Not even the savviest financial planner could have predicted the business and economic upheaval we’ve experienced in a matter of weeks. Some businesses are experiencing unprecedented highs while many others are shuttering their doors. Still, every business owner remains uncertain about the future.
It’s not a time for reckless spending or decision-making that could potentially be harming your business. The businesses that weather this storm will be the ones that made calculated decisions.
And while many business owners are already struggling with tough decisions, others are cutting back while bracing for whatever may come.
If your business is among them, here are five easy ways to cut costs without harming your business.
1. Shift to a remote work model
Most businesses won’t save on rent by shifting workers to remote operations, but it is a way to keep your business running while saving on utility costs. Naturally, this will only work in industries where customers don’t need face-to-face contact. As a bonus, many studies on the topic have found that remote workers are more productive than employees who report to an office.
2. Manage employee stress levels
Even in a crisis, or especially in a crisis, your employees are your best asset. But when employees are running ragged, they may not be performing at their best. Naturally, everyone is worried about their health and their families.
As a boss, it’s crucial to address the concerns you can. Communicate what your company is doing to keep employees and customers safe, and make sure you take extra care to focus on break times.
Make sure every employee is getting enough breaks and give them a place where they can actually relax. What’s incredibly important are healthy relaxation techniques, and your employees should be able to get some quiet time between busy shifts.
3. Streamline onboarding
In simpler times, you may have been able to give new employees a few days for formal training. But if you’re running an essential business now, you may not have that luxury. This is where job shadowing can come in handy. Instead of wasting time and energy on training employees who may even be temporary, allow them to train by shadowing seasoned employees, so they can learn as they go.
4. Revisit your marketing budget
By now, we’ve probably all seen online ads for businesses that are temporarily closed during the stay-at-home order. Not only are those ads a waste of good money, but they are also likely to anger customers who think the company is breaking the rules and putting people’s safety in jeopardy.
Marketing may be the last thing on your mind right now, but it’s an important area to revisit if you’re looking to save money (and save face). Depending on your business model, you may want to eliminate ads or double down.
5. Negotiate rent
Small business owners aren’t the only ones biting their nails during the current pandemic. To be fair, everyone is doing the same, and landlords are no exception. So, this is the ideal time to renegotiate rent as you might be able to work out a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Your landlord does not want to worry about renting the space to another business, especially not now, so you have some negotiation power. Especially if you’ve leased the same space for years, your chances are good at negotiating a better rate without harming your business.
There aren’t any easy fixes to the problems our society is facing today, but we can all do our part to cut costs, take care of employees and keep our businesses afloat. Responsible management can mean the difference between sustainability and failure in these very uncertain times. Lead with a calm mind and a cost-savings plan for sustainability.