Is It Time to Rethink Your Business Budget?
If you are building a company and growing your business at the same time, there are some inevitable changes you will need to deal with. As your business needs change, you will need to revise your costs and budget, so you can accommodate the needs of your new customers, react to the changes in your market, and remain competitive. If you haven’t looked at your operating, growth, and marketing budget for a while, it might be time to revisit your financial plans and adjust them accordingly. Below you will find a few tips on where to look for things to improve and save money on.
Your Employee Productivity
One of the areas many companies fail to monitor is employee productivity. If you are used to people come and go as they please, you might be paying them more than they produce. It is important to find a way to calculate the value per employee, and the cost of your human resources as a whole. If you are paying your employees an hourly wage, and it takes them two or three client meetings to get the contract, you will have to work out the cost of acquiring new clients and see whether there is an easier and cheaper way of following up leads instead of paying travel costs and monthly wages. There are plenty of employee productivity management and monitoring tools available for small business owners.
If you are in the growth stage, chances are that you are spending a lot of time and money trying to penetrate new markets. In case you are still using the manual methods to post on social media and update your site, send out marketing materials, chances are that you can save money and time by automating your small business marketing. You can schedule posts, get reports on the best performing marketing campaigns, and measure your online marketing conversions as well as customer engagement. Instead of shooting in the dark, you will have to get a system up and running that gives you a snapshot of all your results, so you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
Running an office can be costly, You will need to pay the rent or lease on your office, and make sure that your employees have all the tools they need to do their job. You can save a lot of money on office supplies if you do your research or delegate the task to an employee who will compare the prices. Small savings such as finding a reliable and cheap supplier for Brother printer ink and cartridges can go a long way. By cutting your expenditures by hundreds of dollars here and there, you will be able to invest in innovation and technology that will make your business more effective and help you provide more value for your clients.
Training and Development
Knowledgeable employees are the foundation of your brand’s reputation. It is important that you provide them with the right training and support, so they can do their work more effectively. However, you don’t have to buy expensive customer service training programs to empower your staff. There are plenty of free and low cost corporate online courses, allowing your staff to study when it is convenient, without impacting the performance of your business. You don’t have to give your staff travel allowances and a full day off, and still keep their knowledge and skills up to date.
You might even be able to automate your customer service to make the life of your staff and your clients easier. If you are growing your business, chances are that you will have to respond to an increasing number of customer queries and orders. If you don’t automate some of the processes, chances are that your employees will become overwhelmed. Instead of just giving your customers one way to contact your company, set up an online chat and a Facebook page where you can address their queries in real time. This will save you money and improve your customer service at the same time.
If you have hired a web designer when you started your business, chances are that your site is outdated and needs an update. If you signed up for a monthly package and are not getting a timely response, or your web developer cannot implement the marketing automation tools you need for your growing and changing business, chances are that you are just wasting money. Try to implement some shopping card or customer relationship management system and automated marketing tools, so your website works for you and not the other way round.
If you are paying a monthly fee for accessing a business software that doesn’t suit your business needs any more, you are also wasting time and money. You should get in touch with a professional software developer who will put a flexible system in place for your business that will improve your efficiency and your workflow. You can save money long term if you have your own custom-made company software that takes care of finances, employee management, orders, invoicing, and administration as well. Make sure that you are able to create custom reports on the system, so you can see what needs changing in your business from time to time.
If there is one task most people hate completing, it is bookkeeping and accounting. It is hard to get the motivation to sit down with a pile of invoices, a calculator, and a spreadsheet and work out the income and expenditure for the month. There is, however, a much simpler way of doing it. You can automate your invoicing and accounting by using online tools and apps. One of the main benefits of using these tools is that you will always know where you stand financially, without having to give your accountant a call and trying to explain which data you are interested in.
Every now and then we need to look at the budget of our business to determine whether it is possible to improve the efficiency, the workflow, and profits while making savings long term.