How to Cut Business Costs in Q4

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( — October 18, 2019) — No matter how profitable your year has been, every business owner should make it a goal to tighten their belt in the fourth quarter (Q4) of the fiscal year. As we inch closer and closer to closing the books, analyzing overhead costs, and forecasting the next year, it only makes sense to cut spending wherever possible. Doing so will enable you to invest in new business assets come Q1 that can accelerate growth in the following year. Plus, you might be able to give some of your hardworking employees a well-deserved bonus around the holidays to express your gratitude.

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Even spending just a little — say $20 Starbucks gift cards, for example — will make your team feel appreciated, leading to increased workplace satisfaction and decreased employee turnover costs. The recruiting efforts and onboarding time required to bring new team members aboard can cost thousands of dollars, which is not something you want to shell out. Take your trained staff into a new, exciting, and profitable 2020 by using these strategies to cut back business expenses now and reap the benefits in the months that follow.

Take a Look at the Books

It might take a sharp eye to make sense of the numbers and turn unstructured data into actionable insights, but the good news is that you don’t need to hire a pro to run a proper analysis. There are many online accounting services that you can outsource for a fraction of the cost of an in-house bookkeeper. This type of software platform can provide you with useful information such as:

  • How do my accounts payable stack against accounts receivable?
  • Which products do consumers frequently purchase together?
  • What stock items have been sitting on the shelf?
  • Did profits spike during holiday season last year?
  • Am I spending too much money on office supplies and overhead costs?

Armed with these insights, you can tailor your business plan accordingly. Restructure your marketing efforts to pair popular items; push the products that have been collecting dust and scale back your future orders; see how many seasonal staff members you can hire to speed up the sale process; buy budget office supplies and be mindful of your energy bill by turning the lights off every time you leave a conference room. Some fine adjustments and careful tuning can yield large savings.

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Go Digital

If you’re still living in an analog world, it’s time to transition to the digital domain — that is, if you want to keep up with the competition. As simple as it may seem to stick to old-school pen and paper, physical filing cabinets, time punch cards and the like, you ultimately lose measurable productivity. Inefficiency is itself expensive, but compound that cost with the loss of revenue you experience because your competitors have the bandwidth to drive business growth while you tend to tedious administration tasks.

Small business owners have no time to spare, so if you’re wasting efforts on manual data entry, cryptic handwriting, math by calculator, you’re doing it all wrong. Depending on which business analytics software you decide to invest in, you can expect to pay a bit of money upfront — unless you opt for a subscription-based service over a solitary platform.

Either way, your initial investment will pay off tenfold in the amount of money it will save you down the road. Between automated marketing, human resource management, virtually-assisted customer service, payroll solutions and more, there are endless options available to your business needs.

Optimize Your Advertising

Switch from print-based advertising to internet marketing if you want to tap into a huge online presence. A strategic campaign backed with the best search optimization strategies can generate hundreds of hot leads you would have never encountered otherwise.

You don’t need to hire an agency to boost your organic presence online; simply use a tool like Keywords Everywhere and add a company blog to your existing website. Think of some trending topics in your industry, plug it into the search generate, and do a quick write-up embedded with terms that have a high monthly search volume. That way, the next time someone looks up a topic your business is involved in, your “How To” or “Ultimate Guide” article will appear on the results page, positioning you as an authority in your industry, gaining their trust, and eventually earning their business.


Cutting costs in Q4 can prevent you from taking out a small business loan in Q1. Be proactive, not reactive, and plan for a successful 2020.