Go Green – Go Paperless
Not only is this easy, but it will also save you time and money. Banks, utility companies, and your other vendors have made opting to go paperless easier than ever. Filing cabinets full of paper records can be replaced electronically and with good file management online, the entire process is much easier to retrieve, share, and store data. Using less paper and toner is good for the environment and that’s something worth sharing with your customers.
Inside Out Taxes & Accounting recommends QuickBooks Online. Get your first 3 months at 55% off by clicking here.
Barter with other Small Businesses
Like you, other local small businesses are looking to save wherever they can. Bartering services are a great way to help both organizations. You have a unique product or service that has value to others, just as they do. Bartering often provides a win-win for both companies. Sometimes other businesses are open to the idea, other times they’re not but it never hurts to try.
Evaluate Your Bank
Banks come in many shapes and sizes these days. Their fees can vary widely so it pays to research what your options are. Some banks are set up for larger clients with a myriad of services that and can end up costing more than what you really need. On the other hand, you also want a banking institution that continues to fit as you grow. As you review costs and services be sure to take note of minimum required balances and benefits such as fraud protection and interest rates.
At Inside Out Taxes & Accounting we recommend Numerica Credit Union to all our local clients. Their team of friendly financial experts work one-on-one with you to find solutions tailored to your business needs. Contact Greg Hansen at (509) 462-6218 or email him directly here.
Buy Used Office Equipment
This applies not only to the furniture but to equipment that makes your office run. Today's technology; printers, scanners, monitors, storage devices, and even computers — are all updated so often that you can often find gently used equipment that costs considerably less. Most refurbished electronics can be purchased with warranties, which gives you peace of mind while saving money. Sadly, many businesses were unable to survive this challenging year. Look for going out of business sales in your area if you’re planning to update your offices.
If you are local in Spokane give our friend Israel a visit at Continuum Office Environments.
This may seem obvious but it often gets overlooked in the day-to-day demands of running a business. Common sense decisions come from seeing the big picture. For example, unnecessary meeting and over communication is a waste of time and can interfere with the work/life balance you and your employees need. First, focus on yourself to make organizational changes to improve your output and then focus on your team. Even choosing to review some time management tips can result in a significant boost in productivity
Split Costs and Collaborate Whenever Possible
Other small businesses in your area also looking to cut costs. Team up with them and you’ll both save some money. If you’re hosting a tent sale, invite another local business with similar customer demographics to join your event. This will help both of you reach new customers. Sharing distribution channels, mailing lists, or even suppliers is another great way to collaborate and cross-promote.
Clean Up Your Lists
Another way a small business can save money in the new year is to clean up their customer lists. If you have a mailing list that hasn’t been parsed through recently USPS offers free mailing list clean-up services. People constantly move and update their email addresses. Marketing to people you can’t reach is a waste of money. People who no longer open your emails are either no longer interested or have a new address. Make a continual effort to grow your lists with good leads and let the non-responders go.
Check-In with Your Customers & Your Employees
The new year means people, at least for a while, will focus on self-improvement. Check-in with your clients/customers to what their resolutions are. You might find a way to help them achieve their goals. The new year is also a great time to improve your feedback strategy. Are you making it easy for your happy customers to review your business on social media and your website? What can you do to excite your team in the coming new year? Do you have achievable goals they can hit, goals that are rewarded with the incentives they want?
Nothing Beats Word of Mouth
Never underestimate the value of your loyal customers. They can provide you with a nearly free method of advertising. On average, referral clients generate 16% more in profit and provide you with consistent month over month client growth. Offering a small incentive to the referrer for each new customer they bring in is a great way to save money and support steady growth. Putting a portion of your marketing dollars into referrals is smart.
Dig Into Your Digital Strategy
Add this to your ‘To Do’ list for 2021. Why? Because your online presence is the key to your transparency and trust. You may be in love with your website, but are your customers? Are they getting the information they’re seeking or are they getting lost and leaving your site in search of another? Your online customer interactions need to reflect your unique brand and they better be timely and to the point to keep them happy.
Everything online is tracked so there’s an amazing amount of data to sift through. Your website and social media analytics will shed light on what’s working and what’s not. When you know where to, and where not to put your energy, you’ll make good, cost-effective marketing decisions – decisions that will pay off during the new year!