Overheads, when running a business, are a fact of life. There is no way around it and no matter the sector you are in, you will at some point encounter this issue. Depending on the size and structure of your company, you may find that, at times, your overheads are simply running away with you.
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No one likes to be losing money so making sure you are staying on top of your expenditures on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis, is just something you are going to have to make more of an effort with.
But what are the best places to start when it comes to not only saving yourself money and improving your cash flow but also not losing any of your companies efficiency too? After all, regardless of whether or not you have a full or empty bank account, those bills will still need to be paid, and who knows, maybe trimming the fat from your outgoings could help boost your business and bring in more clients.
Exactly how much are you spending on your essential bills for your premises? Chances are, the bigger the workspace and the more people you employ, not only are your bills higher but enforcing rules could become trickier as you try to get everyone on the same page.
Start with something easy such as the lighting. It no one is in the room, switch it off. It doesn’t need to be on, does it? Look at changing your light bulbs to more energy-efficient ones such as LED bulbs or even better, have sensor lights that automatically turn on and off when someone enters and leaves the room.
Invest in an energy-efficient heating system to make sure you and your staff are comfortable at work, and you’re not losing productivity due to people being too hot or too cold. It can be surprising how much work doesn’t get completed when people aren’t comfortable with the room temperature. Regulate this to a temperature everyone is happy with and set a timer, so it never gets left on when not needed or you waste time waiting for the office to warm up or cool down.
Continue this theme with other areas of your workspace including;
- Turning off equipment that isn’t in use.
- Removing plugs from sockets that aren’t needed and switching the sockets off.
- Turn taps on for as short a time as possible and fix any leaks as soon as you can.
- Fix any damaged appliances or equipment or replace with newer models that will use less electricity.
- Keeps all doors and windows closed to when possible to retain heat in colder months.
Downsize Your Office Space or Change Location.
Is your current office space or location working for you? If not, you may want to consider moving to a better location or out of a prime area to lower your costs. If you are in an office, can you move to a different part of town and take advantage of lower rates and a better location for you and your staff?
Or, why not consider allowing your team to work remotely wherever possible. Have them come into the office sporadically or on set days. Not only has this proven that workers are more productive and happier in their job, but it also helps you to look at lowering your overheads. If you really don’t need a set office then loosen the reigns and allow your staff to work wherever. Did you know taking on remote workers will enable you to open up your employee pool? Look for people who are better suited to the role from a wider catchment area who are enticed by the ability to work from a location that suits them and not have to commute to your place of work.
This is more beneficial for those with existing commitments or families as they will be able to work around a schedule that suits them but also reduce commuting hours and sick days too.
This will mean you have the best of both worlds as you can reduce your office space, or even lose it altogether and gain the benefits from happier, more efficient and productive staff members.
Every business needs to have a mobile phone to be able to not only keep in touch with other staff members and clients but also to keep up to date with changes and details on the go. We are in an increasingly connected world, and most of us are switched on 24/7.
It makes sense that you and your staff will need to have a mobile phone contract that allows you to be able to keep in contact whenever the need arises, no matter what the issue is. But phone contracts can be expensive. Switching to a network such as the SMARTY network means you can enjoy all the benefits a regular contract can afford you, without being tied into lengthy and expensive contracts. Simply pick a plan that works for you and off you go!
Stationery, Supplies and Productivity.
Have a look at precisely what supplies you need for you and your team to do your job well. You may find that actually, you are spending far more than you need to. In this digital age, look at going paperless to reduce not only the amount of paper you use in the office but also stationary, printer ink and filing cabinets too. It can be surprising how much you can spend on all these things over the course of a year! This is also a great way to help the environment too.
A great way to reduce your overheads is to look at how efficiently your staff are working. Is there a different way they can work better together and minimise time wasted collating information and finalising projects?
Look at different apps that are on the market for businesses like yours. Pinpoint exactly what it is your business needs to help it maximise productivity and take advantage of trial offers to find something that works for you. Of course, everyone needs to be happy with the system, or it just won’t flow like it needs to.
Look at the following ways you can help your employees work smarter, not harder and do what you need to do but better and quicker!
- Cloud App
All of these can help you not only go paperless but also work in a way that benefits the company and clients alike as you all work together easily and seamlessly in the same way. No more missing deadlines because of lost information, keep it all stored in the same place!
Revamp the Way You Work
Are you guilty of letting some smaller things slide? This happens in business. Running a company isn’t easy, and honestly, you can do it all, even if you want to. That being said, you should force yourself to look to your companies profits and losses to see how and where you can make changes.
- Check the Stockroom – do you have things you are using that you can utilise or even sell on? Don’t just leave it sitting there, make a solid plan for it and use it or lose it. Otherwise, it is just going to end up costing you money.
- Reevaluate your contacts. Are you hiring equipment or paying for services that you no longer need or fit your business model? Then look at how you can reintegrate them back into the company or cut them loose. There is no point in paying for things you aren’t using. If you can negotiate different terms or services for the same or similar price that will benefit you, then, by all means, go down this route. But don’t just keep paying for things just because you always have done.
- Brainstorm with staff. They probably know more about how the company runs than you do. Let’s face it, they are the ones doing the work and have their ears to the ground. If you need to know how to change things up to reduce your overheads, then why not ask them what is or isn’t working and what they would suggest you do instead.
- Staff evaluations. Honestly, do you need to keep all of your staff on board? Do you know what they are bringing out the table and their performance levels? If you aren’t making the money to justify their position, then you may need to look at downsizing the company. This could mean you have to let some people go or you can look at assigning them a job role that is not only better suited to their needs, but also benefits the company too. Use their skills to your advantage and make sure everyone who works for you, is there because you need them not because you don’t want to fire them.
Cutting down on your overheads isn’t a quick or easy process. You will never get your overheads down to zero, no matter how much you try. That simply isn’t possible, but you can lower them and remove any excess that is costing you money and not bringing you anything in return.