Cutting costs? Raising Prices? Tips on how to Reach the Middle Ground
Guest Blogger, Laura Wheeler of Firelight Business Enterprises, shares the following tips with us:
Right now we are seeing prices rising left and right. Are you one of the businesses that is having to raise prices? If so, it might be time for a productivity and efficiency analysis. This is something you do for yourself. Take a long hard look at your business and consider the following:
1. Where is the primary value for the customer? Is there anything you can cut that won’t interfere with the primary value?
2. Can you offer a lower cost option, to still keep some of the customers you may lose if you do have to raise prices on what you sell now?
3. Look around your daily routine. Is there anywhere that you are doing repetitive tasks that could be sped up by using a form, a template, or a system that streamlines the process? Can you create boilerplate text for common communications, or create a handbook to give clients instead of having to tell them the same things over and over?
4. Consider time management and organization of tasks. Are there ways in which time is being wasted, or resources are wasted where better scheduling could lift some of the load? For example, consolidating travel – which takes both time and money, or scheduling phone calls for lower cost call times? Can you batch operations which will save time if you do? For example, with one client, if I know she has a batch of changes for her site, I won’t do any of them until she has all the requests in (she knows this). I have to open the program, find the files, and upload the files to the server each time I update her site. If I batch process the changes, then I only have to do those things once, for many changes, instead of many times – a savings.
5. Are there other areas where you can economize that do not cut into quality? Can you communicate more by email and less by phone, or create a newsletter for routine communications so you can communicate with many clients at once instead of having to explain something over and over?
Don’t just look at the cost of supplies or product. Also look at reducing administrative overhead by making things faster. Save time, save money, sell more in the same time. Look first to your operations – doing so will not only help you conserve in ways that do not harm the customer, it will help you to grow more smoothly.