Whether you’re looking to launch a new business or scale an existing one, our goal is to always keep it lean and save resources where possible. The whole idea of going lean is to minimize resources (time, human resources, money) without making major sacrifices to your effectiveness. Here are five tips you can use to help run a lean business:

Exchange Services with Other Business Owners

You can eat up a lot of your budget setting up a new business or getting resources you need to expand your existing business. That’s why it’s always an option to barter for the things you need with other business owners.   Whether it’s new equipment, business consultations, or legal services, it’s possible to work with other like-minded entrepreneurs so you both benefit.  Without dealing with cash, both parties will get what they need to support their businesses.  While this can minimize your costs significantly, be sure to get your agreements laid out (in writing if possible) to ensure there aren’t any conflicts later on.

Set Up a Virtual Office

You don’t necessarily need a brick and mortar location for your business. If you need a business address, you can find rent a virtual office for mail and meetings. These offices often come with mail receipt/forwarding, secretaries, and conference room access. Some virtual offices even have coworking space integrated into their building if you simply need temporary work space.

Related: Da Vinci Virtual Office, American Express

Utilize Contractors to Outsource Tasks for Your Business

Instead of hiring an in-house team for all your positions, outsource parts of your operations to other parties. This can save a lot of money as it allows you to pay for performance rather than paying a salary in return for an employee’s time. You’ll also save money on things like paying for worker’s insurance and health care costs. You can also outsource entire parts of your business like marketing and customer support.  Refined Impact offers complete solutions for your business marketing, which not only saves you money but will also make sure your marketing is as effective and profitable as possible!

Invest in the 20% That is Generating 80% of Your Revenue

Getting to the next level in your business requires some experimentation with your marketing. After testing different channels and tracking the results, you’ll usually find that the Pareto Principle will apply. 80 percent of your revenue will come from 20 percent of your campaigns. Many businesses make the mistake of trying to create success in all their marketing channels. What you want to do instead is to focus on the 20 percent until you maximize the results and then start looking to expand into other channels.

Related: Yaro Starak, The Balance Careers

Always Test Before Making the Big Leap

Whether you’re looking to target a new audience, launch a new marketing campaign, or expand into another market, it’s always a smart idea to test small first. Create surveys, track clicks, measure engagement, and pay attention to sales conversions. If the metrics make sense, then you can start getting a bit more serious. Initial tests may not necessarily be a reliable indicator that something will work. That’s why you want to progress one step at a time unless there’s enough evidence that shows it’s a smart idea to make the big leap.  We track data down to the smallest detail in all of our digital campaigns to ensure our Partners are getting the best possible results from their advertising!

Related: Marketing Donut

These five tips are simple and can easily be applied by any business. Running a lean operation will help control your costs, make your business easy to manage, and provide you with more opportunities to scale. While there may be some advantages of doing things the traditional way, going lean is more advantageous in the bigger picture.

Here are some great articles to keep you moving in your journey of business success: