Belt-tightening ideas for SMEs during the pandemic recession that save jobs

When companies can’t shed costs they shed jobs. Unfortunately, this is too often the first resort instead of the last resort. With a little creativity though, people’s livelihoods can be saved, and that ultimately puts more people to work turning the business’ fortunes around.

The biggest trend in corporations this decade has been the democratisation of the workspace. More work-life integration, more yoga, more healthy catering, and more workspace flexibility. Employees at companies of all sizes have been shifting between permanent offices and coworking spaces or serviced offices. By opting for a small permanent office, and using coworking spaces for the overflow, your company can reduce fixed costs and stop paying for idle space. Or even better, companies may take the opportunity to adopt and implement long-term work from home programs, eliminating coworking spaces altogether while only requiring the essential workers to be in the office, ticking all the boxes of work-life integration, workspace flexibility and cutting costs.

Equipment leasing is a nascent industry in the post-pandemic economy. Many trappings of the modern office have a long lifecycle but no resale market. Big screen monitors, all-in-one copiers, commercial-grade networking equipment are just a few of the numerous paraphernalia of productivity that are more economical to lease than purchase outright. In economies where stimulus policies incent upgrading of technology, the attraction is even greater.

If we bend our understanding of leasing a few degrees, we may extend this point to include SaaS software. While SaaS is one of the greatest success stories of the internet age, it has made inroads mostly in sales and marketing departments. Traditional departments like procurement, inventory management, fleet management and other esoteric disciplines have evaded the impetus to change with a high degree of success. Outside of sales and marketing, everyone sees that change is afoot. Within sales and marketing though, the high priests of SaaS like Marc Benioff have converted the masses into their acolytes. A CMO who professes a love for CRM that runs locally on company servers would quickly join the ranks of the unemployed today.

Speaking of SaaS companies, it has been said that investors love SaaS companies for scale. The marginal cost of serving an additional customer is minuscule. By the same token, your business ought to search for ways to perform more work with the same effort.

One of the ways in which companies have scaled up their operations is to make use of Zoom calls to conduct sales pitches involving many prospects at once. In addition to creating social validation, it magnifies the effort and effectiveness of the sales team. The same strategy can be employed for training, and in some cases customer support.

In summary, there are a plethora of ways to optimise operational costs in this digital age. The challenge lies with the management team to be flexible in adopting these options. For example, companies that require employees to be present rather than being productive and leasing equipment over purchasing & owning said equipment.

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