For a business to thrive, monthly expenditure should be cut to a minimum. But this doesn’t mean you don’t invest on your business—in terms of marketing and employment. This only means that you spend wisely and practically.
Marketing is one necessary expense for a business. If nobody has heard of your company, who will go there? But in this generation, you don’t need to hire the most expensive advertising agencies to get your name out there.
Here are some marketing ideas that will cut costs in your business.
Use social media
Social media have been a powerful tool. And it’s basically free. Spread the word about your business through Facebook and Instagram. Use social media wisely. Even if it’s just free, you can’t just post anything you want in order to advertise products. Be smart about your posts. With Facebook, post something educational or entertaining and then link that article with your business. On Instagram, make sure you post a creative photo. And don’t flood the feeds because you will be in danger of losing followers. Engage the people so they will be curious about your products or services.
Ask your family and friends to share your posts. You can reach thousands of people in no time and at no cost.
If you are selling products offline, make sure you include leaflets about your business in the bag when you pack a customer’s purchases. If you are marketing your service, you may attach your promotional flier with the customer’s receipt.
Coordinate with neighbors
Look around your neighbors. If there is one company that is not in direct competition with your products or services, talk to the owner and propose a coordinated advertising. You can split the cost of advertising. It would help if your product or service complement each other. If not, well, the advertising agency will be able to craft creative ideas to mesh your businesses in one advertising campaign.
Now on to the actual business. You will, of course, need employees. If you are selling products, you need someone to man the store. You can do it yourself but it might be practical to hire somebody else. Remember, you have to manage the store and market your business. You have to be the brains and the heart of the business, so let somebody else do the legwork.
Hiring a number of employees would be costly, though. It’s a monthly expense and you have to shoulder benefits, too. So be smart about who you are actually going to hire. A person to man the store would be important—especially if you are selling products. If you are selling services, it is important that you have somebody at the office at all times to answer the calls of potential clients.
Here are some ways in order to save on employment costs:
Hire only the necessary personnel
Yes, this is straightforward as hiring only the right people for the job. You can find those who are already experienced to those that require a higher level of skills. Otherwise, you can hire those that are less experienced but are fast learners.
Outsource other tasks
For short-term jobs, you can bring in freelancers. This way, you don’t have to pay every month, only a certain period of time. Also, you don’t need to give them benefits as these are taken care of by their employers. They also don’t clock in overtime. But if there is one freelancer that you want to hire, then it’s something worth considering. This will save you training costs because you already saw first-hand how that person works.
There are certain tasks that you can rely on mobile apps or software to accomplish. Technology can even accomplish some tasks faster. For example, if you want your books done regularly and with less (or zero) mistakes, this is something that a software can do better. You should do this yourself because as a business owner, you are more inclined to be more careful with inputting your records.
There is a myriad of mobile apps out there that fit well with your business. SaveWave, for example, is an app that collects and reports sales figure. Goodbye, paper, pen and calculator! You just have to do your research and find the right one for your kind of business.
The great thing about having interns is that you don’t have to pay them much and you don’t need to give them benefits. And since they are young, aggressive and willing to learn, most of them are easy to teach and are inclined to work harder than older and jaded employees.
Work from home
This is not applicable in all businesses. But if your kind of business allows it, let your employees work from home from time to time. This will let you save on operational costs: electricity (from computers, other electricity-generated equipment), coffee and snacks, papers, etc.
But the business is not just about marketing and employees. It’s a plethora of other things.
So here are some other ways to cut cost on business:
Use less paper
Nowadays, who needs paper? Everything can be stored in the cloud. Just make sure you always have a backup for all files because technology is not perfect. Use emails when you can. You can even do so with receipts, unless the customers insist on having a hard copy. Just because you are trying to cut cost doesn’t mean you have to neglect the customer’s needs. You should always have an official receipt on hand but whenever possible, tell the customer you want to be more environmentally friendly so if it’s possible, you will just email the receipt.
The same with newsletters, if you have some. Ask customers to sign an address book so you can email newsletters and promos.
Negotiate with suppliers
In most cases, as long as you buy items in bulk, suppliers will give you a huge discount. But sometimes, you don’t need that many items in the store. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. If you show suppliers that you pay well and that you are loyal to them, negotiation will become easier in time.
Insure your business
Sure, this is an added expense for the company. But you have to think about the situations that are beyond your control. It is always better if you are prepared especially since nature is very unpredictable.
Running a business costs money—you have to understand that. And the first few months of a startup are always the hardest. So always think ahead on the best ways to run a business without spending too much. The best thing about this generation is that information is free. It’s all out there in the Internet. Research is key—educate yourself about how to cut costs and successfully run your business.