Small Businesses Can Cut Costs without Cutting Headcount
Faced with the need to cut costs, businesses of all sizes regularly resort to "reducing headcount." But unlike their counterparts at large, publicly listed companies, owners and managers of smaller businesses have much more than today's share price to think about when they have to reduce costs.
For a small business, replacing experienced, talented individuals will be both costly and necessary in the longer term. So, how can they cut costs in the short term without compromising their long-term interests? Here are a few ideas:
1. Enlist your team's help.
Your team can help you make your business more efficient. Maybe your team has identified a bottleneck that the management hasn't seen. Perhaps they know how other businesses are cutting costs. Everyone is incentivized to help you make the savings needed to avoid lay-offs.
2. Shop around for big-ticket purchases.
Whether it's insurance, business travel or printing essentials.
3. Connect over the Web.
You can use the Internet to shrink the cost of long-distance business. Services like Skype and GoToMeeting let you meet "face-to-face" with your counterparts in other cities and countries at little or no cost.
4. Get your services on demand.
You can avoid costly investment in things like e-mail servers, high-spec printers or expensive software by tapping into "cloud" or "as a Service" solutions. Microsoft Office Live, Earthtone, Google Docs and others specialize in providing the resources businesses need while helping them avoid unnecessary upfront investment.