Managing a Small Business: Tips on Cutting Costs to Survive the Pandemic

COVID-19 has closed more shops and caused more bankruptcies than anyone could ever have imagined. Foreclosures and bankruptcies suddenly became part of the “pandemic’s norm.” And those businesses, especially small businesses, that have so far kept these at bay find themselves struggling to stay afloat. Cutting costs has likewise become part of the pandemic-challenged business landscape, and unfortunately, some businesses consider laying off people as their first, and even only, choice.

Before you look into letting some of your staff go, there are ways that might help you further cut down costs and save your employees their jobs. Here are a few of them:

1. Fully operate online

If you’re renting office space, perhaps it’s time to reconsider this and seriously think about shifting full operations online. With online operations, employees can work remotely, which not only keeps them safe but also helps you dramatically cut down operations costs.

2. Adopt blended work

If shifting full operations online isn’t possible, you can still cut down on overhead costs by adopting a blended work environment where your physical office operates with a skeleton workforce and the rest of your employees are working from home. With this arrangement, you can move to a smaller office space or if this isn’t a feasible option, you can at least reduce utility costs.

With both full and blended online operations, your employees may need some time to get used to remote work, so perhaps during the initial phase of your online shift, you may need to hold daily remote video conferences with them for guidance and instruction.

3. Evaluate service providers

Take a look at your service providers or outsourced services and check if competitors are offering a better price. You can also discuss fees and other charges with your current providers to determine if there are areas where you can be charged for less than what you are paying now.

Service providers may include your internet services, automated email, voicemail, and/or answering services, marketing and advertising, delivery, dispatch, sanitation/cleaning services, and so on.

See which services you can discontinue and which ones for which you need to find alternative options.

With all these changes, it’s important to keep your team in the loop. Discuss with them changes you wish to implement before you actually implement them. Get their inputs too as they will be directly affected by these changes as well.

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