As many businesses worldwide struggle with the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is natural to try and cut spending as much as possible. This will help you make payroll and perhaps prolong your business’ lifespan.
Often business owners tend to cut their employees when they should be cutting costs. Despite any difficulties your business may be facing, you probably still have talented and capable staff who are invaluable to your business. In fact, if you treat your employees right, they might even turn out to be an even bigger asset than you thought. During critical times, some people are more than willing to step up to new roles and additional responsibilities.
How to optimize costs?
If you’ve ever seen an episode of ‘Tidying up with Marie Kondo’, the essence is the same. You have to ask yourself some questions to determine whether something is necessary and whether it would optimize your cost efficiency. Here are the five questions that you should ask:
Can you utilize it?
Is there a way to utilize an existing resource for it to have further use or add more value? Perhaps you have an employee with hidden talents that be interested in helping out with another project. Many young people today are multi-talented and social-media savvy. Maybe there’s a task that they can help with, as it would benefit both of you.
Can you automate the process?
This is especially relevant for processes that involve a lot of paperwork. Dealing with physical documents can be tedious and time-consuming as papers require filling in, signing, filing, etc. Look for a way to automate such processes in order to save time for your employees.
Can you renegotiate?
If you are in the marketing business, you probably work with affiliates, influencers, ambassadors, and others. In times of crisis, everyone is worried about their livelihood and business. People want to help themselves and others, so they tend to be a lot more open to renegotiating their deals and recalibrating business relationships.
Can you eliminate it?
Different consumers have their own preferred time and channels that they engage with. If you know that your target audience is most active online after work, there is no need to push campaigns their way during working hours. You can optimize costs by making your ads more targeted.
Can you centralize?
If you can centralize critical skills and ideas, you might be able to improve leveraging of resources. A good example of that would be a common database where all marketers can access and download the information without compiling it themselves. Marketing analytics is another good example of centralization. By pooling analytical resources together, businesses can build unified approaches and decrease research costs.
These five questions can be applied to tools, people, technology, and others. In episodes of Marie Kondo, she suggests that people declutter their house by asking if certain objects’ objects’ spark joy”. In the case of cost optimization, the motto will be ”use it or lose it”. For marketers, it’s better to pool resources together, reorganize your teams’ tasks and responsibilities, and focus on highly impactful work rather than stick to rigid corporate structures that stand in the way of cost efficiency and creativity.