5 Ways Small Businesses Can Improve Efficiency in the Face of Rising Costs

Rising inflation, supply chain interruptions, and workforce shortages are just a few of the issues confronting small businesses today. Many people respond by cutting back and decreasing costs, but this may not be the best long-term strategy for growth. And it isn't the only choice, especially for cloud-based enterprises.

Collecting data is one thing, gaining insights is another—and essential to controlling costs. Technology solutions can help manage data more efficiently, connect the dots across diverse customer behaviors, and unearth the insights that reveal opportunity. 

1. Get a clear view of your data

For example, Gourmeat, a meat boutique, was using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to manage isolated inventories manually, and it took approximately four hours a week to create the reports it needed. After it built an integrated inventory application on AWS, report creation went down to less than 20 minutes a week. 

Giving employees the knowledge and skills to keep pace with rapidly evolving cloud technologies is vital to not only overcome obstacles but also thrive because of them. Investing in the skills of employees empowers them to anticipate, navigate, and adapt to whatever challenges emerge. 

2. Invest in employees 

Businesses often can increase productivity and employee engagement by putting people to work on essential, high-value projects and using digital technology to automate repetitive tasks. 

3. Automate repetitive tasks 

Losing a customer is bad for any business, but it can be even more devastating for a small business. That’s why it’s important to find out how inflation is impacting customers and how you can help them, by  providing flexibility on payment terms 

4. Increase customer retention 

For example, for business customers, this could be as simple as shifting accounts payable from 30 days to 45. You can also support your customers and increase retention by providing them with a better, more personal experience.

Capital expenses, such as on-premises call center hardware, require upfront investment, incur maintenance costs, and are difficult to scale up and down with demand fluctuations. With operational expenses, businesses aren’t locked into long-term investments, don’t have to worry about maintenance, and can scale easier. 

5. Switch from capital to operational expenses 

Lead with empathy During times of uncertainty, many small businesses feel like they don’t have a lot of choices, and it can be easy to make impulsive decisions. But there are usually several levers leaders can pull to help their businesses thrive during uncertainty.

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