Retailers have faced profound challenges during COVID-19. The retail landscape has changed in the pandemic’s wake, and business as usual has become business unusual. Retail stores have incurred substantial losses, and the way forward looks bleak for some.

However, this does not need to herald the end of your retail business. With a few budgetary tweaks, you can reduce operating costs, saving some money along the way. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Go digital

COVID-19 was the final push many businesses needed to take parts of their operations online. Marketing was among them. As a business owner, you no longer need to spend thousands of dollars on print ads or window displays advertising sales. Instead, use digital signage as it is cheaper in the long-run and more environmentally friendly.

Visit mandoemedia.com to find out more about the company’s digital signage creation and management software. It is user-friendly, and you can upload your designs to digital signboards within a matter of seconds.

Another alternative is using digital and social media marketing campaigns. Even paid ads cost far less than those for more traditional marketing channels like print and broadcast media. Instead of hiring a full-time digital and social media marketer, find a freelancer who only charges for the hours they work.

Go paperless

If you look around your back office, there are bound to be files and boxes of paperwork lying about. Each time you print any documents, it costs money. You need to ask yourself how much of this is necessary.

Instead of storing documents as hard copies, scan and store them digitally where you can access them quickly and conveniently. Besides saving on the costs of consumables like paper and ink or toner, you will save on space taken up by unnecessary documents and reduce your business’s carbon footprint.

Save on utilities

Many retailers waste significant sums of money on electricity usage that would be better spent elsewhere. For example, keeping the heating running at full capacity makes your store uncomfortably hot and costs a fortune. Experiment with your thermostat and see if you can adjust it down by a few degrees. The savings will surprise you.

Use energy-efficient light bulbs or convert to LED lighting, which is effective while using minimal power. Retailers leave some lights on after they close for the day. Be selective about which lights you do not switch off and ensure that they use as little electricity as possible.

Staff savings

When business picks up, you might think it is time to hire another employee to manage the workload. However, do not go ahead without first having completed a thorough assessment of your needs. Salaries are the most significant expense retailers must pay, and you should be sure it is necessary before allocating more of your budget to paying employees.

Examine your current workload and that of any existing employees. Is everyone’s time being used productively? You or another worker could take on additional duties by using better time management strategies. If there is online work that will not justify a full-time employee, use freelancers to get these tasks done.

Manage inventory

Inventory management is a complex task, and you must balance the risk of having too much stock you cannot sell with that of not having enough. In a perfect world, you would be able to strike an ideal balance.

If you are hedging your bets by ordering more stock, ask suppliers for a discount on bulk orders or early account payments. You will also reduce costs by keeping minimal stock on-hand, provided you have a robust supply chain that allows you to replenish stock at short notice.

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