Running a small business has perks, like getting to know your customers on a deeper level and anticipating needs for your community. This personability is what helps locally owned businesses to thrive. People who often use the same service or go to their favorite breakfast spot see familiar faces each time. As our communities continue to develop, sometimes small businesses struggle to keep up with rising minimum wage and how it affects their profit.
Does this mean you need to cut your team or give employees fewer hours? Not necessarily. Ensuring employees are paid competitively reduces turnover and keeping your business adequately staffed means better service for your customers. Or maybe you are worried this means you have to compromise product quality to maintain your profit margin. We don’t think any small business should have to start with changes to their team or the quality of the product. Instead, here are 5 ways to reduce costs that you may not have considered.
Reduce Internet Costs
We’ve been there when it comes to finding you were suddenly charged $20 more than you typically are for your home internet. Many of us immediately call and ask why our bill has increased or to negotiate it back to the old price. But when it comes to businesses, this can be overlooked. Owners set up an internet service when they first move into their facility then naturally shift their focus to bigger and better things as the move is complete. Consider your internet service- has your bill increased and service slowed? In addition to paying more than your initial rate, you could be paying more for less speed as your business has grown. Explore the packages available from your provider or re-negotiate your bill, requesting faster service and the original(or lower!) rate. If you’ve been with your provider for 2 or more years chances are you can get the rate you want! Contact 95Visual if you are in the SCV area for resources to lower your internet costs.
It’s the age of smartphones but many businesses still have physical phone systems. Moving to a voice over internet protocol or “VOIP” system can reduce your bill to the $20 range! This provides opportunities such as multiple numbers for different employees, call forwarding, etc. Moving your system can greatly reduce your monthly costs. Need a referral? Call 95Visual!
Credit card processing can be costly, but businesses will need a processing provider or full merchant account to take card payments. You may be able to reduce your processing fee to around 2.9% if using a provider such as Square(estimated via Square’s website at time of publishing). The potential for saving on these fees could open up a budget for, say, a fresh website design!
Outlook’s cost is too high for the majority of small businesses and, in our experience, most do not need the full Outlook Office Suite. GSuite is reasonably priced and offers multiple tiers, some with unlimited Google Drive storage. Rather than paying for every employee to have an outlook email AND having the office-wide system, you can utilize all the apps Google offers. We find Google to be very convenient and affordable for many small businesses, including 95Visual!
Marketing is essential for every business, but you want to be sure that it’s effective and your money is being put to good use. When evaluating your marketing efforts ask yourself if the business you have coming in is a direct result of the investment and if the profits cover more than just the cost of marketing. Poor return on investment is common without a good marketing strategy but it doesn’t have to be your headache anymore! We offer marketing services to ensure your budget is being spent on marketing that actually gets you business.
Look at your business’ spending on these items and renegotiate or switch services where you can. 95Visual can help with your marketing by providing a free assessment of your current strategy and ROI.