Running a business costs money, no matter what industry you might be. If you’re at the early-stage of your business, working on a little budget and trying to cope with the difficult terrain entrepreneurs face in Nigeria, then you’re probably thinking of ways you can cut cost and utilize your budget efficiently.
Here are 6 smart tricks to help you cut cost and keep your business moving without cutting corners:
Bring in freelancers or contractors for short-term jobs. You won’t have to pay a full-time salary with benefits to employees who you may not need after a project is completed. If a particular temporary worker stands out, you may be able to hire them to fill a current or future position, which could help you cut recruiting and training costs.
To get talents, you can use a platform for Nairaland to announce the role to be outsourced. There are thousands of users there that will embrace the opportunity even at a low fee.
2. Cut-off the cost of rent
Good times or bad, every month or yearly you’ll have to pay that rent. If you’re in a city like Lagos, it’ll be difficult to keep up with running your business with limited funds if the cost of rent gulps all your funds. In place of renting an office space, convert your business to a virtual presence.
You can have your employees work from home and get rid of the office in its entirety. Also,you can use the option of shared office space. They are relatively cheap, and you’ll have opportunity to network with other business owners.
3. Cut advertising cost
The average small businesses typically spend approximately 5% of revenue for advertising, and this is way higher for businesses that re just starting out. You may be tempted to put in most of your funds into advertising because you’re still new and desperately seeking clients/customers.
It’s a digital age, and advertising doesn’t have to be expensive. There are more potential customers online than ever before, so start with building an online presence by creating a website or setting up social media profiles. Asking for referrals, and always carrying business cards are also inexpensive ways to increase your marketing profile.
4. Switch to clouds for computing needs
For most businesses (especially startups), cloud computing is an excellent way to reduce both capital costs and ongoing expenses related to IT services.
With cloud computing, gone is the need to purchase and maintain expensive servers on site, as well as pay for ongoing software upgrades. By using the cloud you will always have access to the latest versions of business applications and the flexibility to increase your bandwith or storage on demand.
Your cloud provider will also take care of most data recovery issues, freeing your business from the requirement of maintaining a complex IT disaster recovery plan.
5. Leverage social media advertising
Traditional advertising is expensive – really expensive, and most small businesses can’t afford that kind of spend.
Paid social media advertising is much cheaper. Social media ads are also less costly to produce – though it’s increasingly common to see slick video spots on your Facebook or Twitter feed, the most cost-effective social ads remain simple.
Also, you don’t have to pay for social media advertising at all. If you devote time and personnel to engaging your company’s fans and building your social following organically, you can reach thousands of current or prospective customers without spending a dime.
6. Encourage word of mouth marketing
Organic social media conversation is but one form of word-of-mouth marketing, a cost-effective and potentially powerful form of outreach that essentially outsources part of your marketing department to your customers.
Word-of-mouth marketing comes in many different flavors: referral programs that pay existing customers to refer new customers, college brand ambassador programs that pay young people to evangelize about their employers’ products on campus, social sharing communities on Pinterest and other digital media, and online review directories.
Your company’s ideal word-of-mouth marketing strategy or strategies will depend on its audience’s demographic makeup, buying habits, and response to messaging and sales efforts.
Did you find these tips helpful? Tell us in the comments!