This year is proving to be a difficult financial hurdle for a lot of businesses. Whether you’re heading up a small business, or handling the bottom line at an enterprise, there’s a high chance that boosting cash flow and profitability is at the top of your priorities list.
With tech layoffs at an all-time high, bank scandals dominating our headlines and an impending recession on the horizon, you’ll likely be looking for ways you can reduce business expenses this year—cash is still king.
You’ve come to the right place. We’re sharing seven ways you can cut costs while remaining operational, innovative, and even continuing to grow throughout this cash crunch.
From entrepreneurs to CEOs, hiring freelancers, contractors, and gig workers is now more common than ever. The gig economy is a great way for businesses to reduce expenses on salaries, benefits, and training—especially for non-essential business functions, trialing new roles, strategies, or growth methods.
While gig providers certainly provide cost savings opportunities, they also provide a direct route to hyper-specialized talent. So, rather than training a new starter to be a “jack of all trades” you can work with multiple gig workers that are masters of one.
However, marketing doesn’t need to be a credit card sap. Here are a few alternative marketing avenues to consider outside of throwing cashing at ads.
- Consider leveraging your organic social media channels or branching into new ones at low lift, high reward basis.
- Partner up with other businesses with similar ICPs (Ideal Customer Profile) for newsletter swaps, link exchanges, webinars, and social campaigns.
- Invest in SEO & Content Marketing: rather than getting quick wins until ad spend burns out, and often with high churn rates, consider an evergreen content strategy for more long-term investment. If you don't have these resources in-house, there are some fantastic content marketing agenciesout there to consider.
Consider ‘collaborative consumption’ as an active form of cost-cutting measures. For example, rather than having your own office space for five days a week, look at reducing this to two or three days and ensure your work from home policy never leads to an empty office again.
When you allow full-time employees limited days a week at the office, they’ll soon be packing it out on allocated days, allowing more room for real-life, water cooler-style collaboration; while appreciating their work from home days even more—and keeping your costs low.
If you’ve got a smaller team, explore coworking space options. There are plenty of flexible hot desk options that make for a great work perk.
Asides from this, implementing a company-wide energy-saving policy, and incentives if teams or the entire business hits certain goals, can truly help to create a more energy-conscious workforce. If your team is traveling for business, consider implementing a more
sustainable travel policytoo.
There are plenty of high-quality energy-saving apps on the market to help you maintain this initiative and keep staff engagement high.
This year, take a look at software tools that you’re no longer using. Do your teams truly need the subscription? Or is the free plan enough to get by? That’s certainly the case for many small businesses using Zoom or Calendly, for example.
In addition to this, AI has come a long way in 2023, and will continue to rapidly evolve. Use free AI models to automate mundane tasks, keep optimization tasks low-cost, and outsource to the bots those time-consuming tasks the humans just don’t enjoy doing.
If you’re serious about reducing costs, then track spend across all employees: from contractors, to part-time to full time employees. Smart
expense management softwarewill be able to break down your most expensive assets, people, and teams, so you can review and find ways to minimize your spend in those budget-biting areas.
Hiring is expensive and time-consuming. Replacing an employee can cost a business around
6-9 months of that employee’s salary, on average.
If you are investing in training and skill development so employees feel valued and continue to grow, then it may be worth sending out a survey to better understand what employees are using vs. what they actually need. If you do end up swapping around your benefits to be more people-centric, here are a few initiatives to consider:
- Physical wellness benefits: gym/yoga studio access
- Mental wellness benefits: access to therapy, wellness apps, meditation classes, mental health days off
- Volunteering time off: VTO for needs your employees are passionate about
- Ample holidays: giving your employees time to recharge
- A culture of continuous learning: via onsite training, buddy systems, and access to external courses
Whether you’re working with service providers or a full-time, employed team, strive to keep them all, you’ll be saving your business thousands in the long-run.