In the middle of tumultuous times, many of our small business clients are asking the same question: How can my business save money in the middle of a pandemic?
As all small business owners know, the unexpected costs of running a business pile up at the worst times. And when global economic uncertainty comes into play, the instinct can be to batten down the hatches and just try to get through the worst. However, smart money planning and business efficiency help you grow your business, even amid struggle.
Here are ten excellent ways small businesses can save money – and focus more on the things that matter.
1. Jump into the virtual workspace.
Why pay rent when 90% of your business is already online? Most companies are embracing the best work-from-home and remote work policies. Jumping onto this bandwagon cuts costs of transportation, office rent and utilities, and supplies. Plus, with so many remote collaboration tools available in 2020, the best remote work environment is already waiting for you.
2. Go paperless.
Cutting out paper products is a great way to help the environment while also saving a ton of cash. Switch from paper invoices to a digital tracking system. Send the meeting notes as a PDF instead of a print-out. Collaborate via digital documents in Office 365 instead of passing around a presentation for physical notes. The opportunities are endless!
3. Cut expenses, not employees.
We all know how scary a threat layoffs can be. Instead of cutting employees, find other expenses where you can trim your budget. For example, cut out expensive perks that employees can’t use right now, like gym stipends or team lunches. Instead, focus on padding your business bank account for payroll – Just be sure to communicate all changes clearly to your employees, and outline a plan for bringing back perks in the future.
4. Outsource responsibly – and often.
If you don’t enjoy a particular facet of your business, why do it? For example, many of our clients love the work they do—accounting, family law, taking photographs—but they don’t enjoy or don’t understand the IT side of running a business. Outsourcing sections of your business can help you save time and money in the long run. Instead of fighting through hours of computer updates or looking for tax deductions you might have missed, hire an MSP or an accountant, and spend that time reaching out to potential new clients.
5. Negotiate with your vendors and utility companies.
Many vendors for critical small business components—like insurance, Internet access, and cell phone service—are offering new discounts and creative payment plans designed to alleviate the pressure on small businesses. A quick phone call to your major vendors can save you a solid chunk of change in the short run.
(Pro tip: Don’t have the time to speak with your vendors? Grand Technology Solutions is a proud partner of many Internet, communications, and other small biz vendors. We’re happy to advocate for you!)
6. When hiring employees, look for intelligence and passion, not experience.
Consider the cost of a full-time employee versus a temporary summer intern. How many tasks could you teach to someone promising, if you just got rid of that “minimum five years’ experience” requirement on your job posts? Especially in today’s economic climate, hiring for intelligence, passion, and trainability is a smarter decision than hiring based on experience. Hiring an employee should be an investment – a marathon, not a sprint.
7. Cut down to a four-day workweek.
According to Breathe HR, a four-day workweek offers tons of employee benefits—and plenty of cost savings. Not only are you saving on employee hours, coffee cups, and printer ink, you’re saving your employees’ time and energy. Many workplaces that have switched to a four-day workweek report improved productivity, efficiency, and workplace satisfaction. (If you’re not ready to make the full switch, try taking every other Friday off, and see how your team adjusts!)
8. Hack your team meetings.
When you’re trying to save money, efficiency is the name of the game. We’ve all been in those team meetings that seem to drag on into infinity. Save time and energy by perfecting your remote meeting strategy. Create an agenda and test all tech before the meeting starts, nix multitasking from the start, and nominate a “Yoda” to keep the rest of the team on task.
9. Find partnerships and consider bartered services.
If your small business is struggling due to COVID-19, you’re not alone. Small business owners in practically every industry are looking for ways to cut costs – and you might be able to help each other out. What products or services do you offer that could be exchanged for something that gives YOUR business a boost? For example, if you offer accountant services, consider teaming up with a marketing agency and trading some book-balancing for social media work. The only way through is together!
10. Be proactive.
If you take one lesson away from this article, let it be this: Taking proactive steps to protect and boost your business will save you money in the long run. There’s a common saying in business development that you have to spend money to make money – and in the case of proactive policies, this couldn’t be more true. For example, investing in Internet security and virus protection may seem like a hefty up-front expense, but not when you consider the hours lost and the potential crisis unfolding from a ransomware attack, a massive data loss, or a server crash.
We’ll get through these wild times together! Whether you’re in the earliest stages of getting your business off the ground or you’ve been running your small business like a well-oiled machine for years, Grand Technology Solutions is here to help. We find real, lasting solutions for your small business technology troubles – and we help you take the next step to build your business.
Give us a call at (904) 606-6011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help!