SMBs (small and medium businesses) have more competition than ever.
With a current focus on personal entrepreneurship, standing out from the market and finding increased success seems like a tougher and tougher goal.
Below are 5 handy ways you can start reducing your costs and growing your profits through simple yet effective tweaks – no gurus required!
Know Your Market
When was the last time you stopped to evaluate your customer base and tried to assess what they really want?
Perhaps you’ve had a mediocre amount of success marketing in a particular way, and you’re keen to stick with what you know – or maybe you’re just not sure how to approach a younger, more switched on customer base?
It’s important for SMBs to learn to approach marketing the modern way.
That is, go to your customers. Use their mediums to speak to them in a language they understand. If you’re a maker of fine crafts or jewellery, set up a visual-marketing campaign via Instagram. If you’re a business which prides itself on efficient customer service, find a way to showcase this via Facebook. It’s no longer enough to expect your customers to find you. In order to be truly competitive and increase your profits, you have to find a way to meaningfully connect with the customers you want.
In order to do this effectively, first you will have to figure out the story you wish to tell – and then you can find the right platform on which to tell it.
Every SMB needs a champion and you can’t get a more awesome ally than an accountant.
A good accountant will save you every cent they can, while finding ways to keep your business in the black. Whether you’re trying to learn to budget effectively in Excel, or going with my recommended trusted accountants in Geelong, a water-tight economical genius will save your bacon over, and over, and over. An accountant offers you non-judgemental, objective advice aimed at getting your business to its best.
Refine And Streamline
In order to get the most (in terms of productivity, profit and efficiency) from your business, it’s wise to take the time to identify which processes you can omit, and which you can streamline.
Consider where there is a double up of processes and resources.
If there are multiple staff or processes handling essentially the same task, perhaps it’s time to whittle the task down into one specialised role. By the same measure, where staff are underutilised, find ways to offer them more training and responsibility. It’s a way of challenging and rewarding good staff – encouraging their career development at the same time as enriching your business. What could be smarter than that?
Chances are that your SMB is not using space to its full potential, or (just as likely) you’ve over-estimated how much space your business requires, and instead have filled it with unnecessary equipment.
With space comes a premium price-tag.
Once you’ve appropriately evaluated your space needs, consider downsizing your office space or premises. Many modern, efficient businesses now utilise breezy open spaces, meaning that partitions and rooms are a thing of the past. Not only does this encourage a better work ethic (you can monitor workers passively), it also saves on space – allowing you to maximise profit and operate more efficiently.
You Can Bank On It
This may hurt you to read, but here goes… your bank relies on your ignorance to continue making money. Banks don’t want you to know about their most frugal and cost effective accounts, as it hurts their bottom line.
The best thing you can do is to strike a friendly yet hard line with your bank.
Talk to their resident small business adviser in person, and demand a better deal. A small cut in credit interest rates on an equipment loan may seem like small peanuts, but it all adds up. Find a way to consolidate as many accounts as possible – this will cut down on ongoing management fees, and reduce the amount of money leakage.