Five ways small businesses in the country can save money next year
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By Tinashe Ruzane
Given the economic turbulence we are currently experiencing, every business is looking to save money where it can. This is even more important for small businesses, with many taking a hard knock in the wake of ongoing Covid-19 lockdowns and infection waves.
Here are some savvy ways to spend money without impacting on effectiveness or efficiency.
1. Rethink your marketing strategies
You know what they say about doing business without advertising – it’s like winking at someone you fancy in the dark. That doesn’t mean you need to allocate a huge budget to marketing strategies, though. Don’t underestimate the power of simple moves, like optimising your website for SEO or sending a handwritten ‘thank you’ note with your product; a small touch which helps to build loyalty; you’re more likely to get business from a return customer than a loyal customer.
One can also carefully consider the social media channels which best fit their brand profile and keep up a consistent presence. Find ways to get the brand out there without coughing up – maybe you can identify a micro-influencer who would be happy to promote your brand to their audience in exchange for preferential use of your product or service. Finally, understand that every touch point is an opportunity to promote your brand – in fact, every time you meet someone new, you have a chance to grow your network and introduce them to your offering.
2. Make the most of free tools
Why pay for software when you can use the open-source equivalent? Obviously, it’s impossible to run a business without using some form of software, but you may manage to avoid the hefty fees associated with many offerings by finding the open-source equivalent. Spend a little time researching what’s available – you’ll find that there are many apps and tools that can be used free of charge.
3. Reconsider every fixed cost
Your vehicle is a case in point. Do you really need to buy a car or a fleet and commit to spending money on all that goes with it (think insurance, for example) even when business is quiet?
4. Does your staffing solution work for the business?
Many small business owners find that it’s more cost-effective to outsource functions rather than bringing a staff member into the business and investing in training and other costs, like creating a workstation.This is especially true if the requirements of the job fluctuate – if there is a heavy workload for just a few months of the year, it certainly doesn’t make sense to hire a full-time employee.
If, however, you decide that you’d like to grow your staff complement, it’s a good idea to look for candidates who have a great attitude and are hungry to learn, rather than those who have impressive experience and are therefore more expensive. There’s another solid reason for hiring employees fresh out of college or university: they’re often up to date with the latest tech and trends, and they’re full of fresh, out-the-box ideas.
5. Embrace the new way of working
At first, many of us weren’t comfortable with the changes that Covid brought to the workplace – like working from home, for instance. It didn’t take long before we came to realise the advantages, however – is there anyone who doesn’t appreciate the extra money they’ve saved on petrol by forgoing the morning commute? For a small business owner, these changes make even more sense.
If you have a workforce, allowing them to log in remotely means that you can save on office space and all the little extras that come with running premises. You’ll also find that you’re spending less on electricity and water.
On that note, you’ll find that there are many cost savings to be enjoyed from going green wherever you can. The best news? The small changes you’d have to make are so simple – it’s as easy as using both sides of the paper when printing, making sure that all equipment and lights are switched off when not in use, and keeping wastage to a minimum.
Tinashe Ruzane is the CEO and co-founder of FlexClub.
*The views expressed here are not necessarily those of IOL or of title sites.
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