July is Savings Month locally, with the South African Savings Institute (SASI) launching the campaign in a bid to promote debate around the key aspects of savings, and raising awareness of the benefits of short, medium and long-term planning.

With that in mind, local web hosting company 1-grid has looked at how SMEs can save during July and beyond, with its head, Thomas Vollrath, explaining how setting up an SME online can help cut costs for the business.

According to Vollrath, more than 70 percent of small businesses struggle to survive the first two years of operation, due to poor cash flow management and insufficient funding being cited as the main reasons for failure.

“Making money is ultimately why you start your own business, but neglecting to plan ahead and innovate can result in failure,” he points out.

Cutting Costs

Vollrath explains that taking your business online is a good starting point because there are less overheads which would allow you to save on renting out a retail space by setting up a digital shop which could be operated from the comfort of your own home.

“Even if you are not tech savvy, online tools like a website builder are user friendly and cost effective,” he adds.

He suggests that if you are reluctant to take on this route of digital setup, creating a social media presence for your business is a simple way to test the waters. This would intern save your business money on the high costs associated with traditional advertising by using paid social media to get your brand’s name out there.

He also advocates for online platforms to limit the amount of physical documents and storage that a traditional business setup would require.

“Going paperless by using document storage apps like Dropbox and Google Drive is an easy way to save on both money and time, while ensuring that your files are securely stored,” he continues.

Trying out new technologies

Vollrath also notes that small businesses are ditching traditional cash registers in favour of mobile payment platforms like Payfast, which are both secure and reliable.

Added to that is the increased use of smartphones to transfer and receive money, as it provides an easier option to travel with your business no matter the distance or time zone.

“Don’t be afraid to try out new technology. The process is all about trial and error, but don’t get too comfortable once you find something that works for you. Technology is constantly evolving and it’s important that you’re always on the lookout for new solutions to improve operations,” concludes Vollrath.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]