It’s more important than ever to keep a watchful eye over your company’s bottom-line.
Where is the money going? Are there ways to cut costs while increasing productivity?
Sure, it might sound like searching for a unicorn, but you don’t have to have a degree in finance or in human resources to improve your company’s finances while ensuring your employees have the tools they need to succeed. Here are six tips to get you started.
1. Check Your Insurance Coverages
When’s the last time you audited your spending practices? Are you paying too much for insurance? Do you have the appropriate insurance? Can you raise the deductible on your insurance, thereby lowering your premiums? Did you check on past claims and the loss ratio of paid claims to premiums, as recommended by the Council of Better Business Bureaus?
2. Rely On Video Conferencing for Communications
Are you old-school and still trying to schedule meetings in-person or over the phone? That’s just not necessary any more, thanks to video conferencing. When you think about the rapidly growing costs of having local landlines and internal phone systems, you’ll eventually realize that it just doesn’t make that much sense. Your best bet is with encrypted video conferencing for IT like BlueJeans. Not only can you get crystal clear pictures with HD capabilities, but you are also able to connect with others in the same amount of time that it would take you to make a regular landline call as well.
Better yet, the call quality – including the video – is usually very good (and often times better than the sound quality you get over a traditional landline), plus the business applications for this are becoming increasingly affordable.
3. Use Generic Supplies
Is it time to consider a new vendor for your office supplies? If you’re buying all your supplies from a Big Box store, then the odds are good that you’re not getting enough bang for your buck.
When it comes to any sort of supplies, BPlans suggests using knock-off goods instead of spending full prices on the normal office necessities. There are more than enough options for you to go out and find top quality products and components, but for some supplies that you need to use such as pens, paper, and more, why would you pay full price? Many organizations are becoming cost conscious and it only makes sense to be able to save some cash on the normal things you typically buy. Entrepreneur.com has some great ways to make good use out of your office supply overhead.
4. Go Paperless!
Along those same lines, if you’ve ever had to pony up money for a color printer cartridge, then you know just how much money even the most mundane items can cost.
But are those costs necessary? More businesses big and small are doing away with paper all-together – or as much as possible – and have move on to a paperless office. Invoices, for example, can be taken care of electronically.
This includes how you handle cash. With mobile payment systems readily available (and very inexpensive), cash just isn’t necessary any more, plus mobile systems are safer and easy to use.
5. Keep Your Current Employees!
Unless you have an employee or employees who under-perform to the point that they should be terminated, it’s best to hang onto your workers. The reason? It’s simply too expensive and time consuming to continually bring on new employees.
As detailed by Zane Benefits, it can cost six to nine months’ salary, on average, in recruiting and training expenses to replace a salaried employee. Other studies put those costs even higher, especially for executive-level employees.
That’s why it’s important to make sure your current staff is well-trained, happy and productive. Look for in-house and outside training opportunities. Seek out ways to incentivize certain bench-marks, like a sales or safety goal. And make sure your staff have the tools they need to be productive.
6. You’re Paying How Much for Shipping?
Shipping costs can be outrageous, especially if you’re dealing with overseas clients. But there are ways you can cut down those costs significantly. Entrepreneur.com recommends meeting with the shipping carrier’s small business specialist to help map out delivery timing, routes and mode of transportation (air or ground?). Failure to do so can wind up costing your business big time – as much as 40 percent or more in fees.
This is a small sampling of ways your business can save money while increasing worker productivity. For a more detailed breakdown, consider meeting with a small business manager at your bank. And any vendor or organization you have to work with will likely have a department that caters to small businesses. Simply explain your needs, both current and future.