They say less is more, but that saying doesn’t apply to everything. Knowing where to draw the line can make or break your business and it’s important to know where you can and can’t cut costs. Whether you want to admit it or not, you don’t need everything on your wish list to run your business. The following tips will tell you where you can and can’t afford to trim the fat.
Can: Office Space
Depending on the size of your business, it may not be necessary to have the largest space available. You can more than likely run your business without having the biggest warehouse in town, and there’s no need to overcompensate when you have a good product or service. Real estate, both in your business and at home, can be expensive. Whether you can afford an expensive purchase or not, doesn’t mean you should, because there’s always somewhere else that money could go.
As you may already know, the size of your work environment depends on the demand, nature, and staff size of your business. Do you really need to lease three floors to sell clothes in the heart of downtown? Probably not. If you can, operate your business from home or move your services to online.
This one seems obvious, but it’s so important that it bears mentioning. You can’t cut corners on quality, ever. Inflation is very real, and customers are aware that things are only getting more expensive. That’s why it’s important to ensure that whatever product or service your business provides is effective, and that your customers get their money’s worth. Whether it’s clothes, food, technology, or a service of some kind, if people are spending their money, they expect quality. If they return to your company it should be to do more business, not to register a complaint.
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and pressure of starting a new business venture, but you would be surprised to learn what you don’t really need. Establishing the difference between needs and wants can save you money – money that, especially in the early days of your enterprise, you can’t afford to waste. For example, not everyone needs a MacBook, but everyone seems to have one. Unless you’re heavily using Adobe or CMS, you don’t actually need to spend three months’ worth of rent on a computer you’re only using to stream TV shows or work on Excel spreadsheets.
You’ll find that there are more affordable options when it comes to technology and you should be careful not to focus too much on the manufacturer’s brand. In the end, all you’re paying for is the name – and chances are, you’re still paying for that MacBook.
Can’t: Customer Service
Pinching pennies when it comes to customer service is basically quitting before you even begin. And to be clear, when talking about customer service there’s far more to it than just being a place where people go to complain or make returns. It’s about the customer’s overall experience with your business. People want to do repeat business with a company they know is reliable and has trustworthy people behind it. Nobody wants to deal with a business that has rude, uninterested, or unhelpful staff. It’s not just about the money. When you get excellent service at a restaurant, you’ll probably want to return. Even if the food wasn’t five-star quality, it’s the great impression that the stellar service left that brings you back.
Learning where to cut costs doesn’t only apply to products, but to people as well. Whether you’re in the business of selling hats or cutting-edge software, saving money is always beneficial. It’s up to you to decide what you can afford to lose, so choose wisely.
Dontei Wynter | Contributing Writer