The B2B (business-to-business) industry has long been a competitive sphere with a relatively high barrier to entry, meaning business owners have always looked for ways to cut costs and inflate their net profits. Unfortunately, due to the unforeseen events of the past few months, many businesses, particularly those in the B2B world, are searching for ways to minimize their costs as the recent coronavirus-induced economic downturn has led to profit losses for countless other types of businesses and employees around the world.
If you own a B2B company and you’re trying to figure out how to stay afloat as the economy adjusts, check out some of these tips that can help you find custom cardboard boxes for cheap to lower your packaging costs and reduce your payroll through outsourcing and automation.
Downsize on Space
One of the first aspects of your business you should examine when trying to cut costs and maximize profits is your physical place of business. Does your office need to be as large as it is? If you have to store many, large products, then it’s possible that shelling out a lot of money for a large space is more beneficial to your company, but in a lot of cases, people are paying a lot of money for too much space. Of course, some people buy or lease a property with the hopes the business will grow and the additional space will become necessary. But, can you find a smaller, more affordable place to run the company?
You may even want to consider running your business out of your home, even if it’s just temporarily. You need to ensure you have enough space and tools to properly run the business, but if you can cut down on the cost of renting or owning a building you don’t need, you’ll notice a significant increase in your net profits.
Use Automated Programs
Paying employees is a large expense for business owners and, while we want to support the community and provide jobs for people, it’s not always possible to keep up with payroll and still turn a profit. When it comes to B2B, there are plenty of great programs and applications that can do a lot of the necessary work without needing a person to run the programs.
Depending on the type of B2B work you’re involved in, there are many software systems that can complete tasks only humans used to be able to do. Although there will be the upfront cost of the program, in the long run automation will save you a significant amount of money as you won’t need to continually pay another employee on payroll. Many of these software programs can also do the job of a few different people, further eliminating the need to dish out more money on payroll.
Outsource What You Can
As we’ve already begun to touch on, paying employees can be expensive. And, while it’s important to have good, trustworthy employees, there are some positions that can be outsourced for a cheaper price. Customer support is one department that is often outsourced, though you may want to consider this decision carefully. It will save you money to outsource your customer service team, but sometimes outsourcing this department can cause serious miscommunications between the company and the client that can ruin customer relationships.
Having excellent customer service can greatly increase your customer retention rates and boost customer loyalty, so, if you choose to outsource this aspect of your business, you want to ensure the quality of service doesn’t decline. Other aspects of the business you can outsource include accounting and marketing.
Find Affordable Packaging
As a B2B company that ships a high quantity of products to clients, having affordable but high-quality packaging is key. Shop around for shipping boxes for sale that may be lower than the current packaging you’re using, and try to invest in a company offering cheaper prices. Using eco-friendly packaging can also lower your overhead costs and may even improve customer relationships if you make it clear to your clients that your company cares about reducing its carbon footprint whenever possible.
Partner with Other Businesses
Working with other small businesses can be the perfect way to reduce some of your costs while also helping out a fellow business owner. Of course, you don’t want to create partnerships with any B2B businesses that are direct competitors, but there are hundreds of other companies you can work with to help reduce your costs.
Local businesses are one source of advertising, as they might let you hang flyers or host a marketing event. Packaging companies and distributors may be able to help find you cheaper shipping boxes for sale or find a more cost-effective way to move your product. Consider what you might have to offer to other businesses, as well, such as renting out extra office or warehouse space, which will also reduce the cost of renting or maintaining your building.
Focus on Maintaining Clients
Although companies are always hoping to drum up more business and expand their market, it’s more valuable to put your money and effort into creating a business that has a high customer-retention rate. On average, it costs about five times more to gain a single new customer than it does to create a loyal relationship with an existing customer.
Instead of pouring extra money into marketing efforts for attracting new customers, find ways to show your current customers you care about them and want to continue a strong business relationship. Creating loyalty programs, giving clients early access to special sales or products and focusing on high-quality customer services are some of the best methods for increasing your customer retention.
Save Money, Save Your Business
An economic crisis can be a scary time for people, particularly business owners, but there are many effective ways to reduce your overhead costs and boost revenue. Look for custom cardboard boxes at a cheaper rate than you’re currently paying and consider what elements of your business can be outsourced. Work with other businesses in your area to create strong relationships and help each other succeed.
As long as you come up with a specific plan for how to manage your expenses and retain customers, you’ll be able to solidify your business’s achievements even in uncertain times.