Fifteen Cutting-Edge Ways For Small Businesses to Save Money

Fifteen Cutting-Edge Ways For Small Businesses to Save Money

Fifteen Cutting-Edge Ways For Small Businesses to Save Money

Fifteen Cutting-Edge Ways For Small Businesses to Save Money

Running a small business? Keeping control of annual costs can be difficult, but there are many ways you can take better control of your expenditure. From modern technology to cutting out excessive meetings, here are 15 ways you can keep overheads low.

1. Use chatbots

These friendly pieces of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are a modern marvel for many businesses, as well as effective for any recruitment strategy. The automated software is already at an advanced stage. It can prompt customers to make purchases, or take candidates onto the next stage of your hiring procedure.

There’s the belief in the business world chatbots could, by 2023, save up to $11 billion for the banking, retail, and healthcare industries. You get the impression more businesses are going to want to be a part of that.

2. Upgrade your SEO campaign

Your average big business these days has a complex SEO campaign in full flow (if any don’t, they need to).
Smaller businesses are far less likely to have an SEO project in place. Many don’t have any SEO at all. This can be due to either a lack of understanding of the benefits, or considering it too expensive to bother with.

This is a huge missed opportunity. White hat SEO can transform your search engine rankings, but also save you money on your other digital marketing efforts (such as PPC).

The industry-leading Moz has a Beginner’s Guide to SEO you should check out. In basic form, what you want to do the following for your website:

  • Ensure you’re targeting your industry’s keywords
  • Update your core landing pages with new metadata and keyword rich content
  • Track results with an SEO tool of your choice
  • Build quality links whenever possible

3. Go paperless

This is in the inverse of “cutting-edge”, but embracing a paperless office policy will save you a vast amount of money on three things: printers, printer ink, and paper. Technology has ensured we don’t need to keep printing everything off.

4. Be environmentally friendly

As with above, heading towards a green business isn’t just a fad—it can save money and should be for all employers. If you’re in an office, for instance, enforcing a policy of turning off your computers can save you a lot of electricity.

Even little changes can make a big difference. Such as? Have a relaxed dress code, so during the summer months, your air conditioning doesn’t have to be sky high. In winter, let people dress up to keep warm. All this can add up to a big difference.

Keen for more ideas? This green office guide from the British Assessment Bureau is a useful starting point that provides a batch of other cost-saving ideas.

5. Turn to freelancers when needed

Outsourcing is very much big news for modern businesses. If your staff is too busy to take on a project, or you have a one-off job that doesn’t require a new hire, reach out to a skilled freelancer to complete the job for you.

Upwork is a great place to start. There you can find the freelancer of your choice based on abilities, experience, and the expected fee.

6. Encourage telecommuting

If you have staff members who can work from home, let them. Think of saved office space, utilities, lower electricity usage, and happier (i.e. more productive) staff members.

It isn’t possible for every business and every industry, of course, but if you’re office based then offering telecommuting to capable workers can work wonders for you.

7. Recognise enthusiasm in inexperienced employees

Experienced employees expect a higher salary, but they’re not necessarily going to do a better job.
Conversely, inexperienced staff (such as recent graduates) come at a far cheaper price. They won’t have the full skill set of more experienced staff, but if they’re smart and enthusiastic then this can go a long way.

8. Consider an internship

Developing on from #7, you could consider internships for recent graduates. They’re typically cost-effective, enthusiastic, and smart. The right candidate can bring a breath of fresh air into your business with their youthful enthusiasm, which can complement your existing staff enormously. All whilst keeping costs low.

9. Spend less time in meetings

Meetings can be essential (sometimes). But far too many of them involve wasting a lot of time for no real reason. Keep the ones you need to attend short and to the point – also, only invite people who need to be there.

The result? Far greater productivity. Staff members who are sitting around listening to managers talking and simply wasting time. Let them work instead.

10. Consider the smallest expenses

For many modern businesses, it’s become common to throw as many perks as possible. Think a ping pong table, video game consoles, free lunches, and even an office dog running about.

Think of affordable perks if you’re on a tight budget (i.e. free tea and coffee – it’s usually expected by employees, these days). Or just focus perks for the end of each month, such as free drinks on the final working Friday to celebrate four weeks of hard work.

11. Get some local sponsors

Holding seminars supported by sponsors is a popular way for small businesses to bring in new customers. Sponsors will pay for many expenses in return for a top billing advertising slot at your events. It’s a merger that benefits you and your sponsor.

12. Use cloud technology

You can use cloud technology to store your data, cutting out the need for some expensive software. Cloud-based services like Salesforce or Staffmate stops the need to purchase, and then maintain, the more expensive software larger businesses rely on.

13. Use free services for your marketing

It’s important to remember a lot of expensive software has cheaper alternatives available. Some are even free and can prove essential for your business.

Here are a few possibilities for your average marketing strategy:

  • Project management systems (PMS) – Trello is free and allows your staff to easily document the projects they’re working on. Essential for your managers.
  • Web and social design – Missing a web designer? Canva is a brilliant tool that provides quality templates for social media and web design basics.
  • Free infographics – Wanting to develop some quality content? Venngage offers several free infographics you can easily make with its software.
  • Email marketing – MailChimp is free for 2,000 contacts and up to 12,000 emails per month. Got some big news to announce or a landing page you want people to go to? Try out this tried and tested tactic.

Also, use the likes of FaceTime or Skype when you want to make a call. This is especially handy if you have an international meeting to keep up with.

14. Keep your most capable employees happy

Do you have one or two workers integral to keeping up office morale, whilst also delivering a great job? Appreciate their value. The standout candidates are well worth the effort—they help to keep your recruiting costs down on a long-term basis.

Find the time for regular one-to-ones to ensure they’re happy. If you lose them, their replacement may not be as effective, and you’ll suffer the loss of a productive employee.
It’s a common issue to not appreciate dedicated staff members, but applying due care and attention can avoid unnecessary losses.

15. Create bespoke technology

Last but not least, if you have a web development team then you can skip on expensive subscription fees. How? Make your own technology.

Asides from the cost-cutting measures, bespoke software solutions can offer many benefits. You can cut out superfluous features, create software suited to your business culture, and add in new ideas you can show off about to clients (or to future candidates).

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