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  • Writer's pictureAndrea McGeachin

Smart ideas for SME savings

Let’s face it: we’re all going to be tightening our belts in the coming months. Successful SMEs, however, will find positive ways to steer their ships through the storm. Here are seven pearls of wisdom we’ve learned at Amack over the years about cutting costs without cutting corners.


1. Make ‘Smarter not Harder’ your company ethos. Look at any tech that might save people hours or reduce the need for recruitment. We love for project management though they’re also good for CRM, marketing and product development. If you’re looking for Tech that will help with contract negotiation, processing and management, Trakti is a really valuable resource.

2. Spring clean your major outgoings regularly - things like energy providers, insurance and other premises costs, connectivity, phones and other hardware. Marie Kondo isn’t an international success for nothing. Take a leaf out of her book and make time to clear the decks by regularly going through all your outgoing expenses and asking, “is this necessary?” and “is this bringing our business joy?” If not, it’s just a drain, so get rid of it. If it is useful in some way, is there a cheaper deal elsewhere? You’ll be shocked at how quickly the savings mount up.

3. Get your staff on board with Mission Frugality in understanding that cost-saving measures will have a positive impact on them, too. Sadly, not all SMEs will make it through this recession; the ones that do will have excellent employee buy-in. Businesses often underestimate the unique position employees have in being able to spot problems at source and suggest solutions. Often someone at the coal face can show you where the cost-saving measures are much more quickly than a committee of middle managers, because they’re there living it every day.

Yellow scrabble pieces spelling 'thank you'

4. Show your appreciation by rewarding suggestions from employees who come up with ideas to save the company money. It can be as ‘token’ as a free coffee or a bunch of flowers if needs be, but it means a lot to have your contribution recognised and that goodwill feeds straight back into the business.

5. Make your employees your recruiters. They’re best placed to find people with the same skills as they have and are also great ambassadors for your business, so it’s worth offering ‘find-a-friend’ rewards. The cost of recruiting a new employee is estimated to be around £6k, rising to £19k for managerial posts, so offering a bonus of, say, £1k for recruiting a new employee to your company is a huge cost saving for the business and a nice little extra for an employee.

6. Avoid making costly recruitment mistakes by making sure you get the right person first time. Online tools tests can go a long way to screening out individuals who might not fit the bill, despite looking good on paper. Traditional tests such as Myers Briggs and psychometric quizzes can be incredibly helpful but have a look at some of the new companies offering online assessment software, too, such as Mettl and HR Avatar.

7. Ask yourself: Do I really need to recruit at all? Sometimes, when throwing money at a problem, less can really be more. If you’re a growing SME, needing more help with sales and marketing, for example, you could use a company like Amack to plug that gap, help with lead generation, networking and CRM rather than recruit a whole new team or role. You’ll be saving heavily on costs and buying instant experience and expertise on tap, rather than putting budget towards a new and more expensive team or individual that you are responsible for training and nurturing.


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