We’ve never seen times like this. For many small business owners, these months of lockdown are likely the hardest you’ve experienced, and uncertainty is rife.
But there are steps you can take while we are all slowly emerging out of this pandemic to help make the most of your budget and safeguard your business.
Here are five tips to help you cut down on business expenses and maximise a tight budget, so you’ll be ready for the time we brush ourselves off for the future and emerge from business lockdown.
Reduce fixed costs
Open up a bank statement and have a look at all the subscription services that keep popping up. Are you using your accounting software for something that could be achieved with some basic spreadsheet skills? Could you use free, in-house social media scheduling apps rather than paying for an all-in-one?
If you have subscriptions to any services or applications and software you don’t use at the moment — you could always put a hold on them for a few months.
Reassess your ongoing phone, internet and software costs. Are there cheaper versions of any of these since you took them out? Plus, especially at this time, a quick phone call to any of these providers could mean a pause in fees or permanent reduction.
Take advantage of a busier online marketplace
If you don’t have a business profile on Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or whichever platforms your business is best suited to, now is the time. Learning how to do good, basic search engine optimisation (SEO) can raise your business’ visibility online. There are plenty of free online resources available to learn some introductory SEO skills.
Engage with the online community in your space. Working with community-level influencers can also be a cheaper alternative to traditional marketing.
If your products or services aren’t already discoverable on the online marketplace, now is the perfect time.
Be strategic with your business spend
Now more than ever, it’s important that you’re getting the most out of every dollar you spend for your business. If your business is a Qantas Business Rewards member you can earn Qantas Points on money you’re already spending — and join for free until June 30 if you’re not already on board.
Qantas Business Rewards is a loyalty program designed specially for SME businesses. You just need an ABN to join and start earning.
There are over fifty ‘on the ground’ partners you can collect points from across a range of products and services including fuel, business insurance, payment systems, hardware and equipment, and office supplies.
And while we might be grounded for now, as a member, you’ll also get savings off the base fare of selected flights the next time you fly for work.
Earning points on your business expenses now could create a buffer to redeem on flights or upgrades for your next business trip (or holiday) once we’re all allowed to fly again.
Or benefit from them now. You can transfer your business’ points to any Qantas Frequent Flyer account, including your team, so they can be redeemed on something for themselves. For example, using points to get a nice drop from Qantas Wine might not go amiss for someone on your team who’s been putting in the extra hours lately.
Look at your office space
If you and your employees are working from home, maybe this is the time to exit your office lease. This could mean a big cut in costs. Offsite storage for all your office materials could be a lot cheaper than holding them in an empty office.
Accelerate your (and others’) word of mouth marketing
Take this opportunity to ask your happier customers to support your business in this turbulent time with a nice Google or Yelp review. Referrals can help too, so freely share your referrals of great service from other businesses and encourage others to do the same.
Although we face different challenges, small business owners are all facing struggles in this climate — and most want to help a neighbour where they can.
Whatever strategy you decide upon, these little changes will help safeguard your business and prepare for happier times when we’re all allowed to emerge from lockdown.
*Offer available to Qantas Business Rewards members and businesses that join Qantas Business Rewards between 4 May and 30 June, spend with any program partner by 31 July and receive a point by 31 October 2020. Memberships, offers and Qantas Points earnings are subject to Qantas Business Rewards terms and conditions.
Whether you’re a sole trader or growing enterprise, travel a little or travel a lot, see how you can save money and turn everyday business expenses into Qantas Points to reward yourself, your employees or reinvest into your business.