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Communication is one of the cornerstones of any business, although it can be quite expensive. Both internal communications between managers and employees and external communications like customer messages and advertising can cost thousands or even millions per year, depending on the size of the company.
The US Small Business Administration recommends that companies spend between 7% and 12% of their annual budgets on marketing. Thankfully, there are a few ways that those costs can be reduced and the money can be spent more effectively. Let’s take a look at five ways that businesses can save money while retaining quality communication.
Businesses should start by analyzing their communication and advertising needs to determine if all current needs are being met. For example, if a product or service has “senior citizens” as a target demographic and its primary advertisements are podcast commercials and online advertising, it’s not likely to be effective.
Radio and newspaper advertisements might have a lower reach for younger audiences but they would also be much cheaper and more likely to generate product interest and sales from the target demo.
On a similar note, using the right platforms for both internal and external communications can be more efficient and cost-effective. For example, imagine a company that pays for business phones for use in the office, cell phones for management, video conferencing software, and has a dedicated receptionist on salary whose primary job is to answer the phone and direct calls to the appropriate department.
Instead of all of these services being paid for individually, a cloud PBX service can handle all of these functions and more for a simple monthly or annual fee. This frees up the receptionist to handle more important tasks and reduces the workload for the other employees.
Data analytics can be invaluable for companies because it is the best way to determine whether or not current advertising is effective. Oftentimes, businesses will run an advertising campaign without checking the data to confirm that it’s working. In fairness, it can often be difficult to tell.
Imagine a computer repair business in a small town that runs heavy online ad campaigns, including the local paper’s website and targeted Facebook posts. These can be effective strategies for reaching new customers who may not have heard about the business. However, if there’s only one computer shop in town, it may not be necessary to spend thousands of dollars on advertising.
Data analytics can show how many people see the company’s sponsored Facebook posts and how many of those users actually click on the link to learn more. If sales are steady but no one is clicking through on the posts, that money might be better spent elsewhere.
When it comes to advertising on social media or other avenues, it may seem cheaper at first glance to handle everything in-house. However, the cost of labor can often exceed the price of hiring an advertising firm, especially one that charges a fixed rate per month.
To use some rough figures, imagine a medium-sized business that employs a four-person marketing team where each member makes $50,000 a year. Even if an external marketing company charges $100,000 per year, the company would save that amount through outsourcing.
Similarly, running a third-party audit can reveal many sources of lost potential income, overspending, and find other flaws that may have slipped through the system. This is particularly valuable for companies that have existed for many years, as they often overlook these things as “this is the way we’ve always done it.”
Although an internal audit might seem cheaper on the surface, having an outsider’s perspective can be invaluable. This can also include implementing programs like Six Sigma, Kaizen, or TQM, which are designed to identify inefficiencies. With Six Sigma, employees can receive training and join the team, which is led by a Black Belt or expert who has previously worked on similar projects to help guide them through the process.
These are just a few of the many ways that companies can reduce their inefficiencies and save money on both internal and external communications like advertising. Whether it’s consolidating services, using Six Sigma, or another solution, reducing overhead can help companies survive and could even be the difference between success and failure. Best of luck and happy saving!
Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.