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4 Business Costs to Cut During COVID-19

Also, three areas you should maintain investment in.

Even though traditional promotional products categories are slowly returning to prominence, the industry is still in the midst of its greatest challenge.

Evans Manufacturing

COVID-19 has disrupted everything: the workplace, travel, recreation, communication, you name it. As companies try to adapt to the new normal, changes need to be made to survive. Counselor has reached out to business leaders and experts on which costs to cut and which areas to maintain investment in as the pandemic continues.

Cut: Travel
With events and trade shows going virtual, there’s no need to fly anyone across the country. As for face-to-face meetings, although they’re still important, maybe you should limit them to once or twice per year. “We’ve all learned there’s so much business we can conduct remotely that we don’t need to incur as many hotel and travel expenses,” says Alan G. Lefkowitz, managing director at CFO Strategies, LLC.

Cut: Office Space
One of the best ways you can save money right now is to continue working from home. “Financially, you are going to be better off not using that space to work in, as it requires a lot of maintenance and support for the people working there,” says Ethan Taub, CEO of online marketplace Loanry. “With everyone working from home now, you don’t need to worry like you did pre-COVID.”

Keep: Outsourcing
If you’ve implemented a hiring freeze, you can outsource tasks to freelancers. You’re not expected to provide them with employee benefits, and they pay their own taxes, which means savings for your business. “Virtual designers, web-based accountants or remote marketing services are just a few of the professions to consider when outsourcing to save money or time,” says Jim Pendergast, senior vice president of specialty lender altLINE.

Cut: Non-Earning Assets
When business is booming, companies tend to spend on equipment, vehicles and office amenities. But when you’re not busy, those asset sits idle. “You have a non-earning asset you either paid for and are not earning from or you have a loan against it and you’re paying principal and interest payments,” Lefkowitz says. “Selling those assets frees up cash flow when you need it most.”

Keep: Customer Service
Focusing on your existing clients means being there for their questions, concerns and complaints. Customer service – actual human beings available by phone, email, video or social media – will be more important than ever. “Finding new clients is more expensive than retaining existing ones,” says Ian Wright, CEO of Bequests. “Build strong relationships with them, and as you provide them with excellent customer service, they will stick with you and even tell others about your business.”

Cut: Staff
This should be your last resort. Don’t just take an ax to your staff, though. Joseph Meuse, founder and president of consulting firm Business GPS, recommends looking for areas where you can strategically reduce your workforce. “Eliminate any redundancies or nonessential positions,” Meuse says. “If that’s too painful, you can also change full-time positions to part time or make salary reductions across the board.”

Keep: CFO/Controller
One position you absolutely shouldn’t cut is your chief financial officer or controller. “You always need somebody to manage your operations and have financial oversight,” Lefkowitz says. “Most entrepreneurs are great at their core business and selling but tend to not have that strong financial background. They need a trusted advisor, especially to navigate a challenging time like we’re currently going through.”

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