Small business owners take on a variety of roles. Often, they do so out of necessity. You might not have the resources to hire a huge staff or consultants with knowledge of expensive marketing techniques. If anything, you already struggle to pay the bills each month, even if your business is doing well.
As a solution, take a look at cost-cutting measures. They can make a big difference when you’re in the red financially. Even small savings can add up quickly, allowing your business to grow and succeed until it’s easier to stay afloat or expand into new ventures.
Thankfully, cutting costs isn’t as difficult as you might think. Let’s take a look at a few effective cost-cutting measures, so you can achieve success and breathe a bit easier about the financial state of your brand.
1. Use Free Resources
You might be surprised by the number of business resource tools you can use for free. From online classes and courses to networking opportunities, there are plenty of ways you can boost your business for free — especially online. Some quick and easy ways to grow your exposure without spending any money include:
- Creating a website or blog;
- Yelp for Business;
- Google Maps;
- Google My Business.
You can also use platforms like Kickstarter or Patreon to ask people for funding. Many small business owners start out this way, asking people who believe in them to back their brand. However, crowdfunding can also be extremely helpful if you’re worried about going under or if you’re experiencing any kind of financial hardship. It’s free to sign up for these programs, and you never know how much people will be willing to help.
2. Reduce Overhead Costs
Whether you’re a homeowner or a business owner, rent and utilities can add up quickly. Thankfully, you can reduce overhead costs by reviewing and prioritizing which costs are most important, renegotiating payments, getting rid of unnecessary equipment or supplies, and exploring different space solutions.
Going paperless and utilizing reusable products are also great ways to reduce those costs. Plus, it promotes sustainability within your company, which isn’t just a great PR tool, but something that can foster a positive workplace environment for everyone.
3. Recycle and Repurpose
If you’re wanting to take a sustainable approach, you can also consider what things in your business can be reused or repurposed in some way. That includes looking at inventory that you know won’t sell. If you have excess stock on your hands, you can make some of your money back by:
- Reworking old inventory into new products;
- Selling it at a discount;
- Cosigning with other businesses.
Even if you end up recycling your overstock, it’s better than throwing it away. While that might not save you money, you’ll have a better idea of which products move and which don’t. So, you can hone in on your ordering practices and save money by only making purchases that are beneficial to your business.
4. Maintain Your Property
If you have a brick-and-mortar business, make sure it’s always in good shape. Consider hiring professionals for things like HVAC maintenance and plumbing. Get things inspected and upgraded regularly. While doing so might seem like an investment, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is “letting things go” because you don’t want to spend the money.
If you don’t pay attention to maintenance or even necessary repairs, you’ll undoubtedly end up with even more damage. These damages require more money for repair, and you may even have to lose more money in the long run by closing your business for a short period. Consider hiring local maintenance companies who are willing to work with you on pricing, or even payment plans.
5. Examine the Personnel Structure
Every business wants to grow. That often means hiring more people and adapting your business plan as you get bigger. However, hiring too many people could end up costing you.
Consider each position within your company and what it requires for fulfillment. Are there things that could be automated for free? Could you take away some of the mundane tasks from your existing employees and expand their roles elsewhere?
If you let your existing employees branch out, you’ll cut down onboarding and training costs, and won’t have to spend thousands on giving someone a new salary. Most employees would be thrilled to have training opportunities and to take on new tasks. Instead of always hiring someone new, delegate existing tasks to different people, automate what you can, and work on building up your existing team’s skills.
Cutting costs around your business isn’t the end of the world. If anything, it can give you hope. In the future, you’ll most likely experience growth and success. At worst, they can help you tighten your budget and look forward to the future.
By Indiana Lee, BOSS contributor