Many businesses may be looking to cut some spending in 2016. The latest ABS statistics on the state of business in Australia show that many businesses have struggled financially in the past two years.
Steve Odland, the former Chairman & CEO of Office Depot and AutoZone, told Forbes that a business should be controlling its overheads with constant vigilance. This prevents an unhelpful yearly slash-and-burn approach at tax time, maintains staff morale, and helps your business stay competitive.
Here are 5 suggestions for ways to potentially cut your business costs without cutting any of your employees out of their job.
1. Ask your customers what they want
The needs of your customers change over time, and regularly finding out what your customers really want is invaluable to your business. You might like to try the following:
- Hold annual focus groups in your local area to find out which products are no longer meeting a need, and replace them with something more appealing.
- Send out an online survey to your customer email database.
- Smooth your production process by getting your main customers involved in planning processes throughout the year.
2. Renegotiate supplier contracts
It might be easier to set up a supplier contract for 2 or 5 years – but it won’t necessarily end up cheaper for your business. Forcing your suppliers to effectively bid for your attention every year might help to keep the cost of goods lower.
Don’t just set up an automatic payment from your business credit card to your supplier – reassess the cost at least once a year.
You don’t have to stop at suppliers, either. Renegotiate the lease on your office space if you have one. Renegotiate the interest rate you’re paying on a business loan, or visit our website to look for a lender who might give you a better rate.
3. Replace expensive e-stores
If you’re a small business, you could consider using a free online selling site such as eBay, or etsy for creative products. Why fork out hundreds of dollars a year to have your online store run by a third party web host?
4. Find the right courier
Are you paying too much for postage? Canstar Blue researches how satisfied small businesses in Australia are with their courier service. Find out 2015’s award-winning couriers on the Canstar Blue website.
5. Piggyback your advertising
Make the most of both loyal repeat customers and one-off customers who don’t plan to return, by tucking coupons, newsletters, or other promotional advertising items into the bag for every purchase.
Other tips include buying second-hand furniture at office and government auctions as needs arise. You should also make sure you have adequate home and contents insurance over any business properties you own, in case of theft or natural disaster. For more tips on running your business more efficiently, visit our Small Business Centre.