It feels like none of us have really stopped for breath in the last year. Anyone who runs their own business has been working furiously every hour of the day to keep things moving forward, and it goes without saying that budgets have been one of the biggest worries for everyone. It doesn’t matter how big your company is, what your USP is or how many people you employ, the pandemic hit us all hard. What’s more, it made us all very nervous about looking at our books.
We all know that if we are going to survive the incredibly competitive marketplace in the months ahead, we are going to have to find new ways to save money. The first temptation is always to start cutting. But there’s only so much that you can get rid of before you start to hurt your business instead of helping it. The real key for this summer, the rest of 2021 and the years ahead is going to be figuring out how you can spend smarter. It’s going to require taking a good long look at where we are putting our time, money and energy and asking how we can do more with less, and how we can take advantage of new technologies and emerging trends.
If you want some pointers for how your business can save money with some creative thinking, read on.
Look At Your Annual Spending
Before you look ahead, let’s start by taking a look back. If you want to make sure that you are doing as much as you can with the budget you have, then it is very important that you have a crystal-clear idea of where it’s been going. And while a detailed audit will definitely show you some places where you can make cuts both big and small, it should also be an encouraging moment for you as a business. You have weathered an incredible storm and the ingenuity and grit you relied on will be there in your records.
Talk To An Accountant
If your business doesn’t use an accountant, now is the time to bring one on board. We do understand that a lot of business owners take tremendous pride in doing absolutely everything themselves, including their books. But if you are looking for ways to save, then it is worth spending a little on the expert advice of a qualified accountant. They will have the objectivity and the expertise to tell you where you can make changes and cuts. More than that, they will be able to advise on how to take advantage of any grants and incentives offered by the government or your local business board. They can also offer invaluable advice when it comes to growing your business and the most cost-effective ways to move forward, not to mention how to prepare for any rainy days to come.
Hire, Don’t Buy
We understand the conventional wisdom behind buying equipment for your company. After all, once you own it, it’s yours. But the fact is that buying equipment outright can often be more expensive than hiring or leasing it. What’s more, given that there is still so much uncertainty about new variants and many businesses are doing their best to avoid working in person as much as possible, hiring equipment could offer you flexibility that you desperately need. Take laboratory safety equipment for example. These pieces are highly specialized and that means that they are not cheap. By leasing it instead of buying it, you are not committing to any long-term financial investment, and you can be approved for it far quicker than if you bought it. This safety equipment can also be leased as refurbished and/or reconditioned to offer additional savings to you. Excedr knows that there are so many costs related to purchasing laboratory equipment and their leasing options can provide you with a smarter way to do business.
Restructure Your Marketing Campaigns
When you are looking for ways to cut costs, marketing can often be one of the first items on the chopping block. We know that losing it entirely or hacking away at it haphazardly is short-sighted, but it can be one of the biggest drains on your finances. Well, if this is the case then it is time for a hard rethink about how and where your marketing budget is being spent. The traditional strategy of aiming for as many people as possible and hoping that enough click through to your business to make the spend cost-effective simply cannot be relied upon in such precarious economic times.
Instead, you need to be taking a much harder look at your target audience. Spend the time and resources to develop a strategy that is specifically targeted at them. Find out which platforms they use and what kind of wording will appeal to them. Focus is crucial here. It will take longer to prepare, but it will ensure that the people who are seeing your messaging are the people who are most likely to be interested in it.
Can AI And Automation Technology Make You More Efficient?
A few years ago, AI technology was seen to be the kind of thing that was used by huge tech companies and people pushing forward the new wave of medical machinery. Now, it’s much easier to point out areas where AI isn’t being used on a daily basis. It’s in our cars, it’s in our online banking, it’s in the food delivery apps we use. It’s even helping us do our grocery shopping. It can also make a huge difference to the efficiency of your business.
AI tech can be programmed to help you comb through massive amounts of data and identify patterns to help you plot your strategy for the future. It can be used to offer an automated customer service channel on your website to improve your retention rates and increase user satisfaction. It can help your employees to work smarter and faster at a time when we all desperately need that step ahead in the game.