In this final instalment on how to recession-proof your business, I provide 10 more strategies. This time, the focus is on saving money now and in the future. Remember, if you implement just two strategies from the total list of 54 (that I’ve provided in this four-part series) each month over a 12-month period, you’ll have two-dozen strategies in place by the end of a year that will help your business thrive regardless of market conditions.
Review your Costs
When you’re super busy and the money is rolling in it’s easy to let costs balloon. Don’t delay in reviewing expenses; do so today.
1. Look at what you’re paying each of your vendors monthly. Then, ask yourself if you actually need or are even using their particular service.
2. Negotiate a better deal with your vendors. Can you get a discount by paying cash, within 30 days or even in advance? If you require 60 or 90-day terms, see if they’ll agree to a lower interest rate than what you’re currently paying or if you can pay zero interest. Alternatively, is there a lower-cost level of service that will still suit your needs?
3. Go through your bank and credit card statements and look for paid subscriptions, services and apps that you may have forgotten. Decide whether they’re necessary. There are apps that can help automate this process. Just search ‘unwanted subscription apps’ online.
4. Mobile and regular phone companies are notorious for offering lower-cost, better plans but generally only share this information when customers make inquiries. Be proactive and contact your existing provider and others to find out if they have any better offers.
5. Examine all insurance policies, including automobile, building and liability, to ensure you’re not over- or under-insured. Also, if you have been with the same company for some time, consider obtaining competing quotes.
6. Review your lease or rental agreement. When the market slows down it becomes more difficult to find commercial tenants. If your lease is coming up for renewal in the next 12 months, you may be able to negotiate a better deal.
7. Be your own lender. It’s important to have lines of credit available but depending on the fees, you may be better off financing your own line of credit. In other words, if you have cash reserves, you may be able to avoid borrowing altogether.
If you need additional help with office tasks but lack the space or budget for another in-house employee, consider hiring someone to work remotely or a virtual professional who operates as an independent contractor.
8. A virtual receptionist that either answers all your business’s phone calls or takes overflow calls can result in more sales and better customer service. Smith.ai can provide this expert help. The company combines artificial and human intelligence to offer 24/7 customer engagement with live North America-based agents to capture and convert more leads.
9. All bookkeeping and accounting can be done off-site because it’s digital information. (If you’re still doing your books on paper this is a big area where you can cut costs and be more efficient.) There’s no need to drive a fossil-fuel burning vehicle to a brick-and-mortar building to sit at a desk that’s taking up space in order to move around ones and zeros.
10. Scheduling, ordering products, responding to customer questions and anything else a project manager handles can be done remotely. The same goes for graphic design and all marketing-related activities.
Jim Augustus Armstrong is founder and president of Flooring Success Systems, a company that provides floor dealers with marketing services and coaching to help them attract quality customers, close more sales, get higher margins and work the hours they choose. To obtain a free copy of Jim’s groundbreaking flooring industry report, Stop Leaving Millions on the Table, visit FloorMillions.com. Jim can be reached at 530-790-6720 or [email protected].