Life sure isn't the same as it once was. Pre-COVID was challenging enough as a small business but for many small businesses, it's even harder now. Strategic planning and figuring out where you can cut costs to maximise profits - or even just to stay afloat - is top of the priority list.
But how do you find cost cutting solutions when things are already lean and when it takes so much time to research and investigate ways to save money?
It's this lack of time that causes many small businesses to continue using old models and processes (that used to work well) when there are better, faster, and cheaper solutions available. It's a catch-22 situation. The current way of working is taking up all your time, so there's no time to find a time-saving solution!
Digital tools are touted as helping us save time and money, but if we don't get it right it can cost us more time and more money. It's important to spend enough time upfront to conduct a proper digital tools analysis, as even free apps won't help if they're the wrong ones. Instead you may find they only add more processes, or they don't integrate with or "talk to" other areas of your business very well. This is a common problem when technology is considered in a siloed manner as a solution for a single problem instead of considering its fit into the business strategy as a whole.
But the right digital tools can take over time-consuming, labour-intensive administrative tasks, improve communication and collaboration, automate marketing and help you grow. It can free up time so you can focus on revenue, relationships and future-proofing.
If you're struggling to see how digital tools can help your business, think back to the days of handwritten ledgers and consider just how much faster and better bookkeeping is now, thanks to accounting apps like Xero, Wave or QuickBooks. Think about how much quicker, easier and cheaper it is to stay in touch with your customers thanks to email newsletter apps like Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor or Constant Contact. Can you imagine how hard it would be to run a business nowadays without Word or Excel, without a website, email, or Google?
Integrating the right digital tools into your business can have a really positive impact on your workload and costs. The challenge now is usually around having enough time to critically analyse the plethora of options in order to choose the right one/s. But it is time well spent as it can save a lot more time long term.
If you think integrating better digital tools could help you cut costs and save time but you're struggling to find time to look into it, do get in touch. You can fill me in on where your business is at and I can do the research and analysis for you. Let's get that ball rolling and see if we can find some cost-cutting, time-saving solutions that will work for your business.
Author: Pip Mehrtens | May 2020