Whatever your business, whatever its size and whatever industry you operate in, you doubtless walk the same fine line as any other business, the line between maximising your profits and keeping your operational costs down to a minimum. All SMEs need cash, not just to pay their bills and vendors, but to give them the liquidity that can help their business seize vital opportunities for growth.
There are many and diverse ways of saving money, from using heat tape to save on plumbing costs to filling your office with energy saving fluorescent bulbs but, as with most things, the difference between success and failure is strategy. It’s not enough to implement a money saving measure, it’s important to monitor its effectiveness by monitoring its effects on costs over a quarterly or monthly period, enabling you to strategize accordingly.
Here are some money saving ideas that can benefit virtually any business.
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Outsource your marketing
Marketing is not a luxury or a frivolity, it’s a vital tool in ensuring your business’ reach and longevity and it’s not an area where you should skimp. You may not find it prudent to outsource your entire marketing strategy. A potent content marketing strategy, for example, will most likely be based around your personal blog, which relies on the uniqueness of your knowledge, insight and experience.
Marketing campaigns can be tailored to suit whatever budget you choose to allocate to it, although it’s worth noting that marketing is one of the most prudent investments you can make. It’s important to build a good relationship with a marketing firm you can trust. They should be able to show you examples of previous successful campaigns and all their costs should be transparent and explained upfront with no hidden expenses.
Negotiating with vendors
A good relationship with your vendors is important, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of your business. If your vendor isn’t rewarding your loyalty then it may be looking elsewhere. Vendors face difficulties with the economy as much as any of their customers, and they should be making efforts to incentivize your loyalty. Most vendors would rather negotiate a better price with their customers than see them defect to another vendor who may lure them in with a special introductory price.
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Substitute traditional advertising with inbound marketing
The world of advertising and marketing is changing. There was a time when small businesses were limited to advertising on local radio or in local papers or (if they were big spenders) on a local TV network. Now, SMEs have a medium through which they can get their message across for free… The key is getting their leads to engage with it. If you’ve allocated a budget to old media advertising, it may be worth considering re-allocating it to Search Engine Optimization or a Pay Per Click campaign. You can even grow your reach organically through your content marketing campaign. Youtube videos, blogs, white papers, slideshows and webinars are great ways of expanding your business’ reach at little or no costs.