The ongoing lockdown aimed at helping South Africa to better manage the COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating effect on local businesses.
“Alongside a raft of measures the government has announced which are attempting to assist companies to stay afloat, business owners need to do what they can to manage their costs and continue to pay their people,” said Euphoria Telecom CEO John Woollam.
Here are four things you can do to keep costs down:
- Be ruthless with your budget – repurpose the events and goodies budget that you had set aside for team-building, put bonuses and salary increases on hold, collaborate with peers and suppliers to maximise economies of scale where you can. Every bit counts and companies should be as harsh as they can in cost-cutting before they look to reduce salaries, retrench or furlough employees.
- Go digital – everything from your PBX system to your performance management, skills development, team-building activities and AGMs can be done online. You can also stay flexible by avoiding long-term contracts for these services, most of which are available on a month-to-month or ad hoc basis. If it’s not digital yet, then transition it. The cost savings and efficiency gains will outweigh any upfront costs to do so.
- Re-engineer your customer journey – anything that is making it harder for your customers to deal with you smoothly and painlessly is costing you money. The move from working onsite to remote will have affected your processes and workflows, and introduced unnecessary friction into some, if not rendering them obsolete. Review all of your customer journeys and digitise, streamline or kill them as needed.
- Rationalise your office space – your teams are going to be working at least partially at home for the foreseeable future, and in some cases, this renders offices obsolete. Audit what space you absolutely need, and shrink or ditch the rest. With technologies like Euphoria Telecom’s cloud-based VoIP PBX enabling your teams to be contactable via your office number wherever they are, you’re no longer tied to physical locations and you should take advantage of that.
“Technology is a massive enabler and companies need to take advantage of it to drive business efficiencies and help them save costs. The pandemic is not going to go away in the short term and from being in survival mode we now need to look to make permanent, productive changes to our cost bases and business operations,” Woollam commented. “Businesses need to stay agile and adapt to rapidly changing market conditions. Technology will help them do that’.
This article was published in partnership with Euphoria.