If you’re a small business owner, it’s likely you’re feeling the pressure of uncertain economic conditions, rising costs and the impact of inflation. Luckily, the beginning of a new year is a great time to look at your finances from a new perspective and set goals for the year ahead.

For many small businesses, the natural reaction to inflation is to raise prices for their products or services; however, this can cause you to lose customers and make it difficult to survive in competitive markets.

In this blog post, we’ll share our tips and strategies for dealing with inflation so that your small business is able to weather any economic challenges that come your way.

What is inflation and how can it affect your small business?

Inflation is an overall increase in prices due to a decrease in purchasing power of money. For a small business owner, this can be especially worrying as costs of production or supplies may go up while your customers’ money loses its value, leading to decreased sales and profits.

It’s essential that any business plan includes actionable strategies to mitigate the effects of inflation. Having insight into how much impact inflation can have on day-to-day operations can help you anticipate potential problems and when necessary, prepare to adjust. With proper understanding and planning, your small business should be able to remain robust even during periods of high inflation.

1. Introduce automated processes

Leveraging technology to automate as many processes as possible is a great way to cut production costs. Start by researching programs or software that can be deployed to automate tasks like scheduling, bookkeeping, receiving orders, customer management, marketing, billing and payments. This will allow you and your employees to spend less time completing repetitive administrative tasks, and free up your schedule to focus on more complex procedures.

2. Improve workplace productivity

Hold your employees accountable by using apps or other methods to track productivity in the workplace. The more efficiently your business is running, the higher your profit margins will be. If productivity is lacking, consider solutions such as extra training for employees, and hold regular meetings to review performance or incentives.

3. Cut unnecessary expenses

Instead of raising prices for your customers, complete a thorough audit of your business expenses to determine where you may be able to cut costs in production. Some suggestions might include cancelling unused subscriptions or services, downsizing your office space or substituting materials. Carefully consider areas that will optimise results with minimal disruption. For goods or services you can’t afford to go without, research less expensive alternatives or negotiate with the supplier; many suppliers recognise the value to both parties of long-term loyalty, so you never know what benefits could follow an honest, proactive conversation.

4. Evaluate staffing costs

Many employees may expect a salary raise in response to inflation, which isn’t feasible for many small businesses; however, there are other ways you may be able to ease their financial burden. For example, transitioning to a hybrid or remote workplace would remove commuting costs, and potentially allow you to downsize to a smaller, less expensive office space.

5. Educate yourself and your employees on inflation

Inflation is an unavoidable part of doing business, but the more you know, the better prepared you’ll be to face all the associated challenges and risks and remain competitive in a constantly changing marketplace. Educate yourself by investing in software tools or professional services that track these economic indicators and, where appropriate, provide the same education to employees in order to give them a better understanding of their working environment and greater insight when making decisions related to money management.

6. Enlist professional advice

Carbon Group has award-winning advisers who can help you set and achieve your financial goals. Whether you’d like to learn how to use cloud-based bookkeeping to win back more time for your business and personal life or speak to a qualified tax accountant or business advisor to receive tools for making viable decisions and taking control of your business, we’re here to help.

Our wealth management strategies can also assist you in building a long-term financial plan and setting achievable goals, along with other services such as risk management, debt management, investment planning and more.

Hopefully this article has helped you realise that raising prices for your products, goods or services isn’t always the best or only way to deal with inflation. Understanding inflation and introducing procedures to safeguard your small business against it will not only provide more security for your business but can also help you remain profitable and competitive during high inflation periods.

If you’d like to receive more tips and strategies or personalised advice for your small business, contact us now on 1300 454 174.