I have been asked to write a weekly column in the local paper, the George News. In order to hit two birds with one stone I will be publishing the articles here as well. Here goes the first round:
Tough times call for creative solutions
With the economy now in a negative cycle it is clear to all small business owners that it is time to take care of the basics.
This includes clamping down on any non-essential expenses and focusing on key strengths. It is not the time to introduce new products or innovations to the market. Well, is there any obvious ways left to shave off excess costs? Yes, there are, but you need to think a bit laterally.
Traditionally business operates out of an office, with reception and admin staff to take care of day to day things whilst the other staff take care of the essentials, sales, manufacturing, support, etc.
The key thing a business needs to do is to focus on its strengths, the things it does that brings in money. Doing admin and answering phones is not business critical. “If it does not add value, let those that do it for a living take care of it”.
But how? Simple, outsource your non-essential services to those that do it for a living. Get a professional call answering service to handle your phones, professionally. Get a professional admin company to do your books, payroll, invoicing, etc. Even consider giving up your permanent office space for flexible professional space. IF it makes sense, get a manufacturing outfit to make or sub-assemble your products.
Bottom line, focus on what you do best, which should be closing the sale and servicing your customers.
Outsourcing is a viable way of saving costs. It is not a last resort, it is a competitive advantage. In modern and challenging times the key to a successful business is the ability to adapt.
Contact Imel Rautenbach at imel@OfficeReliance.co.za should you wish to know how to empower your business through outsourcing.
Next week’s topic: How to make your business stand out. Become a big fish in a small pond in no time at all.