There is no denying that COVID-19 impacted and altered the lives of billions around the globe, compelling them to change their lifestyles. From health and hygiene to education and work, the pandemic changed how things operated. New government regulations and announcements regarding strict lockdowns to eradicate the global threat resulted in a massive blow to the world economy.
All businesses – small or large – faced the ferocity of the virus as it increased labor turnover, decreased customer base, lowered sales ratio, and amplified expenditures.
Thus, this testing time requires business owners to find new ways to cut costs and maintain profitability.
It has not been an easy journey. With production coming to a halt and raw material prices rising continuously, optimizing efficiency and reducing outlays has been challenging for business owners.
However, all is not lost, and we must learn to adapt to these changes. To unload some of your burdens, here are a few cost-cutting tips that might help small businesses flourish amid the Covid wave:
1. Coworking Spaces
One of the high costs that business organizations had to bear amidst the pandemic was paying hefty rents for buildings that weren’t even in use due to government-ordained SOPS. Even though offices can now operate with SOPS in place, small business owners realize that large working spaces are unaffordable due to substantial losses incurred during the lockdown.
Arranging coworking spaces for employees in such situations could prove to be essentially cost-saving in many aspects. Some reliable companies like The Executive Centre allow workers from different companies to share an office space. It’s a cheaper option for on-and-off work, as COVID continues to increase uncertainties. It also cuts down maintenance costs because even something as trivial as the air-conditioning going off will be taken care of by the space provider or their designated staff.
These coworking spaces often provide outsourced staff such as peons or receptionists to cater to your daily needs and office maintenance. It saves you time and money since reliable people are neither easy to find nor often affordable for start-ups or small businesses.
2. Hire Freelancers
Hiring freelancers for your firm is an effective cost-cutting HR strategy, especially when you require them to fulfill tasks that are non-occurring. As the pandemic restricted students to their homes, they polished their skills in various domains such as content writing, graphic designing, web development, etc. It also led them to search for freelance jobs to work remotely (from home) and earn money.
Hiring freelancers instead of full-time employees can prove to be quite beneficial financially. Nevertheless, adequate supervision is necessary to ensure premium quality content and timely deliveries of all tasks.
You can decide their wages according to your budget. Businesses have to pay salary and training costs, health insurance, additional benefits, and payroll taxes for a full-time employee. But hiring freelancers can help you cut down all of these costs as they don’t need a dedicated workspace or any of these work benefits. However, it is better to hire one freelancer who can do the job well at a high salary than a group of amateur freelancers at low wages.
3. Utilize social media
Utilizing online presence and digital marketing has proven effective for many businesses. It can be immensely conducive to cutting down operating expenses. During the more challenging days of the pandemic, people spent a lot of time on their phones scrolling through social media, which made them more familiar with the world of e-commerce.
It has made advertising much more accessible and efficient, rather than using TV or newspaper. These mediums are far less operative in today’s world and, of course, unaffordable for small businesses. Paid social media advertising is more cost-effective because it eliminates printing or conveyance costs.
For instance, social media marketing requires your company’s representative to be present and promptly respond to the customer at all working hours. It will help your target audience recognize your brand. This way, your marketing strategy could convey the message to a larger market through a single channel.
You can participate in a group discussion on social forums to maintain your company’s online presence and post a video or a picture now and then to build brand awareness. If your internal content isn’t bringing much traffic, then you can opt for affordable options like PPC, which only costs $0.5 to $1.0 for each click on your ad. Hence, it is the most cost-effective way of marketing.
4. Implement Energy-Saving Practices
Suppose you wish to continue renting your office space to give your workers a more personalized work experience. In that case, you must implement some helpful energy-saving practices to cut costs. The world has been going through an energy crisis way before the Covid pandemic. Hence, we already have various options to implement energy-saving measures.
You can work on your interior design by using double-pane windows rather than single-pane ones that require regular changing. You can also use light-blocking blinds or blackout curtains, restricting sunlight heating on warmer days. It would help naturally keep the room temperature cool, so you can save energy by reducing the load on your air conditioning system. It would be best to run an energy-efficiency audit to maximize the benefits of using these energy-saving options. These would be beneficial in reducing long-term costs and administrative expenses.
5. Optimizing Processing
Process optimization is an essential business-economic phenomenon that allows firms to maximize their productivity and minimize their cost. It is just as crucial during the outbreak as it was before the pandemic. The best way to cut costs is by reducing wastages, lowering lead time, and maximizing the output level to make your organizational operations run as efficiently as possible.
Maintaining the quality of your products and services would help you retain existing customers. Timely responses by your company will provide a better shopping experience for customers, ensuring repeated purchases.
To optimize your production, leverage the technology available to you for an all-in-one solution that caters to digital problems like maintaining communication with team members or completing monotonous tasks. All of this would help you attain substantial cost savings and assist you in adding value to your goods.
In a nutshell, where the pandemic caused an unprecedented decline in business operational productivity, it also opened new doors to success for smaller firms. Despite the threats and challenges imposed by Covid-19, the increased use of digital media, coworking spaces, and remote working has given small businesses a spotlight to shine and enter the global market. They now have a greater chance at targeting and exploiting a broader market and expanding their activities worldwide.