Many businesses need to adjust their spending to meet the reality of their cash flow during the last few months of the year. While it can be tempting to just cut expenses across the board, this strategy may actually backfire if you cut in the wrong places. Here are four budget areas you should try to preserve to avoiding derailing your long-term business goals:
1. Marketing—It’s one of the easiest things to cut, but doing so will eliminate your ability to grow. The smarter strategy is to continue doing the marketing initiatives that bring you results so you don’t miss opportunities to gain new customers.
2. Training—Instead of eliminating employee education opportunities, look for cost-effective options such as online training or in-house peer-to-peer training to reinforce skills. Regular training is especially important for frontline employees who can make an immediate difference in maintaining and winning business.
3. Safety—Cutting your budget should not mean increasing the risk for workplace injuries or creating an unsafe work environment, which can expose your business to potential workers’ comp claims. Consider safety an “untouchable” area when it comes to budget cuts.
4. Quality—Another area where shortcuts should be avoided is your product and service quality. Reducing resources to the point that it affects your end product is not going to help drive more business—in fact, it may have a significant negative impact on sales.
If you keep these four key expense areas steady, how can you make up budget deficits? The best way is to look at all of your expenses, line by line, and identify unnecessary or hidden costs that can be eliminated. It’s also important to maintain an in-depth view of your financials throughout the year—not just when your budget is tight—so you can take proactive steps to avoid future cash crunches and keep to financial goals.