Running and growing an SME means constantly straddling the balance between being smart about money but still working on growing your business. With the struggles around cashflow and profit that come with being an SME, it’s especially important to find ways that allow your business to save on money whilst still enabling you to think about the future and grow your business.
Here are five ways you can save money and still think about expanding your business.
Centralise expense management
Centralising expense management for your business is key to saving time and money. Too often, time can get wasted trying to reconcile and keep track of different systems such as Excel spreadsheets or manual expense reporting by employees. Key for your business is to find a single, integrated online platform that allows you to monitor your expenses with ease and clarity. Time wasted monitoring expenses means extra money spent and less time strategising for your growing business.
The Equals Money online platform gives your business a way to centralise and stay on top of spending. Signing up for an Equals Money account will help you to save time by streamlining your finances. You can monitor spending, keep track of budgets, and centralise how you manage expenses, all in real time on our easy-to-use online platform and mobile app. You won’t have to go back and forth between different systems – it’s all in one place.
One of the best ways to maximise running an SME is to rely on your employees to help drive your company forward. The first challenge in allowing your employees to shoulder some of the responsibility of your business is to hire the correct ones in the first place.
Hiring is a pain point for a business of any size – it’s especially difficult for a business with limited resources, like an SME. Recruitment can take up valuable time whether it be reading through CVs or conducting interviews. Creating a successful team takes a certain combination and the right mix of team members who can effectively work together, which also takes time and effort to put together. Additionally, you might not initially have the finances to attract the types of quality personnel that you want.
One effective strategy to help with recruitment is identifying employees who have the potential to develop. You can then mould and grow the exact team you are looking for at potentially a lower initial cost.
It’s equally important that as you bring people onto your team, they feel empowered to take on responsibility within the company. One way you can do this is by letting them take spending into their own hands. By giving your employees Equals Money prepaid cards to spend from, you can let them take on more of the company and give yourself the time back. Employees can access the platform or mobile app themselves, which means they can take spending into their own hands by requesting more funds when they’re low or even checking their PIN if they’ve forgotten it. You can then respond to top-up requests, pause and block cards, and monitor budgets to ensure everything is running smoothly. Allowing your employees to have more responsibility lets you spend more time on growing your business.
Market on a budget
Marketing is one of the fundamentals of growing your business, but it can be difficult to devote resources if you have a limited budget.
There are plenty of ways to market your business if you’re on a tight budget. Here are a few to consider:
Content Marketing can be an effective tool for small business marketing. For example, you could create a company blog that you regularly update with content. The blog can be on your website and also promoted via social media channels.
Case Studies can be one of the best promotional tools as they give potential customers real life examples of how good your product and service are and how you could work for them. Case studies can also be used on your website and on marketing materials.
Social media marketing is an effective way for companies of all sizes to reach out to prospective and existing customers. If you aren’t speaking directly to them on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, then you’re missing out. Consistently updating your social media channels can help extend your reach for a low cost.
Embrace going cashless
Using cash can makes things messy for your business. Employees might use cash for ad hoc purchases such as buying last-minute ingredients for a restaurant or café, one-off services such as window cleaning, or even a staff night out. This system gives any business a lack of security and visibility on spending habits and decentralises its ability to monitor expenses. Not only does the effort of trying to keep track of cash take away from effort that could be spent on other parts of your business, but you can even lose money on a lack of spending visibility.
With Equals Money prepaid cards and online platform, your business can handle expenses without using cash and centralise expense management. With less time spent managing cash, you can spend more time growing your business.
Move away from spreadsheets
Managing receipts can make it difficult to stay on top of things, which makes reconciling expenses an additional headache for SME owners. Matching values on a spreadsheet to reconcile paper receipts is time-consuming and inefficient. Not only is this a waste of time, but it increases the risk of losing money over unaccounted for spending or mismatched expenses.
With the Equals Money online platform, team members can upload photos of receipts to our mobile app and annotate them to make reconciliation that much easier. Additionally, because employees can make purchases directly with their prepaid cards, you don’t have to worry about the hassle of reimbursements. You can say goodbye to rounding losses – everything is clear, transparent, and accounted for.
Running an SME comes with a range of challenges to juggle. Signing up for an account with Equals Money is one way to help your business save time and money so you can get back to what’s really important: your business.