Building a profitable business requires two crucial steps — increasing sales and saving money. The first is a primary goal of every business owner. However, since the income from your business isn’t entirely under your control, that’s where saving money comes into the picture.
If you implement efficient processes to save money, as well as time, you'll reach your final goal faster. Saving money adds to your business income i.e. what’s left after all expenses are paid, but it also gives you a solution to future problems you could not have anticipated. If you’ve handled the financial side of your business, it will be easier to overcome such obstacles, and increase brand recognition with your buyer persona in the process.
Following are 6 wise ways to save some money and time on business processes.
1. Dip Into the Affordable/Free Technology
As a business, you’ll probably have to use different kinds of software to get things done. Starting from internal communication to designing the workplace, you’ll need to use different products to accomplish your goals.
In the world of software, the price range can be drastic. Businesses usually spend a fortune on crafting floor plans, designing the office, organizing documents, storing files, etc. But, just as there’s commercial software that comes at a grand fee, there are affordable and even free solutions available on the market.
To save some money, scour the Web to find cheaper, but equally effective software. You’ll find accounting software, points of sale software, and even free floor plan design software to accomplish all your business goals. Saving on initial purchases will give you time to grow your business with smaller investments and increase the expenses gradually as it starts earning money.
2. Outsource and Consolidate Work
Very often, businesses hire more people than they should. Many of the employees in an office sit around all day without any tasks in sight. If your business is spending too much on employees, there are two things that you can do to save some money: outsource talent and consolidate the work.
It’s much better to have one highly qualified employee and pay him more than have three average employees that do very little work. Consolidate some tasks in a single description to reduce the number of extraneous workers. Then, look for talent that can handle the workload and offer them a good salary. You can use these Revv contract templates to handle it from a legal standpoint.
If you cannot find talent for your business locally, or it’s too expensive for you right now, outsourcing is another great option. This is a way to pay organizations or people to complete tasks for your freelance without actually hiring them. Outsourcing is cheaper and very often, you can hire talent from different parts of the world, which increases the options for your business.
3. Automate the Workflow
Automation is essential if you want to save money and time. Business people have many things on their minds these days, so automating the workflow processes is the optimal and most effective solution. All those little things you do for your business add up to take most of your valuable time. Automating at least half of them will give you enough room to breathe, as well as save many expenses for your business.
By automating a workflow process, you're saving not only your time but some money, too. How? Since your employees are handling many of these things, automating them will reduce their workload and with it, your hiring expenses.
For many companies, data entry is often required and incurs huge expenses. Not to mention, most of it is dull and demotivating for the employees. With a simple automation tool, you can save the headcount of at least several employees and have the tasks done in hours, not days or weeks.
4. Look for Discounts
Have you analyzed your cash flow and expenses yet? If you haven’t, it’s time to get started. For your business to succeed, you need to know exactly where your money comes from and where it goes.
This can resolve many things and save you a lot of money. You can avoid paying late fees or making grand expenses just because you didn’t take your time to choose a cheaper supplier. Figure out a period after which you’ll track your expenses. Whether you’ll do this weekly, monthly, or semi-annually, it must be done. An overview of your expenses will tell you exactly where you need to cut costs.
Businesses can save a lot on products and services. Most of the time, you need to buy in bulk. When you’re discussing pricing with suppliers, ask them what kinds of bulk discounts they offer. If you need to increase your order to get a bigger discount, weigh in the pros and cons. For products and services that you purchase often, buying in bulk is a much smarter idea.
In addition to bulk discounts, ask around to see if any suppliers offer loyalty discounts for companies that buy exclusively from them or on regular basis. If you’re sourcing a lot from a single supplier, they will want to negotiate the offer to keep you on board. If not, you might be able to find someone that does.
If supplies are costing a lot, why limit yourself to locals only? This is good for the economy of your town or country and can increase your sales opportunity, but if the costs are too big, you might want to look a bit further. Very often, businesses source materials and supplies from companies abroad that offer bigger discounts and free shipping.
5. Do Your Content Marketing
Traditional advertising can cost a fortune, especially if you hire costly firms to do this for you. This is an excellent idea when you have the money to spend since professionals have the experience and resources that you probably don’t have right now. However, until your business makes the big bucks and you can afford it, this is an area where you can cut down on spending.
Instead of spending tons of money on advertising, try to do some of this on your own. Write your content and posts on social media or find affordable freelancers to do this for you. Handling the entire process takes time and effort, but it also costs a lot when you hire professionals to do it all for you.
If you have more time on your hands, learn a bit about content marketing. If you don’t, hire someone to do this for you, but once again, outsource this from several experienced freelancers. You can save a lot of money with a small amount of effort.
6. Shorten the Operating Hours
Until your business gets more work and with it, more income, reduce the work hours. Move to a four-day workweek instead of paying people for five days. This will save a lot because you'll also be spending less on operations, energy, transportation, etc. As your company starts growing, start increasing the work hours, as well as the number of employees.
This strategy can only work if you are using your time poorly at the moment. If you can finish the workload in less time and your employees don't have enough tasks to do while at work, this is a good solution. Let them go home early if they've done their tasks. Sitting around the office without anything to do is dull and makes them lose motivation even more. Not to mention, it's the source of procrastination.
Doing this will save you a lot of time that you can spend on strategizing for your business, working on your marketing strategy, and building new goals to accomplish. In cases where your employees don't have what to do while in office, this is an ideal solution to keep them motivated and active. It also gives them longer weekends to rest up, so they'll be fresh when they come to work for you again on Monday.
The Bottom Line
Extensive work and overhead expenses are a business owner's biggest enemy. When you start a business, you need to be prepared to face some challenges and dedicate a lot of your time to making it grow. However, this doesn't mean that you cannot find time for yourself or that you have to put yourself into enormous debt to make money.
Growing a business takes time and is best done gradually. So, do your best to save some time and money until your business gets on its feet. As it grows, increase your expenses and tasks gradually. A successful company will grow in talent, space, and workload. But first, you need to get to that point and you’ll hardly get there if you spend more than you’re earning all the time.
Finding ways to save time and money can be interesting. Test your options and do your best to keep your company up and running. Good luck!