10 Business strategies to control costs and avoid raising prices

No company can totally avoid the impact of increasing costs. But there are strategies that can help companies remain profitable while keeping their customers happy.

two white women and two white men sitting at a table

When the cost of doing business rises due to factors, like supply chain constraints, labor shortages, and inflation, customers often bear the brunt as companies frequently raise prices to cushion the blow.

However, there are strategies to control costs, keep prices in check, and keep customers happy. Here are 10 business strategies to consider. 

Business strategies to control costs

  1. Use technology to automate 

Inefficiencies can cost organizations 20-30 percent of their annual revenue. But the right technology makes you more efficient by processes with automation. 

Automation removes manual input while helping avoid errors that cost you time and money. For example, flexible ERP software helps you manage and automate inventory, warehousing, and manufacturing processes from one platform. Use it to automate: 

  • No company can totally avoid the impact of increasing costs. But there are strategies that can help companies remain profitable while keeping their customers happy. counts and inventory tracking for better inventory management
  • Production tracking and capacity projection to simplify manufacturing processes
  • Purchasing and vendor management to improve purchasing accuracy and warehousing

     2. Track and measure operational efficiency

Operational efficiency is the ratio of input costs like labor and equipment to outputs (revenue). Calculate it by dividing operating expenses by total revenue. A lower ratio means you’re more efficient at utilizing inputs to generate revenue.

By tracking the ratio, you can identify whether it’s trending in the right direction. If it’s increasing, consider conducting an audit to see what input costs are increasing and why. Then, make adjustments. 

For example, if inventory management costs are high, it may be due to a lower inventory turnover. You may need to level up your inventory management by moving away from spreadsheets and investing in software that automates inventory management.

    3. Diversify your revenue streams

Diversifying revenue can help you better utilize inputs to increase operational efficiency. For example, if you manufacture electrical components, you could expand product lines to build chargers and cases. Or, if you offer warehousing, you could expand services by also providing distribution.

   4. Consider the value of your space

Consider the cost of space and how to maximize its value. Downsizing is an option if you don’t need extra warehouse space. A larger warehouse is a consideration if you’re growing. 

But, before deciding, determine if the extra space is worth the investment. Are you using the current space to its fullest? Are there ways to improve your warehouse management first? For instance, different pallet storing methods can help you make the most out of square footage to optimize operations.

   5. Review your budget

Your budget should account for all income and expenses, like software costs. Regularly review it to identify where you’re overspending and cut back as needed. 

For example, your existing inventory software may be costing you more than budgeted because of hidden costs. In that case, consider looking for an affordable alternative

   6. Buy used equipment

Buying used can be gentler on your wallet than buying new. However, the wrong used purchase can lead to expensive repairs over the long term that cost more than buying new. So, do your due diligence and buy from reputable dealers. 

   7. Purchase in bulk

Purchasing in bulk helps you get volume discounts. You can transfer these cost savings onto customers. How much you transfer will depend on the quantity bought, the volume discount, and your desired margin.

   8. Implement cost-reduction policies

Having cost-reduction policies establish formal expectations around cost-cutting, increasing the odds that employee will follow them. 

For example, you could have policies around saving energy, including turning off electrical appliances when not in use and switching off lights when leaving an unoccupied room.

   9. Compare and merge insurance

Keep your current insurance provider honest by shopping around—and if you find a better deal, ask them to match the rate. 

You can also review your current policy and reduce coverage if over-insured or merge policies to get a discount.

   10. Market strategically

Marketing strategically is as important as marketing consistently. Don’t try everything under the sun; you’ll spread your resources thin and waste money. 

Instead, double down on techniques that work—especially if they’re cheaper than alternatives. For example, if networking helps you get more leads than investing thousands in paid advertising, focus more on it. 

The bottom line on controlling costs

Rising costs of doing business do not have to lead to price increases. You just need to implement the right cost-control strategies.

This post explored 10, from using technology and tracking operational efficiency to diversifying revenue streams and marketing strategically. 

The only thing left to do is to take action. What cost-cutting strategies will you use?

6 tips on how to apply lean manufacturing in 2023

Fishbowl’s Director of Customer Experience, Skyler Johnston, shows us how manufacturing companies can implement specific tactics to become more lean.  

woman and man standing in a warehouse looking at a computer

With ever-changing new technologies and trends within the manufacturing industry, there has never been a greater emphasis on enhanced productivity and the need to eliminate unnecessary waste. Lean manufacturing is an excellent shift for companies that want to improve efficiency and increase productivity. This method can free up employees and resources for innovation, quality control, and more time working on strategic work.   

I got the chance to speak with Fishbowl’s Director of Customer Experience, Skyler Johnston, on how companies can tackle some of the challenges of implementing lean manufacturing within their companies with six tips he has become an expert on.   

Skyler’s primary goal as Director of Customer Experience is to improve the journey from start to finish. From implementation to satisfaction and retention, his goal is customer obsession. Before this role, Skyler was a Director of Customer Onboarding, which has made him a bit of a Fishbowl expert on the following six tips.   


Lean manufacturing with ERP: A guide to choosing the right software

Whether you are new to lean manufacturing or looking to invest in a new ERP, this guide will help you become better informed to make the right decision for your business.  


erp and how it connects all parts of a manufacturing business

With the technology landscape becoming more competitive every year, choosing the right ERP solution for your business can be daunting. For lean manufacturers, running an efficient business is fundamental, and implementing the right ERP for your business can make all the difference to your business’s success and growth.   

There are hundreds of products on the market, so manufacturers must be educated on choosing the right solution to fit the exact organizational needs, goals, and scalability potential. Before diving into the main content of this guide, some manufacturing businesses may ask themselves, “Why do I need ERP software?”   


7 reasons SMBs should introduce cashless payments systems

While cash payments are still in use, we are moving closer to becoming a cashless society.

Phone with a shield on screen and a credit card tapping the phone for a cashless payment

Over the years, we have seen significant advances in the fintech industry, leading to new innovative payment methods and allowing businesses and consumers several cashless payment methods to consider. Cash won’t disappear anytime soon, but consumers and SMB owners are experiencing the digital transformation right before their eyes, and implementing various payment methods offers a secure, convenient, and efficient solution for all parties.

Speed, efficiency, and accuracy are essential in the logistics industry. Today, there are still SMBs that use manual systems of tracking payments and orders, which can be cumbersome and slow and possibly have a high potential for human error. In these types of businesses, streamlining supply chain operations and improving logistics efficiency, while also saving money, is key. An effective payment system, integrated into an established workflow, helps teams work more efficiently and allows more time to provide a positive customer experience.

In this article, we will go over everything about cashless payments and the 7 reasons SMBs should introduce cashless payment systems in their workflows.

What are cashless payments?


How Fishbowl is evolving with the future of digital payments

Fishbowl is helping small and midsize businesses stay ahead of digital payments by utilizing an integrated payment solution.  

How Fishbowl is evolving with the future of digital payments

One of the most critical questions small and midsize businesses (SMBs) should ask themselves is – are their payments keeping up with digital transformation? With technology becoming more innovative, the best businesses are doing all they can to protect their customers from threats, and giving them the most convenient, secure, and streamlined payment options.   

Today, nearly 80% of customers prefer online payments over traditional payment methods. This is where an integrated payment solution shines. An integrated payment processing system, or payment gateway, allows you to accept payments over the phone and online. You can also set reminders for customers through text and email invoices, and set up recurring payments within the payment system.    

To stay relevant and to evolve consistently with the future, Fishbowl has created its own integrated payment solution, called Fishbowl Payments. As we pride ourselves on being the industry’s most flexible ERP software solution for warehouse and manufacturing businesses, we want to help businesses give their customers the best payment experience and create long-term retention.   

Before diving into what Fishbowl Payments is and how it is helping teams give a flexible and convenient payment experience, let’s talk about the benefits of integrated payments and how SMBs can operate more efficiently by investing in this solution.    


4 Signs Your Business Needs a New Inventory Management Solution

4 signs your business needs a new inventory management solution, Fishbowl Blog

Inventory management systems are essential for your business. They help track the ins and outs of your stock with precision.

However, not all inventory systems are built the same. Some inventory systems might work well for your business, while others won’t. So it’s up to you to evaluate your current inventory management solution and see if it suits your business well.

But first, here’s a list of some essential functions a good inventory management solution should do:

  • Accurately forecast stock demand and sales
  • Highlight high-selling and profitable products
  • Manage stock levels, orders, purchases, etc.
  • Prevent overstock and stockout situations

So when will you know that your current inventory management solution isn’t working for you? The following four critical signs will tell you when you’ll need to look for a new inventory management solution.


How Port Congestion Is Causing a Markup in Shipping Container Prices

How port congestion is causing a markup in shipping container prices, Fishbowl Blog

Supply chain complications and the ever-evolving pandemic have meant strange times for the container shipping industry, including port congestion and wild price fluctuations. There’s also a massive shipping container shortage playing out. If anyone was hoping that things would eventually return to normal, that’s not looking to be the case. 

Securing $59 billion in profits for the first quarter of 2022 certainly was a promising achievement, as it set new records and was driven almost entirely by competitive pricing. However, it doesn’t change the arduous state that the logistics and shipping industry is currently facing.

Those shipping and container prices will continue, and all-time highs may also occur, but it’s still important to consider the primary factors for these trends. What else is causing a high markup in shipping container prices? Is it port congestion, demand, and freight increases, or is it something else entirely? When is the shortage going to end?


7 Key Considerations When Creating Labels for Your Products

7 key considerations when creating labels for your products, Fishbowl Blog

With a well-designed label, a product can fly off the shelves. But there’s a lot to think about when working out how to put together this core part of your packaging, and also plenty of room for mistakes to be made.

To avoid this, here are the most important things to keep in mind when you’re developing new product labels, and why they matter.


What Is Last-Mile Delivery and How Can Your Business Get It Right?

What is last-mile delivery, and how can your business get it right? Fishbowl Blog

Every eCommerce fulfillment stage is equally vital and should be treated as such if you want your packages to reach your customers. However, last-mile delivery often receives the most attention due to its importance, complex implementation, and hard-to-solve logistical issues.


6 Practical Pallet-Storage Methods to Optimize Warehouse Operations

6 practical pallet-storage methods to optimize warehouse operations, Fishbowl Blog

Warehouse optimization requires assessing numerous interlinked aspects and understanding how they influence each other. Appropriate pallet-storage methods are also vital for ensuring quick access and promoting smooth warehouse movement. Learning about and applying pallet-racking tips can improve worker output and safety.