Take a moment, or a few, to walk around your business to see where possible expenses could be reduced. But be realistic, don’t take a panic point of view. It is logical and good business practice to do a regular review.
Don’t just get one quote for anything you need, three usually provide a good comparison and generally give enough information to bargain.
In manufacturing? Are you using the “Rolls Royce” materials? Can the same product be produced with lesser materials and still maintain the quality? Again, regular reviews are good practice, as new materials may have appeared on the market.
Have a good think about your technology requirements. Cloud computing on a subscription basis, removes the need for CapEx on infrastructure, can give you more options – some which you can’t afford if they are in-house – and allows your IT staff to do more valuable tasks, such as properly aligning your technology with your business strategy. Also consider VoIP telephony or hosted PBX, they offer significant savings.
Can some of your staff work from home? Some may appreciate the flexibility and it could reduce the floor space you need to run your business. With Cloud computing technology they can communicate as if they were in the office.
Is all your travel necessary? Can you participate in webinars instead of travelling to conferences? Plan ahead, get early bird rates, better travel fares and take advantage of hotels offering better rates online for early bookings.
Have you thought about bartering? It is an ancient practice, even older than factoring and if you are exchanging products and/or services you are not spending dollars
Can you combine with another small business to buy in bulk? This could also establish a good working relationship.
Don’t buy in bulk though, just for the up-front savings, if the product has a “use by” date make sure you will use it all before it becomes a waste product.
If you need to add a new skill to your work force, consider a contractor. You won’t have all the overheads associated with an employee such as payroll tax, superannuation, leave allowance, penalties – phew – the list just goes on.
When sending out invoices, in print or online, include marketing material – a new catalogue, a special offer – it gets the message out there and saves on postage. Use online opportunities to market your product – email campaigns below a certain number of email addresses is free. So is Facebook and Pinterest.
Pay for everything before it is due or at least right on time, avoid the late payment fees which can be as high as $25.00 a time which quickly adds up.
Without going into detail consider the following—
- Cleaning costs
- Couriers and freight costs
- Office supplies, don’t carry too much stock – don’t pre-print letterhead, use online templates instead
- Postage – how much can you do distribute online
- Printing – what can you do in-house and again, online
Use Factoring to get cash for your invoices early, it can also help you to avoid bad debts which are always costly.
Lead from the top, establish a cost conscious culture through all your staff. It doesn’t have to be onerous, just sensible and fair and others will happily respond.
It is important in all of this to involve your employees, be up-front not secretive, and be clear about your motives. Make it a cultural thing, this way it will be a way of life and likely to succeed.