6 Simple Ways Your Maryland Small Business Can Cut Costs
Running a small business isn’t easy. You are often working with slim profit margins, giving you very little flexibility. To increase profitability, you either need to generate more sales or cut costs. Luckily, there are a few simple strategies you can use to cut costs that can also make your business more efficient at the same time.
Below are a few methods you should try:
Automate What You Can
Thanks to a lot of modern technology, it’s easy to automate a lot of tasks we used to have to do manually. By allowing different software applications to automate simple processes for you, you can free yourself up to work on other things or even reduce the size of your staff. For example, rather than sending out emails to your subscriber list one by one, you can run a smart email marketing campaign. This will send out messages automatically, based on when the user subscribes, when their last purchase was, or any other factor you want to use.
Pick Better Technology
The technology you use around your business plays a big role in determining your costs. If you don’t pick the right tech, you could end up spending more than you need to. For instance, you might have a lot of data that you need to store. A more cost-efficient option could be to work with a cloud storage service, rather than upgrading your hard drive.
Take some time to consider the technology you are currently using around your business, including both hardware and software. Then explore what other alternatives are out there. You may find that there is a software out there that combines the services of two products you are currently using. Or maybe there is an open-source version of a software that you can use for free, thus eliminating the cost entirely.
Outsource Simple Tasks
If you find that you have a lot of simple tasks that are taking up a lot of time, consider outsourcing them. Outsourcing is a great way to save money on tasks that you don’t have time to do yourself, and for which hiring someone full time doesn’t make sense. For example, according to Dexios Corp, a provider of radiology billing services, “Accurate billing requires specialized training, experience, and dedicated employees. Many groups don’t have the means or resources to perform such critical tasks in-house.” Therefore, you could outsource your billing operation instead of hiring a new employee. Some other great things to outsource are customer service, social media management and content writing.
Work with Interns
Another more affordable source of labor is hiring interns. With interns, you can either pay a smaller salary, a stipend, or even nothing at all. In exchange for the work they do, the interns receive experience for their resume and college credit. When hiring an intern, you will be required to teach them the ways of your business and may have to fill out some paperwork for their school. In addition, since they don’t have much experience, interns may not be able to handle as much as a regular employee. But if you have some simple tasks, and don’t mind mentoring someone, then an intern could be a great way to save some money.
If your business is able, consider going virtual. This means working from home and working with others who do the same. Since many businesses are conducted almost entirely online these days, a full office space isn’t needed. You can save a lot of money on utility and rent costs by simply working out of your home and hiring other remote workers. Of course, this won’t work if your small business is something like a restaurant, but it’s something to consider.
Negotiate with Vendors
Finally, if your business has a long-standing relationship with vendors or suppliers, you should consider trying to negotiate a better deal. Many vendors would be happy to provide you with a discount in order to keep a long-term customer around. Brush up on your negotiating skills, conduct some market research, then approach the vendor with a fair proposal. Even if you only get a discount of a few percents, every little bit helps.
Always Look for Ways to Cut Costs
Finding ways to save money should be a regular exercise for your business. You never know when a new, more affordable, software option comes along or when it will make more sense to outsource your customer service operation. Hopefully, this guide was able to give you some ideas, and you’ll be able to increase the profitability of your Maryland business.