Why choosing an integrated web host can help SMEs reduce costs in times of recession

With interest rates, inflation and energy costs rising, and a recession piling on the pressure, now’s the time for SMEs to find ways to save money – but at what cost?

With interest rates, inflation and energy costs rising, and a recession piling on the pressure, now’s the time for SMEs to find ways to save money – but at what cost?  Simon Yeoman, CEO at Fasthosts, draws on the knowledge and experience he’s acquired having worked for both UK and international businesses, where technology is key to success.  Here he explains why opting for an integrated web host could help reduce costs.

We’re currently experiencing a cycle of shorter, but more severe recessions than ever before. With stagflation looming, it’s vital that businesses regularly review how they’re going to survive and thrive. Without doing this, SMEs will find it unsustainable to operate on a long-term basis.  Keeping an eye on profitability levels and managing their bottom-line performance to avoid making a loss and minimise impact on both their customers and company is essential.

Challenging economic conditions can present opportunities to consider what a business can change now to prepare for the future. Ironically, when difficult trading periods hit, that’s when many exciting innovations come out from those that have adapted to tough conditions. Opportunistic business mind-sets can be very beneficial in the long-term. Companies need to look at cost items, while weighing up what they can change about their business. 

Living in highly volatile times means we’re constantly exposed to significant fluctuations.  Businesses must focus on managing their expenditure because they don’t know what’s around the corner, and it might be their goals are unachievable. It’s key to regularly look at the costs and identify where savings can be made. 

When fiscal tightening hits, companies need a good handle on their costs to avoid surprises. SMEs should keep an eye on their current and future costs. Forward planning costs for a 12-month window is crucial; some will be more variable and can be adjusted, but regularly manage and review what your future schedule looks like. 

Mitigating against unexpected costs is key. Consider what areas of the business are critical, and what is less important without disrupting your core business offering for customers. Balance up the longer-term consequences and assess if you can bounce back post-recession. Gaining insight into navigating potential future risks by engaging in external conversations can also really help.

It’s often innovative, entrepreneurial start-ups that appear recession proof because they’re better equipped to adapt to periods of uncertainty and change. They tend to be more flexible in their processes and infrastructure, making it easier to embrace necessary changes like new digital technologies.

We’re seeing more and more companies moving online and it’s not just because they need a web presence. They’ve realised that an online presence can complete a wide range of business transactions to deliver the same positive experience for customers. There’s certainly an opportunity to reduce the investment and manage the variable costs of your business by making fewer significant fixed investments. 

Start off by streamlining systems and considering different ways of working by making greater use of the tech that helps you run your business. If you want to invest less in a premises and spend more on digital solutions instead, there are some great online collaboration tools available. Products like Microsoft 365, hosted Microsoft Exchange and other email collaboration tools can aid remote working and save costs.

With so many business interactions now taking place online, SMEs need to embrace technology to maximise opportunities while reducing costs. Working with an integrated web host can reduce costs and maintain loyal customers. You can quickly reap rewards by using integrated web presence plugin tools to combine with ecommerce systems, email systems or online booking calendars. Integrated solutions from one provider can help businesses establish and manage their web presence.  The provider can also help you build your website, while maximising marketing opportunities with ready-to-go tools that can help with things like SEO and online business listings. 

This approach will deliver digital success, allowing you to manage your tools in one place while making significant savings. The breadth of digital tools available means that companies can succeed, without needing expensive experts on hand to support them. When support is needed, the gig economy can provide help rather than paying an ongoing service charge or retainer.

By adopting this, companies should see improvements to their bottom line relatively quickly, depending on the sector. The more variable costs within a business, the quicker the positive impact. When fiscal tightening is needed, businesses should be reviewing how to adapt their business for the environment they’re in and allow decisions to be made. 

Knowing that businesses are turning to digital solutions, we’ve certainly invested heavily in developing our own offering to provide convenient, compellingly priced tools. These help businesses create an online infrastructure supported by the type of online tools they need to thrive when it comes to ecommerce, web builders and SEO. 

Ultimately, businesses need to ask tough questions, like is an agency needed to manage an outsourced service such as email or SEO? Investing in digital tools can deliver significant savings when trying to reduce these external costs. 

Bracing for recession can feel daunting, but positive things come out of difficult financial times if business owners can front up to challenging questions from the outset. Doing so will unpick what needs to change so that SMEs can thrive and innovate in the future. 

Simon Yeoman
Simon Yeoman

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