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6 Hacks to Improve Cost-Efficiency in Your Business

Julia RichardsDecember 2020
6 Hacks to Improve Cost-Efficiency in Your Business

Improving cost-efficiency in your business is all a matter of getting better at doing day-to-day tasks. As the famous saying goes: Work smarter, not harder.

There are numerous ways to save money and reduce costs in a small business such as turning the lights off at a certain hour or sourcing cheaper suppliers.

But the trick is to save coins while improving your efficiency, not lowering it.

Here are six unique hacks on how to be more cost-effective in your business while still operating at high-volume.

1. Answering service

Time is money, and one of the quickest and easiest ways to save both in your small business is to outsource your switchboard.

Instead of hiring a full-time switchboard operator and committing yourself to yet another salary when you’re not even sure if your startup is going to make it, consider using professional call-answerers to handle all your incoming calls.

A business call-answering service is typically used for:

  • Answering your business calls in a professional manner, utilising your business’s name.
  • Forwarding calls to you if they are important.
  • Informing you of calls via text message or email.
  • Scheduling appointments for you on your calendar.
  • Squashing telesales and automated calls which waste your time.

Such a service then frees up your time (and hence, money) so you can do what you do best: Take care of business.

2. Online calendar

The amount of time wasted when working out appropriate meeting times between you and others is enormous.

Not only that, it can lead to confusions and unexpected conflicts in scheduling, thereby causing more wasted time.

In these days rapid change, the only logical solution is to use an online scheduling service such as Calendly or YouCanBookMe which allows people to schedule themselves in for appointments without the endless back and forth of emails.

If time is money, online calendar booking solutions will save you a ton of both!

3. VOIP phone lines

Calling using traditional means has gone the way of the dinosaur, especially if you do a lot of international calling.

These days, VOIP Business Phone Solutions come with so many different options that it simply makes no sense to pay your local telecom to provide you with a phone connection at exorbitant rates.

Not only are VOIP providers generally cheaper on a per-call basis, but their service also tends to be better as a rule of thumb due to their need to compete with preexisting megacorps that have a firm grip on the market.

4. WFH policy

For those who can do it, working from home has tremendous benefits. For the employer, it can save costs.

A WFH policy cannot work in all industries. Video conferencing simply can’t replace the magic inherent in real human contact.

But if your company is indeed able to allow a large contingent of its employees to work from home, that will save you costs.

If a large portion of your employees works from home, you can hire a smaller space for your office and spend less on daily overheads.

5. Automate, automate, automate

We are currently living through the Fourth Industrial Revolution — the internet of things.

You can control your lights with your phone, get your coffee machine to make a pot for you every morning, and you can even get your floor vacuumed on a schedule.

On a less dramatic basis, numerous tools exist online, which can automate the day-to-day grind for individuals and businesses. Some of these tools include:

  • Accounting software that automatically logs your bills and invoices.
  • Project management tools which execute certain actions based on a set of predetermined criteria.
  • Workflow solutions that streamline everyday work.

A short search on the web will give you dozens of solutions to test, which can reduce your workload as a result of automating repetitive tasks.

6. Work with freelancers

If you have projects that need to be done over a few months but don’t have the power to do it in-house, use freelancers instead of taking someone on board permanently. Whereas the freelancer’s pricing might be higher than a salaried employee initially, this cost will balance itself out in the long run as a result of not being obliged legally to continue the relationship with the freelancer once the project is completed.

The world of freelancing has grown highly competitive, and many freelancers will give you agency-quality work if you both agree to the right price (which will likely still be miles lower than the agency’s).

Always work with professionals. Try and avoid cheapskate freelance sites with tons of freelancers competing mainly on price but not on quality. You’ll likely end up spending more by hiring from these websites because the work will often need to be redone.

Ask for help

Make it your daily mantra: “Could this be done smarter?”

Depending on your technical know-how, you might or might not come up with ways that it could be done smarter. If you are struggling to figure out ways to streamline production, call someone who can do it for you. Ask for help.

That’s a bonus cost-saving tip, by the way: Ask for help when you need it. A lot of professionals are keen and willing to help if you just ask.

About author
Julia Richards
Julia Richards

I am the head content writer at Start My Business with over ten years of experience in copywriting and content research. I specialise in writing topics for SME's, finance and digital marketing.

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