SMEs and many business startups are investments running on low capital and margin. Spending at the initial stages of business development comes with significant risks. You cannot entirely depend on a startup to support itself and provide for you. In the same sense, SMEs need to reduce the amount of money they spend to sustain the business.
To survive various financial constrictions, SMEs can minimize the flow of money out of business. Reducing the cost of operation can help you manage the little profits you generate to pay your staff and buy necessary office accessories. There are various ways to minimize your business operation costs. One of them is reducing the number of employees at your workstation.
The question becomes how to run the business with fewer workers than the demands. This article gives all the necessary information you need to help you continue the operation with fewer workers. The lack of sufficient manpower should not hinder you from moving the SME forward. In the end, you will discover that fewer does not mean insufficient.
Follow these tips to manage your small to medium business and retain the minimum manpower at your station.
1. Outsource Freelancers and Private Contractors
Small businesses and startups do not need to employ a full staff to run various tasks. You will only need full-time employees when your business grows into a multi-channel enterprise with a nonstop flow of orders. In the same concept, you cannot hire workers on an hourly basis when you do not have sufficient work for them to do in that hour – or the hours they will be working in a day.
Various business models have distinct methods of approaching staffing needs. Regardless of the business that you are running and your intended achievements, you should find alternative ways of delivering the services or products without being overwhelmed with work or financial needs.
Freelancers can work on a project basis. When you have an assignment for them, you contact them and ask them to work on it on agreed fixed payments. In this way, you can easily manage your finances because you know how much you will spend, unlike hourly projects that you cannot tell how long they will take.
Another advantage of working with private contractors is that you do not need to work out their taxes. Your workers will need to file their income tax as individuals, and you will not have to withhold their taxes or file on their behalf.
2. Make Use of Process Automation
The advent of technology brought amazing improvements in the way we work. Computers were designed to make our processes faster and save both time and money. Instead of manually hiring people to do various tasks, a computer system can do the task in a few minutes or seconds without incurring extra costs except for the system purchase and set up.
Some of the tasks that businesses have to deal with in their offices are repeated transactions, assignments, approval processes, and distribution. All these can take many man-hours that will require many employees at your workstation to accomplish. However, with an automation system, the assignments can be done in seconds. All automation processes can be set up and assigned a schedule so that they run at regular intervals. This helps to improve consistency, efficiency, and credibility.
Artificial intelligence is another digital area that your business will want to employ to make the automation process simpler. With AI, analyzing customer data, and using it for marketing, is easy. AI can also help you create products that match customers’ interests instead of using a trial and error method.
3. Employ Affiliate Marketers
For any business to grow, you have to reach your prospects wherever they are across the world. It does not matter your business model. As long as you can deliver what you promise, you can trade in any part of the world that you can think of. However, you need to market your products beyond your boundaries to reach more customers.
Affiliate marketing is beneficial to businesses in many ways. To begin with, you will not need to employ so many people on a contract or permanent term before they can work for you. Each affiliate is a private contractor, and they will take care of all their employee requirements or needs. What you want to see is performance.
With affiliate marketing, you will have your brand published in various media both online and offline in many cities, helping your business grow faster. With the publication, you will not pay a dime as when marketing on local media or employing several marketers at your office.
In most cases, affiliates get paid after a successful conversion or sale. The product they sell pays them a commission. It makes it easy for you to run the business and the affiliates to work harder for better performance. The more sales they generate, the higher commission they earn. It also means that you make more profit.
4. Embrace Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is the use of the internet to promote your products online instead of the local media. Most prospects spend time online, and they will be glad to come across your products when they want as they do stuff online. This form of marketing will help you to reach more consumers as you focus on creating new products and expanding your market.
There are various ways to accomplish your goals with digital marketing. You will have to begin by having a website for your business. When starting, you can create a simple 4-5 pages website to describe who you are and what you do. The site also makes it easy for consumers to contact you in case they need further details.
While you need a simple website to kickstart your online presence, it is essential to make it appealing for customers to gain your trust. Include enough details about your launch and products that will help you stand out from others who are in the same business industry trying to woo the same customers.
Once your website is set, you should focus on getting prospects to see it and discover your brand. You can achieve this in various ways. SEO is the most complicated part of it, but it comes with long-term results. Once you rank your business on SERPs, you can gain an unlimited flow of targeted traffic (prospects) who you can convert by setting up appropriate funnels on your website.
Content marketing is also essential in promoting your brand online. By taking up outreach crayon ethical link building services, you can create links from high-authority websites in your niche. People will easily find you when they are reading about various products or learning to do things. High-quality links also help you to rank better on search engines and increase the number of free prospects coming your way.
There are many other forms of digital marketing including social media marketing and influencer marketing. Advertising on social media can convert better than traditional advertisements or PPC. Influencer marketing might be a bit costly for startups, but it all depends on your budget and goals. Influencers can help you to get your content viral and reach a large number of their followers. Some followers will want to try out what influencers recommend.
5. Consider Partnering with Other Businesses
It is easy for people to think that competition means enmity. However, your competitors are there to help your business grow. It is essential to partner with other businesses in the same industry to improve your performance and reduce your business running costs.
With partnering, you can share the staff and reduce the burden of paying the employees. In this way, you can reduce the number of workers to pay but still have full staff when needed. Your partner can also take care of the other workers. The workers can work together, exchange shifts, and help each other to accomplish the duties you assign them. Make them understand that the two businesses, although located in different points in town, are one.
With a partnership, you can decide to register the businesses as a single partnership entity with two offices or branches. It helps you to manage the workers together without raising eyebrows. The partnership will also simplify the tax filing process and other bills you can share.
To Sum it Up
Most SMEs begin with one challenge – finance. Before any investor or lender puts money into your business, they will want to see the progress you are making to ensure that their money will grow when they invest with you. However, it might be hard to run the business single-handedly. You will, therefore, need some assistance to help your business stand.
At the same time, you might not manage a large number of employees while starting your business. Whether it is due to financial constrictions or management, you will need a way to have your business run with a minimum number of employees. You can use the seven tips to grow your small business with the least number of workers without compromising on productivity or service delivery.