Cut traditional advertising in favour of low-cost alternatives.

This is a popular move for small businesses and thanks to the many options in internet marketing and advertising, it's possible to cut traditional advertising costs and still reach customers.

Cut down even on paid internet advertising (such as Google Ad words) and focused on getting results by using SEO techniques within the company website and creating YouTube videos for views and to boost traffic to the website.

Outsource, outsource, outsource.

Employees are essential to getting work done, but employee costs—from salaries to office space to insurance—can be the biggest chunk of a small business's budget. Outsources work to independent contractors for the work that staff cannot cover as needed.

Negotiate with vendors.

What you've been paying your vendors does not have to be the final word on what you continue paying. Ultimately, vendors want to stay in business too, and they're dealing with a tough economy just as you are. Many are often willing to negotiate lower prices rather than lose a regular customer.

Cut extraneous employee expenses, not employees.

Though neither the company nor the employees will want to give up the perk, it is a better choice to save the money spent on the free lunches, and thus be able to keep their employees working rather than laying them off.

Clarify your policy on giving.

Rather than cutting out all charitable contributions, spend 20 minutes putting together a policy that will clarify your procedures and limits and a budgeted spend.

Negotiate with your landlord.

Renegotiating a lease can save on costs. It is worth the effort as, along with wages, is likely to be one of your greatest expenses.

Cut down on employee time.

Try a four-day work week, which often works better for employees as well as business owners. A four-day work week means increased savings in utitlity and operating costs, as well as a lower salary cost for the business.

Cut down on maintenance.

Do you really need a daily cleaning service at the office? Review ongoing maintenance costs such as tehse and cut back wherever possible. Employees can empty their own trash. A cleaning service can come in weekly instead of daily. Reduce the frequency of maintenance costs, and you can save money without reducing the maintenance or necessary service items completely.

Review all expenses, even the little ones.

It's just smart business practice, but it's often overlooked until tough economic times force you into it. Analyse all company expenses to cut anything unnecessary. Small cuts in ongoing expenses can add up to large savings over the long term. Review everything that isn't providing a ROI, cut back to the bare minimum and eliminate anything extraneous such as subscriptions that are not full utilized.

Find a cheaper way.

You can often find a cheaper way to provide the same employee perks. Our coffee bill was so big, we took the job inhouse and purchased a nice coffee machine and all the bells and whistles to go with it, saving thousands each year. We order a woollies delivery online instead of succumbing to the point-of-sale bikkies that go with the coffee. If you can accomplish that sort of financial savvy in more than one area, you can turn your business into a lean, profit-generating machine.

Buy in bulk.

Analayse your ongoing expenses and pinpoint the ones that are purchased randomly or at middle-man suppliers. Check into bulk buying and see if you can't save a significant amount on those frequent-use items.

Do some old-school marketing.

The simple, old-fashioned practice of sending a handwritten thank you note to customers can have a huge return.

Studies alone have found that this practice alone can lift sales by 1-020 percent, making it a definite worthwhile investment of five minutes of time and the cost of a stamp.

Create partnerships for marketing.

Creating partnerships or referrals, to cut marketing costs and increase reach. Asking for a referral is ok to do but giving a superb service that provokes referrals is better.

About Igniite's Team

We specialise in finding better ways to help you ‘do’ your business. We love automation. We love helping a business grow, into something that you wanted, when you first began this journey.

We are small enough to care and big enough to know. We are the most experienced and innovative bayside accounting and bookkeeping service team to support your financial management needs.

We will always have your back, when you have us on your team.



Know your customer.

Think of it in terms of your specific business. If you know your customers well enough to know where they go online, then you can focus your online marketing efforts there instead of spreading your resources out over a whole arena of internet options.

If you know what your customers like, how they respond, what they want and what they'll spend, you eliminate all the other options from your budget.

Hire smart, inexperienced people.

Experience isn't everything, and it costs more. Next time you put up a job ad, eliminate the line that says, "Must have X years of experience," Hungry (to Learn) Employee's trump experience nearly every time.

Use space more efficiently or downsize your office.

There's a natural tension between efforts to maximize office space efficiency and ensuring employees can do their jobs comfortably. Workplace studies typically peg the optimal amount of space per employee between 75 and 150 square feet, far lower than the typical 325-square-foot average.

Pay invoice early.

Many vendors offer small but meaningfull discounts to clients who pay invoices ahead of schedule. For instance, it's common for vendors to knock 2% off the invoice total when clients pay in full within 10 days, instead of the usual 30 day - an arrangement that's typically represented as "2/10 net 30."

If paying early doesn't negatively impact your cash flow, it usually makes financial sense to do so. This is doubly true in a low-interest environment, where the cost of short-term borrowing to bridge any shortfall is unlikely to exceed the value of the discount.

Re-evaluate your toolkit.

The current pandemic is a catalyst for change in every aspect of our business. Look at each expenditure-especially recurring costs-and ask yourself if it is really necessary. Effective work from home relies on a different toolkit that will render some expenses no longer useful. Pause, cancel and repurpose funds from tools that you deem as non-essential.

Set aside 1% of sales-and then add more.

There are obvious cash-saving strategies you can employ, and then there are more subtle ones. Start by putting 1% of your sales in a separate account, and increase that eprcentage every one or two weeks until you start to feel the pinch. As your operating budget shrinks, necessity will breed creativity and you'll come up with dozens of ways to save cash.

Use website builders.

If you want to have a website for your own business or for some project, try website builders such as Wix, and Squarespace. If you have a need to develop an online e-commerce store, use Shopify or OpenCart for that purpose. Hiring a developer for one website can prove to be costly if you're short on a budget. Sometimes in small business you need to learn what you need to learn just to get ahead without it costing you more than you earn.

Set a budget, forecast your sales, and review regularly.

To really get a handle on opportunities to reduce costs, create an expense budget for your business.

But, don't stop there. Set a time each month to compare your actual spending and sales to your forecasts. The key here is that regular financial review is going to help you have better insight into where your cash is going, and opportunities to bring more in.

DIY marketing and PR.

Learn everything you can about marketing and public relations for your industry, and make sure you're putting your best foot forward when you promote and talk about your business. As for the earlier point Hiring a PR firm can be very costly, and if you're passionate and knowledgeable, you could be your own spokesperson.

Be creative. Think guerrilla. And if that doesn't work, sometimes it just doesn't hurt to ask. I've ended up on the news manny times by just calling up the news channels and asking them if they'd be interested in featuring my business. It's sometimes that simple. I would sya the most curcial thing in getting media coverage is a subtle yet persistent approach.

Share an office.

Another option for cutting costs on leasing is to go in on a space with another business. Of course, this carries its inherent risks, but this could be a viable option if you've got a close business connection, especially if you don't need a ton of space.

Another way to approach this is to look for coworking spaces in your area or subleasing an area of your office, especially if your team isn't too big.

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Get sponsors for events.

Events or trade shows can be huge for generating new customers, and many businesses rely on regular events, from galas to seminars, to expand their customer base. Get on board one that suits your ideal customer and book a guest speaking spot or booth.

Reward your profit-makers.

It may seem a little backwards but spending to save does make sense in some cases. Reward profitable behaviour from both youre mployees and your customers. What does that look like? It means making little gestures, like an occassional free lunch or treat, to boost employee morale and keep the work environment positive.

It could also mean offering bonuses to employees who meet certain requirements for sales.

Encourage Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Organic social media conversation is but on form of word-of-mouth marketing, a cost-effective and potentially powerful form of outreach that essentially outsources part of your marketing department to your customers.

Word-of-mouth marketing comes in many flavours: referral programs that pay existing customers to refer new customers.

Your company's ideal word-of-mouth marketing strategy or strategies depend on its audience's demographic makeup, buying habits, and response to messaging and sales efforts.

Supplement your main income stream.

Each business can have a number of ways to generate passive income beyond its core competencies. Look for additional ways for your business to have supplemental or passive streams of income to conserve extra cash such as how to videos for free or as lead generation tools.

Take a look at accounts payable and accounts receivable.

Two of the most effective cash conservation methods are two of the oldest ideas. The firs is to improve your accounts payable/accounts receivable cycles-extending payables and speeding up invoicing will go far in conserving cash. The second is the concept of barter-the exchange of goods and services without cash. Your vendors are in a similar position and would welcome the ability to transact without cash

Look for opportunities to help your community: networks are the single most effective way to build sales channels organically in a non-pushy way. BNI networking events are ok but so premeditated. Better use of your time is one hour behind the canteen at the local footy club. It will take a while to build relationships but they will sustain.

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The founder of Igniite, Ally is inspired by her family, including 3 children. She loves a 'short' run, and is passionate about all things finance, which you will realise once you get her started talking about it!

Ally McCormick

Igniite's Wonder Woman, Jo is a busy mum who loves keeping fit and healthy. The office manager and heart of our business, she loves a challenge and will not rest until all the numbers add up.

Joanne Seaborne

Mother to 5 daughters, Debbie is our Jill of all trades. A personal trainer, bookkeeper and social media manager, she is a breath of fresh air in our office, committed and loyal to our business and our clients.

Debbie Edwards

Marina is a perfectionist who is always searching for the best outcomes for our business. Another busy mum, she manages a family of daughters, including a 2 year old. Extremely dedicated to her work, Marina is our very own Russian weapon.

Marina Dolgova

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