Cutting costs: maximizing results
Reducing waste and deploying cost efficiency measures are typical conversations that are at the heart of most small business operations, or business operations in general. What are some opportunities for businesses to be more efficient and cut costs and maximize results?
1. Job consolidation-Look for opportunities to combine/consolidate job duties and roles within your business; not in a way to cause overload for any particular individual, but simply natural operations that overlap that can be reduced from 2-3 people, down to 1.
2. Go over your policies and agreements thoroughly-Inflation is alive in all industries and there are times when companies we have been utilizing for years price themselves out of our budget and create natural competition. Review all applicable policies where there is flexibility to ensure your business is being afforded the most friendly rates for your operational needs. Shop around~
3. Review your marketing budgetary expenses every 3 months-Most businesses make a plan spread out over 12 months and allow time to run its course before making notable adjustments. Make sure the dollars you are outputting are bringing back the anticipated return and if not, make adjustments accordingly. Perhaps your radio spots are not generating enough traffic and spending needs to be reduced or allocated to another strategy that is producing greater returns. Perhaps there was a rate increase in a service that you are not tied to contractually and you can either negotiate into a lower price range, find a more affordable option in the market, or eliminate the expense at large. Whatever the decision, be aggressive, adjust accordingly, and certainly be proactive.
4. Perform monthly audits on the use of utilities-Are you running unnecessary power sources? Leaving water running as an afterthought? Leaving lights on in your building during hours where operations are not occurring? Having inconsistencies with your heat and A/C during the applicable seasons? Do you have opportunities to invest in energy saving equipment to reduce expenses? Ensure you are being consistent with the use of such resources and that deployment is being utilized with the greatest of efficiency.
5. Employee efficiency-Ensure your payroll is not heavy with inefficient employees having long strides of idle time that are adding no value to your business operations. Their time can be allocated elsewhere in order to make a contribution to your company’s bottom line, even if it is something out side of their normal job description. From standard cleaning, to stocking shelves, cross training in other departments, to promoting the business via social media, there are always opportunities that can be utilized when a commitment has been made to keep an employee on the clock during slow intervals.