Resolve to save your business this year

Plenty of us make personal resolutions each New Year — to go the gym, to lose ten pounds, to save money, to travel more, or to worry less. While self-improvement is a great goal, owners of small to medium-sized businesses should also take this annual opportunity to set new goals and look for ways to save their organization both time and money. Here are 20 do-able ways we think you can do just that.

Money

  • Piggyback your promos by including ads in with your invoices, saving you money on materials and postage.
  • Team up with other complimentary but not competing businesses and split the cost of ads (for example, a Florist partners with a Baker who specializes in wedding cakes).
  • Ask satisfied customers to leave reviews or give you testimonials. This is the best kind of FREE advertising you can get.
  • Offer information to potential customers for free. Hold a workshop or an online webinar and gather new customers to add to your database.
  • Get free software at download.com or check manufacturers’ sites for free trial downloads.
  • Is your business seasonal? Hire temps or contractors to do the jobs that need doing, eliminating the need to pay ongoing wages or benefits when times are slow.
  • Consider hiring college students or interns who are hungry for experience to fill some staff positions.
  • Join your local chamber of commerce to network and make valuable connections in the community.
  • Check with your local cable company for low-cost advertising options or even opportunities to make an appearance on local community access television.
  • Don’t miss out on opportunities to let people know your URL. Put it on company vehicles, business cards, invoices, email, promotional items, ads, and press releases.
  • Create a disaster recovery plan. When the inevitable disaster strikes and your IT systems go down, you can save thousands of dollars in lost revenue simply by having a good disaster recovery plan in place.

Time

  • Establish daily goals every night for the next day and enter tasks on your calendar accordingly. That way, you can hit the ground running first thing every morning.
  • Track your time with an app like Toggl to gather information on how you’re spending your time and on what you might be wasting it.
  • Set deadlines for projects and ask others to hold you accountable.
  • Establish set times for checking email and social media throughout the day and avoid getting sucked down a rabbit hole of quizzes, Twitter conversations, or Facebook games.
  • Studies show that multi-tasking is actually less effective than focusing on one task at a time. Stick to what’s in front of you, complete that task, then move on.
  • Schedule similar tasks back to back. Need to make several phone calls? Email clients? Invoice? Perform these tasks in batches.
  • Limit the number and length of meetings. These can be huge, non-productive time-wasters.
  • Back up your IT systems to an online service daily, or even hourly, to ensure quick recovery time in the event of an IT disaster.
  • Outsource essential services such as bookkeeping, accounting, IT tech support, back up and recovery solutions.
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