Small Steps to Big Savings in Your Business

Doing Business in Africa. Image by Andrey Popov

It’s the same inside and outside the business world. Plenty of people have a magazine subscription they should have cancelled, membership to a club they no longer attend, or an internet deal which charges them for services they never use.

Although these expenses are (individually) so small, because they are immaterial and easy to ignore, they remain ignored for months and years on end. If you’re a business owner with a similar issue, set yourself time to evaluate your expenses as soon as possible. Place it in your planner now. Because as long as these expenses go unchecked, they’re costing you money.

The Big Review

Start off by taking a general look at your outgoings. Are you subscribing to services that no longer merit the expense? Perhaps you’re still paying for access to online platforms that employees no longer use. It’s likely even in this initial shake-up, you’ll find a lot of opportunities to save money.

Regular Suppliers

As you go deeper into this review, examine your expenses on regular purchases like stationary. Are you being charged fairly? It’s worth getting quotes from other suppliers if you’re unsure. But don’t leave your old supplier without some negotiation and barter, there’s a good chance they’ll drop their prices to keep a regular customer.

Utilities

This is a classic way to spend money badly, and it’s probably the case that your business is already overspending on at least one utility. There are plenty of supply options for utilities, including business gas, electricity, and internet access. Checking annually that you’re getting the right deal for your business is essential if you don’t want to throw money away.

Purchasing Wisely

This tip can take you in one direction or the other, but it’s important to consider.

When you’re going to make an expensive purchase, be it a printer, a vehicle, anything, don’t just check the specifications list against your requirements. Ask yourself the following;

  • How often will you be using it?
  • Will you always need it? Or will you sell it on later?
  • Do you need it all to yourself?

That last question might seem strange, but increasingly companies are seeing the benefits of asset sharing, a concept which even applies to personnel. The former two questions should give you some food for thought regarding your purchase. If you’re not going to use an asset often, or if you only need it for a short while, consider buying a pre-owned product. If it’s a piece of machinery you’ll use every day, investing in the latest and greatest might be worth the money.

Review the Labour Costs

This will be the hardest and most complex step, but it also has the potential to save you the most money. There are two main aspects to address, automation and outsourcing.

Automation

Automation is changing every aspect of the human world, and your business needs to keep up to compete. There is now a wealth of software and services designed to partially or fully automate taxes and other regular outgoings.

Furthermore, even base-standard office software has plenty of facilities for cutting out manual work. Make sure all of your staff are familiar with using virtual calendars, and cloud storage systems, and gradually, this will eliminate dead time.

Outsourcing

Having automated much of the labour, you might find roles in the workforce that no longer require full-time, 9-5 attention. Especially if you’re a small business, you should look at the options available to you for outsourcing this work. It will be more cost-effective than paying your accountant to play solitaire.

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