Looking to cut costs? Want to free up some capital so you can make some important business investments in 2024? Recently, we brainstormed some ways (25, to be exact) that you can get a quick infusion of cash into your small business.
Now, let’s look at 3 unusual and strategic ways to cut costs and save in business right now:
By this I mean, stop letting your VA do the tech setup services for you. Instead, let an expert tech guru handle this and watch the savings of both time and money flow in!
Prior to the Summer of 2023, I hired a VA in a retainer format at their minimum of 3-months or $750-1000 per month. I submitted the work to the VA. Sometimes that included tech stuff, but for the most part I didn’t even know what tech help I needed. This felt wasteful—like throwing spaghetti against the wall with no real plan.
We have since hired Beth of Studio320 for monthly Get It Done Days, and she knocks out our tech needs in one sitting. She learned our growth plan and vision then came up with effective tech solutions that we can grow into with time.
We don’t need to manage her or even ask questions about what’s being done. She just works through our lists AND makes recommendations based on our business growth plan. Her tech experience and genius brain has us building incredible systems at a rapid rate. Though her rate is higher than most VAs, I’m no longer wasting money on tech system edits that don’t make sense.
In the long run, this has allowed for more time on my schedule and ensures that an expert in the field is finding ways for my system to be efficient (rather than me finding these ways). I’ve been able to focus more on sales + product development.
The thing I love the most is that I can hire her for one day per month. No more weekly meetings or hours to keep up with. Ironically, this has saved me money and allowed me to be in charge of how I spend the investment.
And, our new VA works on other customer service and administrative solutions that help me communicate better. I have been able to reduce my VA hours and see greater results. Removing the tech focus from my VA has made everything more productive and efficient in the business.
I know TypeForm is beautiful and such an incredibly smooth system. Website designers LOVE IT and so do we. We also love how it feels to the end user (our customers). The places we often see forms being used are 1) the contact form for leads on a website 2) giveaways, and 3) onboarding questionnaires. However, the cost to use TypeForm is anywhere from $29-99/month, depending on how much traffic you’re generating.
In order to get down to the free version of TypeForm on our website contact page, we tightened up our questions so that less people would actually complete it (we direct those filling out the form to the place they are looking for on our website). That keeps us in the free version of TypeForm. Again, we love the beautiful experience that TypeForm creates, but it isn’t where we want a lot of traffic right now.
Our leads, instead, come in through FloDesk forms (waitlists, lead magnets, and request for more info), Google Form applications, and our membership registration system (Stripe). We already pay for all of these services in the business so it makes sense to use them.
We know many small businesses who are incorporating AI generated chat bots on their websites. When someone lands on your contact page, the chat bot can be programmed to ask “What can we help you with?” The AI generated bot then directs them to where they need to go rather than having the person submit a ticket on your website. Keep checking back with us on this topic because we plan to test this theory out in 2024.
Less form submissions on your website also means less emails, less time investment, and no one waiting on YOU (or your VA) to answer. Again, your tech guru can set all this up efficiently for you with automations.
Our onboarding questionnaires are done through Google Forms and then those answers are Zapped (with Zapier) over to our internal project management system (ClickUp). We have automations scheduled for email notifications and communication to the team that have made this process so simple.
The only time we use TypeForm now is when we have big giveaways—like our Annual Birthday Giveaway on November 23rd—where those entering the giveaway are required to write a summary of why we should select them for the free coaching scholarship or free planning retreat ticket. We pay the upgraded fee for that one promotional period and then turn it back off. All of our regular/consistent forms are done through applications we already pay for.
$29/month may not sound like a lot, but that’s $348+/year we’ve been able to save by this one simple switch!
I know… that sounds scary and maybe even overwhelming. You have incredible (and FREE) tools at your fingertips that can save you a tremendous amount of money. No, I’m not saying go fire your team and let AI do all your work. Instead, utilize AI to do the tasks that it can do and have your team do the rest.
You can’t replace a human, but you can save time, money, and energy with AI.
Though we haven’t cut back on our marketing team’s time, we have increased our output with AI. For example, we are having ChatGPT outline marketing concepts and sales landing pages. Then, our copywriter reviews the content and “humanizes” it. This has allowed us to scale up our efforts within the same timeframe. The human element is still required, but our results are BETTER.
Yahoo Finance said it best: “as the age-old expression goes, “garbage in, garbage out.” If you set up your AI with the wrong parameters, it might give you data that’s actually not in the best interest of your company. This is why there always needs to be a human component attached to AI analysis and implementation.”
Another example of how we are redirecting funds is that before, we were planning to hire a video editor for $900/month to take our webinar sessions and repurpose them into social media grabs. Now, we are playing around with Veed to do it for us for $18/month. Big difference, right?
AI can save you money by:
Speaking of AI: we recently discovered FeedBird for social media management (thanks Megan!) and we’re loving it so far. For only $99/month their team of marketing experts will manage your social media (and other efforts). What is unique about FeedBird is that they have an actual human team that reviews/tweaks their AI generated social media content before sending it to their clients for approval. They are backed by FeedHive, an AI generated scheduling platform.
This has helped us cut costs of roughly $750/month so far. Stay tuned because we will do a full review on the results of FeedBird in the coming months after we’ve increased our experience with them.
Now that we’ve switched to FeedBird for social media, we’ve been able to cancel our social media scheduling software. We’re saving $45/month.
So add all that up and we’re saving over $1700 per month with these simple changes. Just wow!
It is essential to look at every aspect . . . how can you bring more in, cut costs, and save what you have? At the end of the day, this helps you keep doing what you do best—providing services and products to your client, investing in your business, and making the world a better place.