Most entrepreneurs and small businesses often reassign seemingly daunting tasks to third party providers and end up paying well over the odds for it. In this blurb, we’ll explore some of the “quick win” tasks and processes that an SME could take on board itself, and save several thousands of pounds in the process:
- Take control of your own website development and maintenance. Think site design and management is difficult and beyond your capabilities? Don’t you believe it – there have been splendid advancements within the website development industry. Free Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress have turned website design and set-up into a process that can be done with near push button simplicity. A professional website design company can charge in excess of a thousand pounds for what you, or your intern for that matter, could do within a few hours. There are also several free resources available where you can learn the basics of using WordPress, or other CMS systems such as Joomla. Although going down the DIY route may not be recommended if a precise online presence is critical for success, it’s certainly worthwhile investigating if all that you’re looking for is a simple “this is who we are and this is what we do” type of site.
- Be your own online marketing consultant. Hiring an internet marketing company can be an expensive affair, setting you back several hundred pounds a month. While some companies will benefit from the experience and services that a professional marketing company can deliver, there’s nothing stopping you from taking control of some or all of your internet marketing. With a few relatively inexpensive (and often free) tools, a business can do its own Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social marketing, Pay Per Click (PPC) and more. If you have members of staff, the many components of a marketing strategy can be shared out between them – it’s not very difficult, the trick is to set-up a simple online marketing strategy and execute it consistently.
- Switch to an in-house mailing list script. If email marketing is not a huge part of your business, and you’d like to simply send out the odd email now and again without forking out the vapid monthly fees charged by some of the bigger brand name email marketing services – consider switching to a free in house mailing script. These may not be ideal for heavy duty email marketing campaigns, but for a few hundred – or even a few thousand subscribers they work just fine. If you use WordPress as your CMS, there are both free and inexpensive one time payment plugins available that power your email marketing from within your own hosting and website.
- Go for second hand equipment. There can be a huge savings for your business when you buy used equipment instead of getting everything brand new. So long as you understand your own requirements, and inspect the equipment thoroughly before purchase (as there may well not be a refund or guarantee available) it can be a marvelous way of saving a lot of money.