Saving your business money is one of the best ways to safeguard it, future-proof it, and succeed. There are far too many instances where you won’t be making money just because you have not yet optimized the cost to run your business.
Before you even think about laying off your employees, explore these six methods to help you save your business money. Not only can the solution itself be cost-effective, all are geared towards improving productivity and improving your business on multiple fronts.
- Switch to Paperless
One of the fastest and easiest ways to save is by going paperless. If you want an example of just how much savings are in the works, look at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), whose decision to go paperless not just saved 2 million trees from becoming paper, but will save them $1.5 billion over the next decade in the process. Not only does going paperless help you save money, it is actually great to engage with customers and clients more. Even simple things, like emailing receipts, gives you the opportunity to grow your mailing list and providing additional value-adding benefits that will increase loyalty among your repeat customers.
In some cases there will be an upfront cost before you can benefit from the cost savings, but this upfront cost should be embraced regardless. You will want to digitize old files, so that you can leverage your own data to make smarter decisions in the future. This takes time, but the benefits are well worth it and will help you not just save money, but increase revenue.
- Cost-Compare Your Tools
Going paperless means you need to have the digital solutions in place to allow for it. This means more than just scanning paper, but actually implementing that data into programs that will provide you with better reporting and automation.
The first step to building the right set of tools that will allow you to improve workflows and use your data to the benefit of your business is to cost compare tools you already have with alternative options. There are so many competitors out there, and relying on the same old programs is not a good way to lead your business towards the future.
Cost compare, especially if your tools are not cloud-based, as this limits their ability to interact and integrate with other systems.
- Choose the Right Productivity Tools
The next step, after you have insured that of the existing system that you have, that it is the most beneficial and cost-effective option as possible, is to improve productivity. You can do this with productivity and workflow solutions like Ziflow, which allows you to create custom workflows that allow for better team and project management. Just remember that the solution you choose should be able to integrate with other solutions, as this allows for automation – another excellent time and cost saving tool.
- Opt for an Integrated Solution
The ultimate goal is an integrated system. That is why having tools that can integrate into a single solution is so important – after all, an integrated solution that has tools and features you will never use is money wasted. By creating a custom solution that is based solely on the tools and features that you personally need you can save money and improve productivity within and without your business.
- Implement Automation
All of your efforts so far have helped you save, but better yet they make it possible to introduce several key types of automation. Communication between different employees, departments, and especially different businesses or countries is slow when done manually, but thankfully this is where automation shines.
You only need to do two things to allow for automation.
- Install an integrated, cloud-based business
- Rules and parameters
With an integrated solution of cloud-based tools you can set up rules and parameters depending on your business. For example, you can set a rule that if inventory drops below a certain number, for the system to automatically send a request for more to be shipped to the financing team and to your supplier. This speeds up your whole business, and saves you massively in comparison to manually handling these types of admin-based tasks.
- Build a Virtual Company Culture
Productivity isn’t just how fast systems work together, it’s also something to worry about with your employees. A great company culture can keep your employees engaged and passionate about the work that they do, but in 2020 the very shape of the workplace has changed. Even businesses that still operate in-office or in-store look very different than they used to, and to compensate you will need to build a virtual company culture.
This will be a mix of social solutions, as well as innovative teamwork and collaborative tools that make it easier to work together productively, even in a work-from-home environment. At a minimum, having a solid conference call system and cloud-based tools will allow for better workflows and communication.
- Think ‘Circular’ With Your Supply Chain
It isn’t just using digital tools that will allow you to save your business money. Look at your supply chain. Are there better, more budget-friendly partners? Is it more worthwhile to move your supply chain to reduce the risk of another big disruption like we saw in 2020? Most of all you will want to try to think circularly with your supply chain. Instead of buying raw materials, look to buy those materials from a recycling plant or from another sustainable business. Instead of paying to get rid of your waste, sell it on to another company. There are so many ways you can optimize your supply chain and save, or even earn, money.
- Save on Your Office
If you need to save big, rethink your office. You can reduce in-office employees significantly in most cases by allowing them to work from home. For the rest, you can downsize your office, or even opt for a co-working space instead. This is the best way to save, improve employee wellbeing, and of course give your business room to restructure and invest into your future success.