Small Businesses Can Cut Costs Without Cutting Headcount
Faced with the need to cut costs, businesses of all sizes regularly resort to “reducing headcount.” But unlike their counterparts at large, publicly listed companies, owners and managers of smaller businesses have much more than today’s share price to think about when they have to reduce costs.
For a small business, replacing experienced, talented individuals will be both costly and necessary in the longer term. So, how can they cut costs in the short term without compromising their long-term interests? Here are a few ideas from Earthtone, an online print marketplace that small businesses use to save money by comparing quotes from hundreds of independent printers before choosing the one best suited to their needs:
- 1. Enlist your team’s help. Your team can help you make your business more efficient. Maybe your team has identified a bottleneck that the management hasn’t seen. Perhaps they know how other businesses are cutting costs. Everyone’s incentivized to help you make the savings needed to avoid lay-offs.
- 2. Shop around for big-ticket purchases. Whether it’s insurance, business travel or printing essentials like your business cards or your company brochure, using comparison sites like CompareTheMarket, Expedia or Earthtone can help you find the same product at a better price.
- 3. Connect over the Web. You can use the Internet to shrink the cost of long-distance business. Services like Skype and GoToMeeting let you meet “face-to-face” with your counterparts in other cities and countries at little or no cost.
- 4. Get your services on demand. You can avoid costly investment in things like e-mail servers, high-spec printers or expensive software by tapping into “cloud” or “as a Service” solutions. Microsoft Office Live, Earthtone, Google Docs and others specialize in providing the resources businesses need while helping them avoid unnecessary upfront investment.