1. Improve Site Content.
Time is money. Yes, it’s cliché, but for good reason. Take a monthly email sample. How many hours (dollars) are required to thoroughly answer questions from prospective and existing customers? Next look at the content on your website. Notice any opportunities to improve? Could product descriptions use some clarity? Can you add additional resources, policies, or procedures to minimize the amount of questions received? Is it easy to find information? Automate as much of the sales and service process as possible by improving the content on your site. If it seems like a lot of work, try prioritizing the content improvements that you make. Identify the top three questions you receive via email and start there.
2. Use the cloud.
Moving servers, backups, and even desktops to the cloud quickly pays for itself. It’s practically maintenance free, so it’s more affordable; and it’s scalable – with it’s capacity for unlimited storage, it grows with your business. Today there are many reputable service providers to choose from. Which is a great segue to our next tip…
3. Pre-search your purchases.
The internet makes it easy to find competitive pricing. Even if you’re the king- or queen- of price comparison, read on. Go deeper than price and make sure you’re educated about what you’re buying- especially when it comes to technology. When shopping for monthly subscription services like e-mail, VOIP, internet; or when buying peripherals and devices, look up confusing terminology – anything that intimidates you- to gain better understanding. When in doubt, consider joining online forums where you can ask “the experts” or build a relationship with an IT consultant who you can trust.
4. Go Paperless.
Paper, forms, folders, and file cabinets are expensive and take up physical space – and they’re not exactly the safest way to store important information. Digital scanners and cloud storage is cheaper than ever before – yet another convincing reason to go green and do something good for our planet.
5. Eliminate hidden expenses.
One of the best ways to identify and eliminate hidden expenses is to document everything. Step-by-step procedural documentation becomes a trusty magnifying glass you can use to identify opportunities to increase efficiency. What can be streamlined or eliminated from your standard operating procedures? Which tasks take the longest amount of time to complete? Can they be automated or shortened? There’s many other reasons to retain and maintain your documentation: it speeds up new-hire training, and it’s an important part of every business continuity plan.
6.Automate everything using apps.
Necessity is the mother of app development – and these days it’s tough to keep track of the amazing array out there. From bill-pay and project management to graphics and timekeeping, most of the manual tasks you’re currently doing in spreadsheets or on paper can now be done by clicking, dragging and tapping on a button or two.
Outsource services to save money on staffing — while getting the support you need at predictable rates. Consider outsourcing anything that takes up a lot of time or requires specialized knowledge or expertise, such as bookkeeping, taxes, IT, and HR. You’ll find yourself with more time, and a team of experts who will help you avoid making costly mistakes.
8. Generate more leads and sales from the web.
Rather than spending more money on marketing or advertising, consider all the ways you can use the web to build a captive audience. Hundreds of creative ideas exist, including hosting free webinars on your site, and offering free eBooks or white papers on topics related to your business. When offering premium content online, gate it to collect contact information from interested consumers. Use social media too — to advertise and promote your premium content.