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Saving Money As A Startup – Ways To Increase Your Margins

Launching a business is never a walk in the park, not least during a pandemic when the future is uncertain. Despite economic concerns, there are advantages to setting up a startup at the moment. The Covid-19 crisis has caused widespread disruption, but it has also created opportunities. If you’re just starting out on your entrepreneurial journey, it’s crucial to keep a close eye on the books. In this guide, we’ll explore ways to save money and increase your margins.

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article | Saving Money As A Startup - Ways To Increase Your MarginsInvesting in technology to improve efficiency

Increasing efficiency in business is often an effective means of saving time and money. Technology has become increasingly critical for businesses in recent years, and it offers company bosses the chance to streamline and speed up operations, reduce the risk of errors and introduce cost-effective ways of working. If you’re thinking about investing in technology for your startup, undertake extensive research, keep track of what your competitors are doing and look for devices, machinery, software or equipment that will enable you to work faster, provide a better service, offer a more diverse range of products or services than your rivals and lower costs. Think about what your business needs and consider hiring or buying second-hand equipment to save money. Hiring makes financial sense for short-term projects, while buying used machinery can work out a lot cheaper than buying brand new models. Whether you’re looking into water cooled chillers, construction vehicles, coffee machines or computers, it’s advantageous to explore the options on the table, compare prices and analyze the impact of your investment. Search for value for money, rather than the lowest price, and choose reputable manufacturers and trustworthy retailers.

Flexible staffing options

For many fledgling businesses, paying wages accounts for a substantial portion of the monthly budget. The majority of businesses need to employ staff, but there are alternatives to hiring employees on permanent contracts. You may find that flexible options work better for you, especially if you run a seasonal business, or you take on multiple projects. If you run a construction company, for example, you may want to look for talented individuals to work on specific jobs, rather than employing a team of workers on a full-time basis. If you manage a store that sells Christmas decorations, or you run a business that handles vacation rentals, for example, you will go through busy and quiet periods, which demand different staffing levels. Hiring on a short-term basis will ensure you have access to the staff you need to thrive during busy periods while saving money when sales start to dwindle. You can also save money on wages by starting with a relatively small team and adding new recruits as your business grows.

Outsourcing

Outsourcing has become increasingly popular among small and medium-sized businesses, and it can offer a cost-effective alternative to employing new members of staff. Outsourcing involves working with external agencies or hiring freelancers to take control of certain jobs. It enables you to access skills that you might not already have on your team, and you can also free up time for your employees. Examples of tasks and services that businesses commonly outsource include professional cleaning, accounting and payroll management, IT and marketing. If you own a clothing brand, for example, and you want to drum up interest and try and boost online sales, you could outsource marketing, joining forces with a digital marketing agency to draw up and manage targeted campaigns that are designed to increase sales and improve your ROI. By outsourcing, you can save money on hiring while also benefiting from access to expertise you don’t have in-house.

Negotiating with suppliers

Negotiating skills are imperative in business. Whether you sell products or services, it’s highly likely that you will need to engage with suppliers, distributors and logistics firms to get your business off the ground and provide your customers with an efficient service. At every stage, be willing to negotiate on price, but understand the importance of presenting a professional image. There’s nothing wrong with trying to drive prices down, but be realistic and make offers that are reasonable.

Streamlining your marketing strategy

Marketing plays a crucial role in helping businesses to connect with customers, generate leads and increase the chances of making sales. When you launch a marketing campaign, you want to ensure that you have the best chance of achieving your objectives. This is why it’s beneficial to seek expert advice and to link up with agencies or individuals with an outstanding track record. There is a risk of a campaign falling flat, and not every marketing strategy works. You don’t want to invest money in techniques that don’t work or campaigns that don’t reach the right people. Streamlining your strategy can help you pinpoint target customers, generate high-quality leads and promote your brand in the best possible light. Make use of analytics to track progress and use market research and customer feedback to improve and modify your strategy. If you’re targeting young people, for example, advertising and sharing posts on sites like Instagram is going to be more effective than posting on Twitter. If you’re setting up a local business providing services like roofing, dog walking or gardening and landscaping, focus on local SEO and use flyers and local press adverts to connect with residents in the area. Over 85% of people who search for local businesses on a smartphone will either make contact or visit within 24 hours. By focusing on methods that work, you can increase ROI and eliminate expenses related to techniques that have failed to make an impact.

Every dollar counts when you’re running a new business. If you’ve recently launched a startup, or you’re in the early stages, there are ways to lower costs and increase margins. Think carefully about your recruitment strategy and explore flexible staffing solutions, negotiate with suppliers, invest in technology that will enable you to save time and money, consider outsourcing and streamline your marketing strategy. If you can reduce expenses at the same time as driving sales and optimizing performance, your profits should grow quickly.

4 Ways To Lower Costs and Increase Your Business Revenue

Businesses cost money to run. As the owner, you should be looking for ways to lower costs and save money as much as possible, without affecting your staff or production rates. There are many ways to lower your costs and the earlier you are in your business, the sooner you start saving money, the more you will have to re-invest in the future. So how can you lower costs efficiently and quickly? Here are 4 methods you can look into to help reduce the money your business is spending.

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | 4 Ways To Lower Costs and Increase Your Business RevenueLowering production costs

Have you ever considered the price of a zip tie? How many do you use when building your products? If you lowered the amount in each one, how much would this save in the long run over thousands of products? Small incremental savings like this are the key to reducing your production costs through your business’s lifetime. Lowering production costs doesn’t have to be as ruthless as lowering staff numbers but by finding ways to save small amounts that add up in the long run. Automation and time-saving techniques are easier to implement. If you need to, consider other suppliers of your products to lower your outsourcing and production costs further.

Free-licence software

Many software suites now use an expensive subscription service that adds up quickly when you start to add multiple users. However, there are other options available to you. As users became tired of paying for expensive software, well developed, managed, and most importantly free, software exploded onto the market with alternatives to almost every major software suite. As a smaller business, it is within your best interests to become accustomed to what free software is out there for you. Do keep in mind though that you must consider compatibility issues between different pieces of software. Don’t waste time forcing a square peg into a round hole, when the paid-for software will do the job.

Go digital

Newer businesses have the luxury of being able to perform almost all of their admin digitally in the modern-day, with paper or hard copies rarely being required. With widespread software or mobile apps designed to provide you with paperless, digital alternatives to paper forms and documents. Going digital means you can cut out almost all of your paper documents which removes unnecessary storage and the costs associated. Yes, at some point you are going to have to print something, but if this is rare, you also save money on expensive printer maintenance costs as you only need something small to suit your need.

Speaking to financial professionals

Speaking to tax and accounting professionals is a great way to learn about what options are available to you. You may be surprised to find out where you are overspending and what your actual liabilities are in certain areas of your business. For example, in some cases, you may be able to look into a tax segregation report to cut tax liabilities across your premises. To learn more about cost segregation click here. Financial advice can cost. But the money you can potentially save makes the initial outlay small in comparison. Good professionals are worth it so invest your money into them wisely.

Ways To make Your Business More Efficient

A business needs to work and keep working for both the owners and the consumers. Inefficiency can be a real problem for businesses, which can end up costing your business a lot of revenue. There are some tricks you can use to make your business more efficient and improve your earning power and productivity.

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Ways To make Your Business More Efficient | Entrepreneurship | Business Efficiency

What Isn’t Working?

Before you make any changes, you need to identify the areas of your process that are currently inefficient. When you know where the problem areas are, you can start working out what is causing it. From here, you can create a solution. For example, if your IT team is overworked and stressed, you’ll get more IT downtime, slowing down work. You can fix this by using IT services to tackle business inefficiency caused by technology. Inefficiency can occur in lots of different places. It might be redundant processes, important information that is hard to find and procedures that have been allowed to get out of date. Overcomplicated procedures are also a common problem.

Democratize The Market

Find a way to make the market you work in more democratic, which makes processes faster for staff and consumers, and frees up your team to deal with other parts of their job. Making the process of working with you much smoother and simpler, you can serve more customers and retain them afterward. The easier it is for customers and staff to access technology and information, the smoother and faster your business can operate.

Explore Digital Integration

Digital integration that is inefficient can be a big problem, causing you to be less competitive in your industry. Instead, use digital integration that can streamline your work, cutting down on the time that is wasted. Digital solutions that are properly integrated can improve efficiency in lots of ways. Technology can be used to automate tasks that are time-consuming, which then allows your employees to focus on tasks that need attention from a human being. Communication is made faster and easier. Reports can be generated and shared with key stakeholders much more quickly. Problems can be found and handled sooner, and employees can communicate with each other much more easily. Proper, thorough digital integration is a must-do solution to inefficiency in a business.

Build An End-To-End Solution

You need to think about the entire system, and consider how your business and product fits into the larger picture. Full integration can help you find more ways to improve your efficiency. If all the parts of your machine work together, things will operate in a more efficient way, allowing you to work on the things that matter.

Build Communities And Resources

A great way to be more efficient in your business is to create communities. The people you meet will help you to open up more opportunities in a natural way. Foster community development with tings like public forums for discussion, networking options and sharing resources. This can generate new ideas, invaluable feedback, and new concepts for you and the other businesses involved.

Streamline Your Business to Make it More Efficient

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business ArticleNo matter how well you set up your business, there are always opportunities for you to improve the way you do things. After a little while, as your business starts to grow, and you begin to add more staff, you may need to think about changing the way your business works. To do this, you need to think about streamlining the processes and the way that you will deal with customers and clients. Here are some ideas to get started.

Review Your Procedures

Before you start embarking on any type of streamlining mission, you need to think about what you need to do, and the areas in particular that require work. To do this, you need to look at your procedures and the way you are dealing with customers and staff. Set up a team to review everything within your company, and see if there is any way that they can make the procedures more efficient. It is important that this team looks at all areas of your company. That way, they will be able to help you save more time and money in the long run.

Involve the Staff

Whenever there is the talk of streamlining within a business, staff always start to become very upset and worried about their future. To allay their fears, it is essential that you involve them from the beginning. Set out in detail what you want to achieve and include them in the process as well. Ask them if there’s anything about the role that they can do more efficiently. If there is, perhaps you could also give them an incentive to come up with a better solution. You can even make it a competition with the winner receiving a prize.

Dealing with Customers

Customers are the life force of your company; without them, you would not be able to run your business. It means that any way which you can make the processing of your products easier will be better for your customers and will encourage them to shop more often with you. To achieve this, why not think about adding an online store to your website and making customer service easier to contact.

Dealing with Clients

In the past, you may have dealt with clients by visiting them in person. This used to be the best and most effective way of dealing with clients and encouraging new contracts. However, there are now many other ways to do this efficiently. For example, you can find the best free conference call online that can allow you to speak face to face with your clients or via a telephone link. Doing so will save you a lot of time traveling and will also reduce your expenses by quite a substantial amount.
By looking at what you are already doing and by involving your workers, you can achieve a more streamlined and efficient company. This will enable you to compete against your competitors and build a company that will grow into the future.

Workplace Design Tips To Increase Profit Margins

Were you aware that the design of your workplace is important for employee engagement and customer satisfaction? As a business owner it is important to consider and make adaptations to the aesthetics of your premises in order to increase productivity and sales.

Taking on the large financial commitment of a business premises is a big decision, so considerations around the aesthetics are essential right from the very beginning.

The aesthetics of your business premises are important as it is your “shop window” to visiting clients and customers. It is important to give a good first impression and look professional, tidy and organised. Employees are likely to be more productive and happy working in an aesthetically pleasing workspace and staff turnover may well reduce.

This article aims to look at ways of making your business look more aesthetically pleasing.

External

Even if your budget is minimal, it is important to make the external areas of your business premises look tidy and professional. Check that car park areas are well maintained and that pathways are well maintained by taking advice from a professional flooring company. Ensure walking surfaces are safe and free from hazards.

The entrance to your business property should be inviting. Have clear signage and good lighting facilities. Does your door look aesthetically pleasing ie no peeling paint or broken door furnishings?

On entering your building clients should be able to easily find directions to the meeting point. This could be done by positioning a welcome desk visible from the doorway, or clear signs directing them to your office space.

Internally

The internal aesthetics of your premises are important due to the professional image you wish to portray to your clients and visitors, but also for creating an area conducive to good productivity from your staff (and yourself).

Gone are the days when offices were designed by placing dark, dingy desks in uninspiring rows. Much more thought has been given to the modern office, the idea being that different zones can be created for meeting, collaborating, relaxing and working.

Modern offices are light and airy and make use of all natural light available. To make the space appear lighter, if natural light is at a premium, decorate in light colours, but avoid the traditional colour of grey. Try to bring the “outdoors in” by using splashes of colour.

Greenery

The colour green increases production and  performance as well as evokes a sense of calmness. Bringing green into your workspace can be achieved by painting a wall or even better by using plants. If your budget is high you could consider creating a green-space for your employees and visitors to relax in, by building an atrium, filled with plants and fresh air.

Space

If you are at the initial stage of looking at business premises, try to get as much space included as your budget will allow. Cramped offices are not conducive to good productivity and soon become cluttered. Staff need space to move around and change position occasionally. Overly small office spaces could also be unsafe due to trip hazards.

Hopefully by incorporating the above tips your profit margins will escalate and your staff team will be stable.