What to Do If Your Business Is Running on a Tight Budget
Like it or not, every business finds itself in a budget jam at some point or another. It may be due to a seasonal slow-down, a new competitor setting up shop nearby, or equipment or property issues. In business, unexpected challenges appear all the time. The trick is to know how to deal with these curveballs when they present themselves. Here are some good belt-tightening strategies for companies to use when times get tough.
Tighten up on Expenses
We’ll start with the most obvious solution: don’t let any more money flow out of the business than you must. While the adage “you have to spend money to make money” has its merits, it doesn’t apply when you’re in a budget crisis.
If you can wait to buy some equipment or supplies or hold off on filling an empty position, do it.
You need to have a monthly budget that you review and reconcile when the month is over. The best way to identify places where you may be hemorrhaging money is to evaluate expenses regularly. You might be surprised how much you can save by making small changes in different budget line items.
Beyond a monthly budget, let’s look at staffing. Obviously, you don’t want to lose anyone. If, however, you have an open position, look at your organization chart. If you have five employees and are down one, is it possible that by divvying up the duties of the missing staff member among the other four fairly and evenly, you could avoid paying another employee? Many hands make light work. If that’s not possible, could it be the part-time or temporary position?
We referred to the need to spend money to make money earlier. This generally applies to market and advertising. However, in this digital age, there are many advertising opportunities that are free or cost pennies on the dollar when compared to traditional media. Organic social media posts featuring special pricing promotions, or spotlighting one of your products or services are free, and if you have a network of followers, can be shared and spread like wildfire.
If you’re not in a position where your organic posts have great reach, paid social media advertising can help at almost any budget level.
No-one wants to have to work on a tight budget, but if you are smart about it, you can save money without losing ground, and come out all the stronger on the other side when business picks up.