Every business owner wants their company to become more profitable, and cutting unnecessary expenses is one of the most efficient ways to do so. But figuring out where you can afford to make changes and cuts without negatively impacting the quality of the product or service you provide or damaging your brand image isn’t always easy. Here are some simple ways you can boost that profit margin, up your profits and cut your costs without sacrificing on quality.
Focus on expenses that don’t directly boost revenue first
Sit down with your bank statements or your accountant and draw up a list of expenses you have to pay, but don’t directly bring in money for the company. This might include things like renting office space, your monthly insurance payments, utility bills, and the like. These are the safest areas to investigate making cuts first, as they don’t have a direct effect on the quality of your product.
Now it’s time to think outside the box. Are you paying for more office space than you need? Could you come up with ways to reduce your monthly municipal bills? When was the last time you got competing quotes on your monthly insurance, and are you paying for cover you don’t need? Remember that even small savings add up over time - and if you're not keeping track of these kinds of monthly expenses, you can be losing money down the drain every month. You could take this project one step further, and investigate entirely different ways of achieving the same end – say installing solar panels to cut back on your electricity bills forever.
Embrace remote work
Take a look around your office and do a quick inventory of the staff members who perform all their duties at a desk, behind a computer. The chances are excellent that those workers could be performing the same tasks from the comfort of their own home, drinking their own coffee and using their own utilities, and that you probably don’t need as much office space as you think you do. Aside from letting existing staff members work from home – which has also been shown to boost productivity and morale - you can also save a bundle when you need additional staff by making use of remote workers or freelancers. Because they're competing with a global marketplace, their rates are often substantially lower than their local counterparts who have to pay for their own transport each day. There are additional benefits like being able to get work done while you sleep through freelancers in different time zones, being able to select the right person for each specific task and avoiding costs like employee benefits. The potential for technology to cut your business expenses is immense, but you have to be willing to change to reap the full benefit.
Renegotiate with vendors and check out new suppliers
If a vendor has been working with you for a long time, it can be massively rewarding to have a chat with them about ways you can help each other out. They could offer a discount if you agree to place bulk orders or make upfront payment, for example. You’d be pleasantly surprised by how many of your suppliers will agree to a discount simply if you ask for one! It might also be a good idea to get quotes from new companies that might not have existed when you first started out, as they might be offering the same services at substantially lower prices.
Invest in training
Whether it’s upskilling your current employees to perform tasks you’d normally have to outsource or taking on an intern who can learn on the job, education is always a wise investment. It can help make your employees more motivated and productive too, as they feel that their growth is important to you. Have a chat with your employees and find out where they’d like to see themselves in the future. If their goal is compatible with your business model, then you both stand to gain by working together to make that future a reality. Maybe the receptionist would like to go into marketing, or your admin clerk would like to study to become an accountant? Keep the channels of communication open, as having people you know and trust working for you can save hassle and money down the line. Refresher courses and retraining exercises can also help you cut down on potentially costly mistakes, and boost efficiency and productivity.