Are worries about the cost-of-living crisis keeping you up at night?
While we don’t know how long the crisis will last or what its long-term impact will be, there are ways to start supporting your business today. For a start, by using technology.
In a time when you’re cutting back, we know the idea of relying on tech might seem daunting but, the truth is, prioritising the right technologies in this challenging time might help reduce costs and increase sales. How? Read on to find out.
When budgets are tight, social media is a great technology to invest in. For one, it’s free to use and accessible to everyone, but it also has huge potential to bring new customers to your business.
TikTok, for example, can be a powerful business tool. After spreading quickly across Europe, TikTok Shop is now helping companies connect with new customers every day. 77% of European users say they discovered small businesses on TikTok before seeing them anywhere else. So, if you haven’t already, it’s worth signing up.
However, while exploring new social media channels is likely to be worth your time, it’s important to spend time developing your presence on tried-and-tested channels as well. After all, around 307 million European customers used Facebook daily in the first few months of 2022. So, chances are your customers will be there too.
No matter which social channels you promote your business on, you should differentiate your business from the competition. Before you know it, you might see sales soar.
Physical documents are becoming a thing of the past. Instead, digital documents saved within the cloud can help your team work more efficiently – and save them time when looking for files. They’ll also be able to access the same documents wherever they’re based. Not to mention being able to collaborate in real time – all they’ll need is an internet connection.
Moving all documents online could create immediate savings too, since you can remove the need for paper, stationery, printing, and storage space. These might seem like small savings, but everything adds up.
Even better, many of these platforms are often free to use initially. Some then require a small monthly or yearly subscription fee to unlock their full potential. A few options to consider are Google, Apple, and Microsoft.
If your utility bills are stacking up, have you considered moving some of your business operations online? Reducing the amount of physical office or shop space you have could be an easy way to save money.
By taking conversations online with platforms like WhatsApp, Skype, and Microsoft Teams, you could also cut down on phone bills. If you and your team spend lots of time chatting, these audio and video conferencing solutions may hugely reduce bills. Plus, you could remove the need for work phones too, as all can be used from computers.
The money-saving potential goes even further here, since these solutions can help you reduce commuting costs as well. Rather than travelling for a meeting, simply connect to the internet and speak face-to-face instantly. Although some platforms charge a small subscription fee for advanced use, you can trial the free versions before investing.
While you’re trying to keep costs low, it’s still important to give your team time to grow – and tech can help. This may have a short-term cost, but the long-term gain could be worth it.
Automation, for example, can be great for freeing up their time to take on tasks that will help them develop or bring more money into your business. Despite the initial cost, the time they’ll save could be worth it, as they can invest more in helping your business grow, develop their skills, and feel more fulfilled at work.
If you aren’t sure whether automation’s right for your team, many tools come with a free demo or trial period, so you can test these out before investing. From sending customer emails to creating sales reports, you could start by looking into Mailchimp, Zapier, and Katalon.
Whether the cost-of-living crisis is already affecting your business or you’re just starting to feel the effects, take one step forward at a time and keep an eye on costs as you go.
Plus, don’t forget to keep talking to your team throughout the process. This will help you understand what technologies could really help them, and which are right for supporting your business’ growth too.
If you want to understand how to combat cost of living with four tips to help businesses save, read on here.