2020 was not the year that anybody predicted it would be. And, with uncertainty being the only certain thing on the horizon, all businesses must return to their balance sheets and start reviewing their forecasts and budgets for the rest of the year.
With COVI9-19 making it difficult for many businesses to operate, let alone bring in the kind of revenues that they needed to make ends meet, companies from every sector need to start tightening their belts and managing their finances.
Here’s how you can make your business more financially sustainable in 2020.
Invest In Renewable Energy
Spending money may seem like a bad idea when there is so much economic uncertainty in the air; however, renewable energy has many benefits.
Although the initial expense may be great, you will start to see the savings quickly when it comes to reducing your energy bills. It may be possible for you to be entirely sufficient with the right solar panels and rechargeable batteries.
Speak with a company like Suncoast Energy and find out about getting solar panels installed at your business’ premises to lower your overall costs.
Of course, the financial benefits of switching your power source to one that is renewable are great, but the environmental benefits are the real winner. You’ll not only be making a decision that will lower your outgoings but one that will drastically reduce your net carbon emissions.
Switch Energy Suppliers
If reducing your energy bills by having solar panels fitted isn’t something that you are currently able to do, you could look at switching your energy supplier.
There are two reasons that you may want to switch your current energy supplier to a new one.
- Your current energy supplier may be more expensive than some of its competitors. Often, companies will offer great deals to entice new customers. After you’ve been with a company for a while, their prices start to slide back up.
- Your current energy supplier may not supply renewable energy, or may only supply a small percentage of its energy from renewables. By switching, you can choose a company that is more environmentally friendly.
Switch Your Suppliers and Vendors
Do a full review of the companies that you do business with. If there are any that you are not happy with, now is a good time to start shopping around to find a viable replacement.
There is no harm in shopping around for quotes for replacements for all of your vendors. It is important to remember that if you are making the switch, often companies that are easy to work and punctual may not always be the cheapest. Sometime you will have to weigh up the benefits of a company along with the costs.
Outsource Some Business Processes
For every part of your business operations, it is likely that you could find a way of outsourcing it.
Outsourcing provides you with an efficient and cost-effective solution that will work across all aspects of your business.
One of the key benefits of outsourcing an entire department is that you can often quickly scale up or decrease the size of the department when it has been outsourced to a third-party specialist.
Because outsourced departments don’t operate from your premises, there is less need for space. You can get away with having a smaller office, which could result in lower rent and business rates.
Create Remote Working Opportunities As Standard
If there is one thing that COVID-19 has taught the business world, it’s that you don’t need to be in the office to work anymore.
With work-from-home employees able to enjoy greater flexibility in managing their time, this has a knock-on effect in improving productivity.
Not only this but with fewer people going into the office, it means that you can afford to downsize the space that your business operates from.
By using technology such as VoIP, it is even possible to have your support staff or call center employees working from their homes.
Remember, there are some important work-from-home lessons that you will need to take on board to make this a permanent solution.
Firstly, communication and collaboration can be a challenge when your teams are working remotely. In the office, it is natural to speak with the team constantly; however, communication can often become formalized when working remotely, which can stifle creativity. Think about setting up informal communication channels such as Slack, alongside email and video conferencing.
Secondly, your work-from-home employees may struggle to adapt to working routines and isolation. It’s important that you give them the tools that they need to help them to adapt a routine that works for them while managing their own mental health in the process.
Finally, your business needs to have a rigid cybersecurity system in place. One of the things that have emerged during the coronavirus healthcare crisis is that cybercriminals will pray on home networks, and cybercrime saw a large spike as companies started working from home. Use managed service providers to ensure you have the very best cybersecurity support for your business. In addition to this, use virtual private networks as a way of protecting your employee’s home network while they access your companies valuable and sensitive data.
Switch To Cloud Computing
If you’re not already using cloud-based technology in your business, then you need to make the switch now.
Your existing data storage set up probably consists of hard disks and servers. You will need to physically back up all of your data each day, which is time-consuming. You’ll need to worry about replacing elements of your hardware infrastructure as drives breakdown. And, you’ll have the added concern that you could lose everything in the event of a data breach, or due to human error.
If all of these are a concern for you, then you should move all of your data over to the cloud and remove the risk while shifting to a more efficient system that will save you time and money.
There are many great benefits to cloud-based technology. Here are a few examples:
- There’s no need to update the software regularly, meaning that you won’t experience any downtime.
- Collaboration is easy on cloud-based systems. Multiple employees can work from one document at the same time. All of the changes can be viewed in real-time over all of the devices that are allowed to view the document.
- Because cloud-based technology is not stored on-site and is secured in the cloud, there is no risk of data breaches or human error.
- Cloud-based systems are often lightweight and are not a drain on your systems.
With so many great benefits, your business could save money in several ways with cloud-based systems.
Review Your Products and Services
During difficult times, it is important to take stock of what you are currently offering and see if there are any improvements that can be made. You may also need to cut some of your existing offerings if they are no longer cost-effective or making an impact.
Narrowing your inventory so that you are only carrying the very best and high margin products and services will be essential during these times. If a product or service sells well, but no longer contributes to your bottom line, then it may be time to shift your marketing efforts towards your higher-margin units.
Make sure that you are continually reviewing products and services with far greater scrutiny than ever. You need to be able to make quick decisions that are based on facts rather than intuition. This may be essential, even if it means that your business takes a slightly different direction as you steer your way through these challenging waters.
Double Down on Service
There is one thing that you can do for free, and that is to provide the very best customer service possible.
Whatever line of business you are in, keeping your customers happy and satisfied should be your primary objective.
Find new and exciting ways of motivating your employees. Some of them may be feeling stressed or anxious and may be worried about the future. Make sure that you do not try and use fear as an incentive.
Remain Positive Throughout Everything
A global recession may not be an ideal situation; however, it is one that we all find ourselves facing. Nobody knows how long it will take for the world to recover from the impact of COVID-19, but history has taught us is that we will recover.
Not only that, but it is possible to recover and keep your business intact throughout the pandemic and looming financial crisis.
Spend time learning from those that have successfully adapted to the stormiest of financial climates in the past. Pay attention to what your customers are doing, and remain vigilant.
Above all else, keep a positive outlook and do your very best to always keep smiling for your customers and your employees, and you’ll get through this period and develop a far deeper resilience in the process.