If you’re a small business owner, you recently had the opportunity to benefit from the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), an economic stimulus fund meant to keep people employed. The funds came with requirements – specifically that businesses maintain 90% of their employees for a set period, or else they would have to repay the funds. So, now what?
While the PPP offered immense financial benefits, it’s hardly enough to keep small businesses afloat through the current recession. No, now is the time to find other areas where your business can save money. This will give you a critical buffer as your business moves to reopen.
Review Your Bills
One of the simplest ways your business can save money as the pandemic continues is by reviewing your bills. Obviously you’re going to see major drop-offs in utility use since you’re not on site, but you should also check for errors. For example, during the pandemic, utility companies have suspended meter readings, leading to some inaccurate billing. Depending on how your team has been dispersed, you may also be able to suspend some services during this time.
Manage Your Merchant Accounts
Merchant accounts allow your business to accept credit cards, but as you well know, the fees to process those cards can be steep. That’s the last thing you need when you’re running fewer transactions than normal. You can’t just cancel your contracts, though. Instead, consider hiring a company to audit your merchant account bills. They can determine what your fee schedule looks like, what’s fair, and use their expertise to reduce your costs. Even if you can cut merchant account costs temporarily, it can make a big difference in your business’s recovery.
Address Waste Management Systems
How much does your business pay for trash and recycling pick-up each month? The answer, at least right now, is probably too much. Though waste management services are critical during ordinary times, you’re likely not producing much garbage right now. That makes it a good time to call you hauler and adjust your volume, which will also save you money. Don’t sign onto a long-term agreement, since, hopefully, you’ll be able to get back to business as usual soon, but do admit to your reduced needs.
Spend Less, But Spend Smarter
There are lots of places where you can save money in the midst of this pandemic, simply because you have reduced needs, but you can’t slack off so much that customers forget about you. With that in mind, take this as an opportunity to cut spending on advertising and new client onboarding while providing top-notch customer service to your existing clients. They want to see their favorite local and small businesses survive, too, but you need to show them that you’re fighting to make it to the other side.
You’re hardly the only business trying to save money as we make our way through the current pandemic, so when you turn to your providers in an attempt to save money, you won’t be alone. By asking for help, though, you’ll still have a business to run when the economy starts to recover.