Whether you’re just about to launch your small business or you’re already in the thick of it all, it is never too late nor too early to think about how to save money.
Truth is, the financial realities you will be experiencing as a small business will not always match your initial expectations. You might even end up spending more than twice as much in your first few years than you’ve forecasted.
Every decision you make in terms of saving money can be worth its weight in gold. Here are six ideas to help you run your small business in an efficient and profitable way.
It Pays To Have A Plan
If you’re in the early stages of your small business, stop and plan your finances right now. The very first step you should take so that you can hit your financial goals is to simply write them down. Writing a financial plan can seem too overwhelming, but trust us, you’ll thank yourself in the long run.
Once you have a financial plan, it will force you to take inventory of where you are right at this moment, where you want your business to be in a couple of months or even years from now, and how you want to get there. Having this mental image of the journey ahead of you helps you make better financial decisions as it forces you to consider the bigger picture.
Review What You Invest On
This should go without saying, but tracking and reviewing all of your expenses are things that you shouldn’t just gloss over. We’d be lying, though, if we didn’t say it’s one of the most overlooked practices right until tough economic times force you to face the music.
The day-to-day expenditures your small business acquires on the simplest of things such as coffee, maintenance, and supplies, all add up. Take the time and the effort to go through your existing operating expenses as this is valuable data that can aid you in understanding where you might be paying more than you need to. In the course of time, this will save you a ton of money.
However, if you don’t have the bandwidth to track your company’s expenses, maybe it’s time to look for someone who can or utilize expense management solutions that can analyze your overall expenses and identify any cost-saving opportunities.
Drop In-Person Meetings
It’s true what they say: time is money. Meetings waste time hence they, too, waste money. Average workers spend an hour and nine minutes just preparing for the meetings they have to attend.
Keep your employees productive by eliminating meetings. Status meetings can instead be tracked through project management tools where each team member can access the status of a certain project any time they please. You can also drop feedback meetings by simply emailing your team a survey instead of holding an hour-long discussion.
Utilize video conferencing, chat, email, or phone calls as much as possible. If in-person meetings cannot be avoided, keep them under 30 minutes and set a very strict agenda at least 24 hours before the meeting.
Use the Tools of the Trade
Though project tracking tools often require a small monthly fee, these tools usually pay for themselves as the use of them translates into an increase in your small company’s productivity.
Keeping track of every one of your employees’ tasks can be a pain. This is where project tracking can help you save money by serving as a central location where all your projects are tracked and maintained. Tools like these also offer open communication among teams as well as monitor daily project costs, keeping everything streamlined and organized.
Run Efficient Campaigns
Marketing small businesses can be a bit tricky as resources and expertise are often limited. Then again, even if your resources aren’t as restrictive as others, putting way too much money on paid ads does not equal sales.
One thing you should remember is that a poorly designed marketing campaign can swallow up all your resources in one go, forcing you to go back to the very beginning. Here are a few things you can consider instead of spending six figures on traditional advertising channels:
- Adopt a homegrown marketing strategy that leans on shareable social media posts, email marketing blasts, content writing, and word of mouth.
- Gather data to figure out the right social media platforms for your small business.
- Optimize your brand’s website for sales.
- Create partnerships with other startups and small businesses as well as micro-influencers.
- Understand your key performance metrics and religiously track them.
Value Your Best Assets
Your employees make or break your business. The cost of hiring an employee is one of the most expensive parts of running a business so when you find a solid team member, value them. Check in with your employees regularly and take the time to know what they are looking for in terms of opportunities for growth as well as the career trajectory they would like to take.
Don’t add to your employee’s plate or hire new talent whenever you have smaller tasks that need to be ticked off. Consider micro-contracting or outsourcing.
How you manage your money in the first few years of your small business determines whether or not you will be successful in the long run. Some businesses can turn their small business loans into something more significant just by managing their finances properly. By understanding how your money flows, you will more than likely convert your investment into the growth of your small business.