Blog posts and news articles are multiplying across the internet and preaching various ways in which small businesses can survive these difficult times. To separate yourself from the crowd, tips and tricks from industry professionals and subject matter experts can go a long way to boosting your engagement.
Keep reading to learn 8 money-saving tips from successful small business owners. We’ve culled the useless information to bring you real tips on cost-cutting, reducing your overheads, connecting with your target market and building your business.
1. Review your small expenses.
It is tedious and time-consuming to audit and review every single one of your business expenses. Many businesses may have slowed down and this is certainly a worthwhile pursuit. Small cuts in ongoing expenses can result in large savings over the long-term. Find out what isn’t yielding a sizeable ROI and simply eliminate that expense.
2. Examine your fixed costs and look for savings!
The variable costs of your business (like stock) will change as your business grows or shrinks. Savings on those variables costs is important but savings on fixed costs will see long term benefits no matter what the future holds. Examine your fixed costs like utilities, rent and insurance and shop around to make sure you are getting the best deal. BizCover is a company that does online insurance quotes from multiple companies at the same time. Make sure your business has the right mix of cost to cover!
3. Buy in bulk.
There are so many office and work products that you can buy in bulk from large supermarkets, warehouses or online. When you analyse your expenses, identify which ones are purchased randomly or at middle-man suppliers. Look into bulk buying options for these frequent-use items.
4. Use open source software.
Every business uses some type of software, be it basic or complex. Instead of dropping hundreds on software purchases or updates, look into free open source alternatives. Boyd’s company used open source software when they were creating their online service. You can find open source software for everything from photo editing to invoicing to accounting.
5. Do some old-school marketing.
Rhondalynn Korolak of Imagineering Unlimited swears by thank-you notes. Sending out hand-written thank-you cards to his customers boosted sales by 15%. Five minutes of time and the cost of a stamp is all it takes.
6. Create partnerships for marketing.
Boyd suggests building partnerships with other startups save money and maximise the reach of your combined promotional efforts. Lingerie business owner Alicia Vargo says, “We have given up the print and radio advertising and focused on related alliances, for example bridal shops, post mastectomy businesses, photographers, hospitals and plastic surgeons. These are related areas for us. The organic partnerships far outweigh an ad or a radio promotion.”
7. Simplify your distribution process.
Your distribution process might be needlessly complicated. Drop-shipping is a method successfully used by many small business owners including Amazon shop owners. Even if you don’t receive large volumes of orders, it is still worth contacting your supplier to create a dropshipping partnership with them.
Even if drop-shipping is not the right option for your small business, you should still examine the distribution process in your own business and find ways to simplify or eliminate the processes involved. You need to be savvy and negotiate smart agreements wherever you can.
8. Know your customer.
Allen Ash of Almar Sales Co, a family business founded in 1965, offers up this gem. Draw your attention to your own small business and ask yourself how well you know your customers. If you know them well enough to know where they actually go online, then you can focus your online marketing efforts more specifically instead of wasting money advertising on the wrong platforms.
You should take the time to learn what your customers like, how they respond, what they want and what they’ll spend. By doing this you’ll be able to sift out ineffective options for your marketing plan. The money you do spend will yield a greater ROI or return on investment.
9. Reward your profit-makers.
Spending money to save money can make a lot of sense. Keep on reading to find out how. You need to invest in your customers as well as your employees. You may already be offering your customers vouchers, discounts, or rewards programs.
You should also boost your employees by recognizing and incentivizing hard work and exemplary results. You might put on team lunches, offer days in lieu, and of course, offer yearly bonuses where warranted. Spend just a little more money on the people who work hardest for your company or purchase your services frequently to nurture this relationship. Healthy relationships will ultimately profit your business.