When you decided to start your new business, did anyone mention how tough it is to succeed? The plain truth is that trying to start a successful company is one of the hardest tasks in life. Why is it so hard? It is hard because of money. To begin with, most startups don’t make much money as they are fighting for their market share to develop their brand. The problem is that most businesses hemorrhage money like it is going out of fashion. And, there is no way to stop the bleeding. Or is there?
If you have any chance of surviving, you are going to need to cut costs to a minimum while your firm tries to find its place in the market. For most business owners, the thought of cutting more costs will send shivers down the spine. However, it is an integral part of ensuring that your business keeps its head above the water.
Even if you have cut costs as far as you think they can go, it is well worth taking a look at these tips. After all, there may be one or two nuggets that have the potential to save your bacon!
1. Invest In Good Technology
Although you may prefer the human element, you cannot afford to be picky. The simple fact is that technology can do the job of three to four people at the same cost. Obviously, that means that technology can save you a fortune because you only need one piece of tech instead of having to pay several employees. The key is to find a piece of tech that you need, and not to buy any tech that you hope will make a difference. For example, every business has to keep a track of their expenses. Instead of leaving that to a person, invest in accounting software. The software will perform all of the basic tasks at a fraction of the cost.
2. Hire An Accountant
That being said, there is no substitute for a top class accountant. Yes, accounting software can do lots of things that an accountant can. But, it is also limited in lots of respects. An accountant will complete the rudimentary tasks that you need to save money, and then they will go the extra mile. For example, an accountant can notify you of changes to tax law and how to position your money so that you pay less tax. They can also tell you when and how to spend your money so that you always have cash in the bank. That way, you are not vulnerable to a lack of cash flow.
3. Only Touch A Bill Once
Even with a good accountant by your side you need to make good decisions when it comes to money. One way to always make good financial decisions is to get your sums right the first time. When you get your sums wrong, you leave yourself open to additional payments. Although you should have paid it in the first place, you made a budget that was wrong, and that is going to have a domino effect. With Bill Review, you only have to touch a bill once. To be honest, it is just good sense to review your payments.
4. Hire A Lawyer
At some point in the not too distant future, you will have a dispute. That dispute can go one of two ways, depending on your legal position. It may cripple you and force you to file for bankruptcy, or it may not even leave a scratch. If you hire a lawyer, the odds are you experience the latter of the two examples. Lawyers are professionals who specialize in law. So, they know how to manipulate the system to your advantage. The next time you are in a dispute with an employee or a rival company, they will use all of their legal acumens to dilute the situation. Because the law is complex, there is no way you can do that without their help.
5. Outsource Expensive Tasks
There are some tasks that are both expensive and boring, so why bother? You bother because they are vital to the success of your business. Still, that doesn’t mean you have to perform the tasks internally. As it happens, you can outsource them to external companies and save a fortune. As these companies are experts in their chosen field, they have lots of skill and experience. But, they also perform these tasks at a fraction of the cost. When all’s said and done, cheap, quality labor is exactly what you need to ensure your business survives. The key is to outsource as much as possible, from communications to marketing.
6. Merge Job Roles
Labor costs are the biggest expenditure that you will face in your battle to stay alive. The last thing you want to do is fire everyone because you need your employees to function. Plus, you may not have a legal right. Luckily, you don’t have to fire everyone because you can keep a small team of employees on board. These employees can take care of everything that the business needs to operate so that you can save money. By merging jobs, you can cut money off your wage bill, but keep the people integral to your success.
7. Merge With The Competition
If it suits both parties, you can think about becoming one big company with your rivals. If you do, you can use their resources for your benefit. The only problem is that your business would more than likely get sucked up and lose its identity. Alternatively, you can merge your efforts on a more informal basis. Take marketing as an example. If you know a company that is related to what you do, but that isn’t a direct rival, ask them to promote your business. In turn, you will promote theirs, and you can both benefit from putting your efforts together. You will both get to promote your brand to a new customer base and raise traffic. It is a win-win for everyone.
8. Piggyback Your Advertising
Where money is involved, creativity will save you a fortune. So, it is time to get creative with your marketing plan. ‘Creative’ doesn’t mean in the sense of making an innovative and original plan, although that is essential. It means getting your brand out to more of the public while keeping the cost at a steady level. How do you achieve that goal? The next time you send out any piece of company mail, you should make sure you include your advertising material. A great example is an invoice, but you can also do it with several other correspondences.
Never be too proud to ask for help. Asking for help is not only a great way to get a job done, but it is also free. Yes, it might cost you in another sense, yet you don’t care as long as it doesn’t cost you money. The problem is you may not have anyone to turn to in your time of need because you haven’t built up a contact list. If that is the case, start circulating as soon as possible. The more people you know, the more likely you can use their influence for your gain. What you need to do is to attend social events that your peers attend and introduce your company. And, you should also create social media accounts, especially a LinkedIn account. At LinkedIn, you can talk to a variety of people from around the world. At the end of the day, you never know when these contacts might come in handy.
10. Take Care Of Your Office Overheads
Overheads are another major expenditure. Still, the amount of businesses that throw them to one side is amazing. At your level, no cost, no matter how much, is irrelevant. Every little helps, and cutting overheads will help your business in the future. Start by looking into how much you pay for your energy bills. Even if it seems reasonable, search comparison sites for even lower prices. The sound of a disgruntled customer is music to their ears, so they might offer you a great deal. Next, change your bulbs as lighting is essential. But, conventional light bulbs are expensive, so you should change to energy-efficient bulbs. The initial cost may be higher, but the future cost will be lower. Finally, go paperless. The amount of paper you buy and waste is bound to be very high. So, get everyone to communicate by email or instant messenger and only print when necessary.
The importance of cutting costs is essential to your business’ health. And, even though it seems like hard work, it is possible to cut costs to the bone. All you have to do is think long and hard about the right cuts and make the right investments. If you do that, your SME will have every chance of surviving.