As a small or medium-sized business (SMB) owner, you need to ensure that your business runs like a well-oiled machine. Whether you’re a new startup or small town store, there are some key strategies you can implement to make your business run more efficiently and save a few bucks while doing it.
Tip 1: Say Hello to the Cloud
Cloud computing is not just for enterprises anymore. The cloud can help SMBs significantly cut costs by lowering the amount of hardware you need which in turn cuts down on IT and support costs, ongoing maintenance and software upgrades. Beyond cost, the cloud allows you to work more efficiently by letting you and your employees access files from anywhere. Not only can you track your employee’s progress on assignments with a cloud-based program like Google Drive but you can also easily integrate all of your back office, marketing, and accounting systems with the cloud.
Tip 2: Save on Your Money Transfer Costs
If your SMB conducts business outside of your country, you’ve been paying a significant amount of extra banking fees. Since every dollar (or Euro, Yen, etc.), counts, cutting down on these fees is imperative. While your bank won’t offer much assistance here, money transfer services such as Covercy can seriously cut down on the extra costs associated with moving money. Not only does Covercy charge a fraction of what the banks do, but they also simplify the process and make everything transparent. Plus, you may have noticed that banks can take a few days to process transfers whereas Covercy completes the transaction on both sides within 24 hours. If time equals money, a company such as Covercy can be a real business asset.
Tip 3: Solve Staffing Issues
With an SMB, you can’t always afford to have all of the experts you need working in-house. However, you can supplement your core staff with outsourced experts and interns. Outsourced experts can be hired to help with a specific project or ongoing work, and you’ll save money as you don’t pay them benefits and other perks full-time employees get. While interns don’t bring a ton of knowledge to your team, they can be a great resource for doing lower-level tasks (which the outsourced expert can oversee!). Interns get the experience they need, and if you invest in them and treat them well, you could be training a future employee. How’s that for efficiency!
Tip 4: Know Your Industry Regulations
Regardless of whether you’re just opening a business or have been in the game for years, it is imperative that you know all of the rules and regulations for your particular industry and for every country (or state) with which you do business. Regulations change all of the time, so you need to stay up to date to avoid any violations. Conducting this kind of research is an excellent intern task!
Tip 5: Get Tough and Negotiate
You need to become a great negotiator. There is often wiggle room built into the pricing of many things your SMB needs from office rentals to software and hosting costs. You can discuss a lower employee salary in trade for benefits like company equity, 7-hour working days, etc. To know your options, you need to ask so don’t be shy. And, without a doubt, every good negotiator has done their research and compared prices for business services like shipping costs. Don’t be afraid to ask these companies for price matching or custom terms that better meet your needs.
By applying one (or all 5!) of these strategies, you’ll watch your business become more efficient right in front of your eyes.