Are you a small business owner who is feeling the crush of inflation? Perhaps your cost of goods has risen substantially. Or your rent has gone up? In response to your rising costs, you may be thinking about laying off employees, cutting back on marketing, or increasing prices. None of these actions are desirable. In times of inflation, there may be other less disruptive ways you can save. Explore these money-saving business tips below to see if any are a fit for your business, and if so, consider implementing them to help improve your bottom line.
1. Manage Your Employees' Spending
You may provide snacks and drinks for employees. Consider cutting back on free items. You can explain to employees that it's temporary. If you have employees out on the road who expense their meals, place a budget cap on their spending. Indeed, employees will be grateful for their jobs and happy to accommodate reasonable changes during times of inflation.
2. Seek Out Discounts
Although time always seems short, it can be worth your while to ask your suppliers if they would give you a discount. You may need to buy in bulk to achieve the deal. Some suppliers may offer loyalty discounts. Even in these financially challenging times, it serves you best to negotiate with your suppliers and seek out new ones, if necessary. Your suppliers want to stay in business with you, so they will understand why you have asked. You have nothing to lose by asking, and if they agree, you can save substantially.
3. Use Free Technology
Take inventory of the technology you are using to help streamline your business. What is the monthly cost of this technology? You may be able to find cheaper or even free technology that will allow you to accomplish the same tasks. For example, if you are paying for a newsletter service, look into popular and free software called Mailchimp or Mailerlite. The free version may not include all the features you want, but perhaps you are willing to sacrifice for the savings.
You can research other kinds of software to help with the following:
• Employee communication – Slack
• Website development – Wix
• Graphics editor and creator – Canva
• Word processing – Google Docs
• Scheduling – Calendy
• Customer relationship management – Hubspot
4. Consider Remote Working
To save money, consider offering your employees telecommuting, even if only temporarily. First, you'll need to ensure that you have the right policies and procedures. You'll also need to ensure that your employees can work remotely and have the necessary tools and equipment. Finally, you'll need to trust your employees to work independently.
5. Move From Traditional to Digital Marketing
In financially challenging times, print, radio, TV, and billboard advertising can be tough to maintain because of the high expense. Digital marketing is typically lower in cost and can be just as effective in reaching consumers. Digital or online marketing is marketing that happens on the internet, which includes social media advertising, Google advertising, search engine optimization, e-mail marketing, and content marketing.
If you're not sure how to get started with digital marketing, don't worry. There are plenty of resources available to help you online.
6. Seek Out a Barter Service
Bartering is a great way to get the necessary goods and services you need without spending any money. Barter services can help you save money on products or services you already purchase. You can seek out these products or services through a local barter service. In addition, you'll be promoting your business online through the barter service to help you gain new customers.
7. Save on Shipping Costs
If you ship products, there are a few ways to save on shipping costs. One way is to use flat-rate shipping boxes from the post office. This option is great if you know you'll be shipping many items and you want to get a discounted rate. Another way to save on shipping is to use a shipping company that offers discounts for businesses. Some companies will even give you a shipping credit if you use their service frequently.
If you're looking to save on shipping costs, explore all your options and find the best solution for your business.
8. Hire College Interns
First, internships are a great way to bring fresh talent into your company. College students are eager to learn and can offer new perspectives on your business. Internships can also be a great way to save on labor costs, with most internships unpaid, which means savings for your business. However, some challenges come with hiring interns. For one, you'll need to invest time in training and supervision. Additionally, internships are typically short-term positions, so you’ll have to repeat the hiring process each semester or year.
Your small business can save money by acting on these tips above, if applicable. Spending the time to review your business to see where you can save, is a worthy exercise. You may even consider outsourcing your bookkeeping and payroll services as another way to potentially save your business money. If you’d like to discuss this or any of the tips above, feel free to e-mail us or call 203-641-7678 (Hamden, CT).