Cutting your small business’s expenses is a lot like dieting. At first you may have some initial success, but in the long run, it all comes back twofold and you just hate yourself for it. Thus, instead of starving both yourself and your business of valuable resources. What you should be doing is altering some of your habits. As such, reducing operating costs isn’t a one-off deal but more of an ongoing process. That is why you need to fully commit to a few ‘lifestyle’ changes in the day-to-day operations of your enterprise. If you wish to succeed. So, don’t just idle around waiting for the ‘New Year new me’ resolution to come by.

Start trimming your business expenses today with these five amazing tips:

1. Hire the best, outsource the rest

In order to keep your expense sheets slim, you need to get rid of the excess workforce. Employ only the most essential staff needed for the daily operations of your business and outsource all secondary, non-essential, functions. This way, you’ll have fewer people on your payroll, plus you won’t need as much office space since you’ll have fewer people on your team. What’s more, your employees will be able to focus on their specific tasks. Thus increasing the quality of their work, instead of wasting time fixing hardware and updating software. For such tasks, you should employ a small IT company to deal with your IT support. Likewise, you don’t need a full in-house marketing team to run your online campaigns. Search for talented freelancers on platforms like Upwork and Guru. Or hire experts in the field on temporary contracts to do similar assignments for you.

2. Harness the power of technology

Apart from outsourcing, technology presents the best alternative to hiring new staff. Use it to automate the workflow of your more tedious, and repetitive, tasks such as accounting, HR, project management and so on. For example, Quickbooks is an awesome app for managing your business’s finances through automated invoicing, general accounting insight. And tax preparation. Zenefits, on the other hand, takes care of your HR duties, including payroll, by keeping everything neat and organized in one place. Thus reducing the amount of paperwork needed and by optimizing workflow. Finally, programs such as Slack and Basecamp are both excellent tools for project management. with the former primarily being used for messaging and communication, and the latter for managing project assignments and tasks.

3. Upgrade your communication channels

Another way to reduce the costs of business operations is by upgrading your regular communication channels. Every day your business runs without a proper inbound call solution you risk losing potential clients and money. Consequently, the best way to stop this bleed is by upgrading your phone system to either standard or premium 1800 numbers. That way, you’ll expand your reach and save some money in the process. Also, make sure to set up a few preliminary guidelines for your customer support centre to follow including general greetings. Up selling procedures, and, of course, offering additional assistance to your customers.

That way, you fulfil all of your unique customers’ needs and keep the cash flowing. In addition, don’t forget to reply to all of your clients’ emails in a timely manner. Lest you risk losing them as well as your reputation. Implement a 24-hour reply policy and adhere to it as much as humanly possible to keep all of your customers satisfied.  

4. Renegotiate frequently

In the business world, things are always changing. Deals that were lucrative last year, may not be so profitable nowadays. Hence, you constantly need to re-evaluate your suppliers, consolidate your purchases, and check the competition for better offers. Perform quarterly reviews to assess the situation and then plan accordingly. Talk with your supplier about the deals others are willing to offer you and renegotiate the pricing or simply move on to another supplier. For example, in 2010, a few publishing companies negotiated with Apple over a new business model for ebooks which allowed the publishers to set their own price for ebooks in exchange for a 30% commission. This deal was a massive improvement over the one they had with Amazon, and in the end even Amazon was forced to replace its model for Apple’s to stay relevant.

5. Provide adequate employee training

Finally, by properly training your employees and giving them sufficient time to get accustomed to their new roles you effectively reduce their error rate by a huge margin. This not only reduces the overhead and operational costs of your business but also saves time which would otherwise be wasted on repairing the damage. What’s more, retraining your existing employees into new positions, rather than employing new ones, can also cut expenses, improve team harmony and employee turnover. Additionally, when recruiting new staff, offer trial-based contracts only as you never know if the deal is going to work out.

Follow these five simple steps and keep your bottom line healthy and fit for business.

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