It’s no surprise that things have been tough for a lot of businesses in the last twelve months but hopefully, we’re finally seeing a turning point and life can get back to some semblance of normal this year. As a business, it’s vital that you make this year, a good one so that you can make all the money back you’ve lost, and more.
With that being said, here are some money saving tools to help your business grow in 2021.
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Keep an eye on your finances and make cuts
As a business, finances are always going to be important and it’s critical to make them a priority, regardless of how successful your business has become. In 2021, a lot of businesses may be struggling with their cash reserves and the cash flow in general. Accounting software like Quickbooks is the perfect tool to help keep an eye on your finances until you’re back in the safe zone.
Every department or individual employee will likely be responsible for purchasing things for the company. And with that being said, it might be worth having a hierarchy in place that signs off on payments.
It might not be necessary for the smaller costs but perhaps for those bigger payments that make a difference to the profit, you make as a company. By having a secondary or even third person having to sign off on a payment, it ensures no mistakes are made when it comes to the finances. The last thing you want for your company is to spend on services or products that aren’t going to contribute to you making money for the business.
That means things might be a little ruthless for a while but everyone should understand that after 2020, things are going to take some time to get back to normal. For most businesses who’ve gone through the pandemic and managed to come out the other side, it’s going to take a lot of hard work to get the company back on its feet. Count yourself as one of the lucky ones that still have a company to run or a job to go to.
Learn more about your customers to better target them
Your customers are integral to your company making money and there are plenty of ways that you can better target the right ones. Here are just a few examples:
- Conduct focus group research to bring in your ideal customer and to test out your products or services.
- Collect data from social media, your company’s website, etc.
- Ask existing customers for feedback through surveys and with email marketing.
Optimizing your customer experience is key to helping guide more leads down the sales funnel and enabling them to eventually make a purchase. That’s only going to happen though if you’re willing to understand your customers inside and out.
Can you really say that you know who your customer is? Can you create a detailed list of who they are from their age group to their other interests and hobbies? There’s so much available data for your business to utilize and it’s essential that you’re using this now more than ever. Using a data collection tool like Google Analytics can help collect all this relevant information needed to learn more about your customers.
It’s also likely going to be more accurate and readily available because so many individuals are now working from home remotely. What does that mean? It means, more people are going to be slacking a little to shop online in their working hours and that’s something to take full advantage of as a business that either partly operates online or fully.
Improve the user experience on your website
Talking of your customers, UX research methods are good for helping improve your website. As mentioned above, with more people working from home, there are more people throughout the day casually browsing the internet. UX research can be helpful to do in order to define what your user might be struggling with or what’s stopping them from getting the best customer experience possible.
User experience can be improved in many ways, not just from a technical side but what you create as a company, on your website. For example, it’s always good for a website to have a blog section. If you don’t have anyone skilled to write some expert guides or articles on your site, then outsource it.
Having a blog page can open your website up to more opportunities to not only get more traffic but to rank higher via the search engines. When it comes to the technical side, there’s plenty to do. You could fix any broken links so that first-time users of the site won’t stumble upon a ‘404’ error page.
Improving the loading speed of pages and compressing images to help contribute to loading time can be really beneficial. The better the experience you provide for the customer, the more of those leads will turn into sales. Incorporating conversational marketing can also be helpful in capturing the user’s attention sooner rather than later or stopping them from clicking off the website altogether.
Streamline work processes
There are certain work processes that might take more time than they should or you’re perhaps using too much, overcomplicating things when they don’t need to be complicated. Streamlining is something that many businesses will look at doing when finding those weak or vulnerable spots in their company.
Something that’s very important to tackle is vulnerability in a business because that’s not what you need in 2021. You want to be able to thrive with your strengths but focus on improving your weaknesses at the same time.
There are lots of areas in your business that could be streamlined in order to make the work more efficient and effective. As an example, you may have a finance department that’s currently using several pieces of software from payroll to expenses, invoicing to allocating project budgets to departments.
The best way of managing this all should be by getting it all under one roof if possible. By using fewer systems and programs, the faster your staff are likely to be when working during office hours. In this current time where saving money is key, streamlining can be an important thing to implement.
Workflow systems like Trello and Asana can be useful for streamlining and reducing the number of mistakes made.
Outsource where you can
Outsourcing is always a great way to help save money, especially if you’ve lost employees during the pandemic or you didn’t have a substantial amount of in-house resources, to begin with. It’s a cheaper way of getting the work done, whilst not having the financial responsibility of having to put someone onto the payroll as a full-time or even part-time employee.
With employees who are hired by the company full-time, the company is then responsible for pension, benefits, and an annual wage. For outsourcing, you are paying the individual or company for what work you need and that’s it. You can set the hours or project and cap it at a certain price when it comes to budgets.
Fortunately, there are plenty of online sites and apps that can help you find the right person or company when outsourcing. Platforms such as UpWork and Fiverr are certainly worth exploring and to start off your search.
Don’t get tied down by having employees that may be needed on an occasion but might end up spending most of the time, twiddling their thumbs.
Take advantage of social media
Social media has grown into something that no one could have ever really predicted. It only seems like yesterday that Facebook popped up into existence and nowadays, there’s another social media platform showing up every other day.
There’s no denying that social media is a big part of global communications and how many businesses interact with their customers. It’s also a place where you can save money on things like advertising. Get it right with your targeting your audience correctly and a small paid advertising campaign on Instagram or Facebook might really help rocket your reach to those customers.
You can also save on a lot of customer service by operating more online, than having a phone line for example. With live chats being available for websites to direct messaging on social media platforms, you have a lot more communication methods available. They are small changes that might not save much in the long run but just saving anything right now is a good thing.
It’s worth using a good tool like Hootsuite or Buffer to help with your social media management. If you’re on all forms of social media, then handling them all at once can prove to be pretty challenging and so a good social media management platform is essential.
Saving money in your business is important hopefully these tips and tools will help your business thrive in 2021, making the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, a distant memory.
The author Dennis P. Reed possesses a vast experience in the IT industry, especially in the domains of website and mobile app development and digital marketing. He writes on topics encompassing the above mentioned domains and is considered a maven in his chosen field – Information Technology.