Small businesses generally face the challenge of having limited capital even in prosperous times, and a lack of necessary capital is one of the chief reasons these businesses fail. Part of the COVID response in the U.S. has been the CARES Act which seeks to provide financial relief for workers and small businesses. Even so, business owners are likely to need cost-cutting options now more than ever. While this can, unfortunately, mean layoffs, there are other ways you can save your business money.
Here are some of the most practical.
Find Cheaper Suppliers
You can’t sell products that you don’t have, and unless you’re manufacturing everything yourself, you’re no doubt working with suppliers and/or distributors to fulfill your orders.
It’s always a good idea to check with your supplier’s competition regularly to see if you can get better deals. This might entail going to a wholesaler, or sometimes you can get special deals straight from the manufacturer if your order is big enough.
If you’re running a tech startup, you might consider getting products from TheStore.
They refurbish, sanitize, and offer warranties on the latest tech products including smartphones, smartwatches, laptops, and TVs for significantly reduced prices. Finding deals like this will be paramount for keeping costs under control.
Use Inventory Tracking Software
Speaking of your inventory, investing in an inventory management solution can help save costs long-term.
For starters, this software can help you better predict stocking needs, so you’ll avoid having too many or too few products, and you can also automate your reordering process.
The software can also help you better organize your inventory and ensure you’re moving your most perishable items first if you work with inventory that can spoil. Best of all, you save a great deal of time that would’ve been spent on manual inventory control, freeing you and potential employees up for bigger tasks.
Embrace Remote Work
Remote work has become increasingly popular during the coronavirus epidemic with 62% of U.S. employees saying that they’ve worked from home.
Many believe that working remotely will become a part of normal life even after the epidemic, and there are certainly benefits to having remote teams. For starters, you can save a great deal of money you’d otherwise have to spend on office space. Employees are also starting to consider the choice in workplace location to be an important factor, and providing this can better motivate employees.
You may not be able to dedicate your entire staff, but freeing up space where you can will be worthwhile.
Use Alternative Marketing
Paid advertising is often challenging to afford, especially in tough times.
Fortunately, you don’t have to put thousands of dollars into traditional ads to market your business. Consider email marketing, for instance.
This is a low-cost method that can be used to reach a huge amount of people across all markets. 91% of mobile users check email on their devices, and an effective email campaign can earn you new customers and even get them to spread the word about your business.
You can also consider content marketing, often called the future of online advertising. This includes blog posts, videos, podcasts, or any other original content you share online that promotes your business or your market expertise. The more credibility you can build online, the more likely potential customers are to trust you.
Objectives and key results (OKRs) is a goal-setting management framework meant to increase employee engagement, boost transparency, and lead to better alignment within departments. OKR methodology is divided into two main parts.
Objectives: These are your overall company goals. They can relate to reducing costs, increasing sales, or any other part of your business strategy. They should be easy for all team members to understand, and it’s best to focus on only a few at a time.
Key Results: These show your progress toward your objectives. You can use key results to gain insights into whether objectives were too easy to accomplish or too ambitious and adjust them accordingly.
OKR tracking software makes it easy to communicate OKRs to your team members, ensure they understand their roles in the process and boost teamwork across your organization. This goal management framework has been used to grow incredibly successful businesses like Intel and Google, and it can help you grow yours too.