Work smarter, not harder’ is a good rule to conduct your business by. With the prowess of the internet, instant communication across the globe even via video chat, advanced document and data sharing possibilities, complete online project management tools and a vast plethora of online tools and apps to help you be as productive as you can, it seems like such an antique idea to not make the most of what the connected world has to offer. The key is to focus your business on your consumer, not around your own processes. Here are some modern-day business principles you can adapt to make your business as lean as possible.
Avoid sunk cost as much as possible. You want to rent and lease as much as you can, especially when you first start out. Long-term office space leases, expensive IT hardware, and furniture can weigh heavily on your profit & loss sheet, especially if it’s not capital expenditure. Nowadays there are companies that can rent you your business essentials on a pay-as-you-go or monthly rental commitment basis. This can be your office space, including fully furnished spaces as well as IT equipment.
In most cases, it comes with maintenance as well. It might be a bit costlier starting out, but not sinking in loads of capital balances it out. Not until the point where you have more cash than needed lying around, that’s when you should consider deeper investments and long-term benefits.
Next to sunk costs, wages are usually most of your monthly business expenditure. However, hiring freelancers has never been easier. There are plenty of sites and services that allow you to post a job and have freelancers bid on them. Word of advice: don’t always go for the cheapest option but study their work history and only go for one when you’re confident he or she will do a good job.
If the tasks are more permanent, using freelancers exclusively can be quite costly. Before you open a permanent position, consider if you could outsource it? Asian countries have highly qualified job seekers that have a range of skills that might suit your needs. For example, the Philippines has a workforce that has a wide range of talents, ranging from customer support to programming and graphic design. In general, the pool of IT qualified talent is ample. And if you are worried about being able to communicate, English proficiency is focused on from a young age. You will be cutting costs yourself, while still compensating your outsourced workforce fairly, mainly offset by the low cost of living locally.
Avoiding sunk costs and having either freelancers or an outsourced workforce will enable you to be genuinely footloose. This means you can have a thriving business that is agile enough to jump in on market trends and avoid issues associated with being too locked into your own investments. Sometimes running a successful business is not only about identifying the right opportunity to grab, but it’s sometimes also knowing what the right time is to get out.