Whether your business is just starting up, or is very well established – the recession has hit the budgets of many people. Naturally, this has led to some businesses cutting their costs and being more careful with how they spend their money.
In this article, we’ll examine 5 areas where businesses shouldn’t be skimping, even in the current economic climate.
- Accounting Software
The first place to not skimp is on your accounting software. There are a lot of good accounting software packages available, from many large suppliers. Simply Google ‘accounting software’ and you’ll see some large vendors, and smaller ones like Clearbooks. These don’t have to cost the earth, but with the risk of paying invoices late, forgetting to charge your customers, and getting in trouble with the tax man for getting your figures wrong – it can end up even more costly for your business if you go wrong with your accounting!
- Staff Development
Employees are often one of the first areas where costs get cut. However, this shouldn’t necessarily be the case. Redundancy is an unfortunate fact of business, but where you are keeping or growing your workforce, make sure you invest in staff development. This may involve training, networking, or be as simple as involvement in new tasks and areas of the business. This helps make your workforce better, and more cost efficient over time.
As with employees, marketing is one of the areas that often gets cut first if costs need to be driven down. This shouldn’t necessarily be the case. Marketing is ultimately what is going to get you out of trouble and take your business back to profit. Consider some lower cost marketing efforts such as online marketing, or try getting your brochure or corporate information loaded onto branded memory sticks from the likes of USBmakers to give extra value, rather than just giving out pens or simple printed goods. Things like this allow you to get more value from your spend, and gives you the best chance of efficient marketing efforts.
- Technology & Tools
Just because the economy is tough, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in technology & tools. The latest gadgets for your sales team make them appear slick, professional and from a strong organization for instance. Better computers and connectivity means that your teams are more efficient in the office. Better tools can help your business process customers faster, and offer better service – so this is an area that you should consider investing in throughout.
- Working Environment
You should always try to invest in your working environment where possible. This doesn’t have to mean completely new premises, or expensive things like new furniture. But it does mean getting the small things right such as having magazines in reception, good quality stationery and so on to give the right impression to staff and customers.