If you run a business then you should know the importance of keeping your overheads to an absolute minimum. How successful you are is far from just being about the amount of a product you can sell, rather it’s about how much money you make on each one. That profit margin is the difference between the amount you charge for each item or service and the amount it costs you to provide them while running your business at the same time.
Getting more people to buy your product or use your service is very difficult, and charging more for it will probably only lose you custom. The easiest way then to make your business more profitable is simply to spend less on running it. Here we will look at some of the best ways you can cut your costs and save the pennies. Every little helps, and if you multiply each of these savings over the course of a few days or several sales you can make a lot of money. Here are some quick suggestions…
Saving money on your lighting is a big way to cut overheads – especially with energy costs going up all the time. There are various ways you can do this, from using energy saving bulbs, to using timers to make sure that lights don’t accidentally get left on.
Paying your staff is very expensive, and you shouldn’t be paying them for work they’re not putting in. If you don’t have any kind of employee time-clock system then this is something you should implement so that you can record the precise hours your staff are working and thus avoid paying them for work they aren’t doing. This way they won’t get short changed either.
Maintaining your work environment is important if you want to get the most productivity from your staff and avoid sick leave, and it’s also just the right thing to do. To make sure you aren’t wasting money, ensure that your systems are as efficient as possible and maintained regularly. Likewise, avoid wasting heat or air conditioning by having the windows open when you’re using them.
Likewise, just because your staff are there won’t necessarily mean they’re working. Installing CCTV cameras in your offices can help to rectify this by allowing you to do spot checks on who is working and by encouraging them not to slack. Don’t create a ‘Big Brother’ atmosphere, but make sure people aren’t taking advantage of your good nature.
Better yet though you can also get more from your staff by making sure they’re comfortable and happy in their work environment. Make sure your office is pleasant to spend time in, keep distractions to a minimum and try to make the environment is relaxed and friendly – it’s all conducive to good work.
Depending on your business you will spend a lot of money on various kinds of equipment, but all these things should represent investments in the long run as they should amplify the amount of work your team are capable of doing. Still though, you want to avoid wasting unnecessary resources on these tools. Make sure that you maintain your equipment to avoid having to replace it, train your staff to use it properly and consider renting if you don’t need particular tools regularly.
If you pay your staff for their petrol or have to make lots of trips yourself, then fuel costs can begin to climb. There are many ways to keep these down though. One is of course to use more efficient vehicles, and another is to limit ‘non-essential’ trips. You can also encourage your staff to travel together where possible and car share, and send them on ‘eco driving’ courses which can teach them to drive more fuel efficiently.
Travel costs are huge for businesses that conduct a lot of meetings abroad but you can combat this easily by using telepresence systems. This way you can carry out meetings as though you were in the same room with people across the globe and save huge amounts as a result.
Most companies will pay for expensive deals with their phone providers, so it’s important to be vigilant in looking for cheaper deals. Note as well that it’s possible to negotiate cheaper rates in almost every instance if you are willing to try.
Rafael Starc is the owner of globaltimesystems.com.au. His firm is one of the leading manufacturers of Time clocks in Australia. Time is Money is his mantra and believes in having an efficient workplace devoid of unnecessary overheads.