They can sell products at impossibly low prices because of the enormous quantities in which they order. Now, small businesses are finding ways to get a piece of the action too. The new trend is called co-opetition, or collaborative competition. Small companies are pooling their buying power to save money on bulk materials or deciding to share advertising costs in a way that is mutually beneficial.
Remember that the key to success is always to work smarter not harder. By implementing the above measures, you can lower your costs without costing your business reputation.