Cut Cost Not Employees: 5 Ways to Save Your Business During an Economic Downturn Without Cutting Jobs

Written by
Ekky Pramana
Last Modified on
March 7, 2024

In today's uncertain economic climate, many businesses struggle to stay afloat. As revenues decline and costs continue to rise, companies are faced with tough decisions on how to save money without sacrificing their workforce. While layoffs may seem like the most obvious solution, there are other strategies that businesses can use to cut costs and stay afloat during an economic crisis.

In this article, we'll explore five ways companies can save money without laying off employees, from implementing cost-saving measures to embracing flexible work arrangements. So, whether you're a small business owner or a CEO of a large corporation, read on to discover how you can survive an economic downturn without sacrificing your most valuable asset – your employees.

Implement cost-saving measures

There are lots of seemingly minuscule company expenses that may seem trivial and are often overlooked. Some examples are unnecessary electricity usage, excessive use of paper for printing documents, and other similar costs. Without proper measures and audits, these expenses could pose a severe problem for your company's financial health.

Companies can avoid unnecessary expenses through green initiatives, such as optimising air conditioning and lights, and adopting paperless policies to reduce paper usage. With proper implementation of these initiatives, companies can effectively save money and reduce unnecessary expenses, contributing to better financial sustainability in the long run.

Reevaluate entertainment and travel expenses

In a stable economy, splurging on entertainment can be a morale-boosting, productivity-enhancing, and team-spirit-lifting endeavour. But in these uncertain times of economic recession, entertainment expenses can quickly become a boomerang that threatens the survival of your business.

Don't get us wrong; we're not saying you should completely slash all entertainment expenses for your employees. There are some ways you can save, such as:

  • Enforcing strict limits on team and department entertainment expenses
  • Exploring budget options for team dinners and company outings
  • Exploring virtual entertainment options, and
  • Identifying potential areas of overspending.

The same goes for travel expenses. Companies can implement tighter rules around business travel for employees, such as mandating economy-class transportation and limiting the number of employees travelling for business at any given time.

Find out how Aspire's expense management features can help your business gain better control over company spend.

Offering "Work-from-Anywhere" options

Various studies have proven that Work From Home (WFH) and remote working policies can increase productivity by up to 13%. WFH allows employees to spend more time working and less time commuting. It also reduces unnecessary employee activities, such as extended lunch breaks and water cooler talks.

Another positive impact is that the "work-from-anywhere" policy can reduce the burden of expensive office rent. Companies can switch to more cost-effective options, such as renting smaller office spaces or coworking spaces to accommodate offline meetings and gatherings.

Monitoring cash flow and debts

Businesses need to monitor cash flow to manage their finances effectively.  Businesses can save money by regularly forecasting their cash flow, which involves estimating their expected inflows and outflows of cash over a specific period. By creating a cash flow forecast, businesses can gain a clear understanding of their future cash flow position and identify potential gaps or shortfalls in cash availability. This understanding allows them to take proactive measures, such as delaying non-essential expenses or negotiating extended payment terms with suppliers, to avoid unnecessary costs and manage their cash flow more efficiently.

In addition, managing payables and receivables is also crucial for effective cash flow management. Companies should proactively monitor unpaid customer invoices to ensure timely payments and maintain cash flow.  Similarly, tracking payables to suppliers can help businesses negotiate favourable payment terms, such as extended payment deadlines or early payment discounts, which can result in cost savings.

Aspire's payable management feature helps businesses efficiently manage bill payments. Learn more here.

Reviewing advertising and marketing expenses

Marketing and advertising expenses are some of the most significant expenses for a company. In times of economic crisis, cutting back on marketing budgets is a quick cost-saving solution. Although budget cuts may result in performance decline, this can be mitigated with various optimization steps, such as auditing and discontinuing unnecessary marketing software subscriptions, optimising Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) in advertising campaigns, and focusing on marketing strategies and channels with the best Return on Investment (ROI).

Aspire's corporate card helps your business save on advertising expenses with a 1% cashback program for every transaction on Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, and more. Learn more here.

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About the author
Ekky Pramana
is a seasoned writer specialising in business finance and management. With a writing history at Tech in Asia, Teknoverso, and various other publishers, he leverages his market expertise to empower and educate first-time founders in managing their businesses better.
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