The following article is part 2 in a 5-part series on how to boost business cash flow.
Is money tight right now for your business? You can get a sudden burst of cash by offering a flash sale or other promotion (refer to part 1 in this series), but first, take a good look at your regular business operations. There are probably some places you could tighten up and save. It’s like finding money you didn’t know you had.
- Buy in bulk. Anticipate future sales, plan ahead, and buy whatever materials you need in bulk at a discount.
- Renegotiate with suppliers. Times are tough all around and businesses are ready to negotiate. If you’re going to buy a great deal of products over a long period of time, explain this and see if they’ll lower the price. Also, check out what kinds of deals they offer, like bulk pricing, time sales, bundle packaging, etc.
- Barter with other businesses. Offer a service or product in exchange for the services you need done for you. This is also a great way to build out your partnerships.
- Get rid of office space. This is a huge expense for most businesses. Look into having employees telecommute permanently. Check out shared workspaces for future team meetings — you can often rent conference rooms on a weekly basis.
- Go paperless. Do invoicing, receipts, and other paperwork online. You’ll not only save money but also help to save the environment.
- Buy used office equipment and refurbished tech. Look at used shops or online on sites like Craigslist, Gumtree, or eBay to save some cash on things you need.
- Turn everything off. Turn off computers and lights when you’re not actively using them and you can save some money on your electricity bill.
- Cancel subscriptions. Do you have recurring payments for things you don’t constantly use? Check your credit card statements for recurring services you forgot you were even paying for. Consider switching to buying as needed.
- Use free or low-cost advertising. Traditional advertising costs can add up quickly. Look into cheaper options like social media, Google display ads, and email marketing (zero cost!)
- Outsource non-essential tasks. If you’re doing everything yourself, you’re wasting time and money. Find a virtual assistant to take over routine tasks or tasks that are bogging you down.
- Create a referral program. Reward your customers for telling others about you. This is an extremely cost-effective way to spread the word about your business that’s much cheaper than traditional marketing.
- Hire smart but inexperienced people. People with experience will cost more. Look for people who are smart, motivated, and eager to learn.
- Cut employee expenses but not employees. Many businesses make the mistake of cutting staff when cash is tight. Instead, offer to let your employees telecommute and look for other ways you can make employing them more economical.
- Regularly review operating expenses. Make going over your expenses and looking for places to cut a regular task. You’ll often find areas to tighten up.