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Iceni Magazine | January 24, 2021

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4 Simple Ways To Reduce Costs In Your Business

4 Simple Ways To Reduce Costs In Your Business

There isn’t a business owner in the world who doesn’t want to try and reduce costs across the board.

Trying to save is just part of finding success, whatever industry you’re in.

Office maintenance, new tools and staff events are all very costly but essential for business growth. So, how can you balance reducing your costs overall with trying to keep your business on an upward trajectory, without overhauling your general practices? Let’s take a look.

Streamline admin processes

Across the world, from industry to industry, startups to corporate enterprises, there are hundreds of businesses wasting precious time, money and employee resources on pointless admin.

UK businesses alone have been said to waste 120 days a year on admin, that’s a huge amount of time and wages that could be better spent on expansion, winning new business and researching other issues with the company. The business world is in the grip of inessential admin.

The key to solving this issue doesn’t lie in doing away with admin though, there are plenty of ways you can go about streamlining your processes. Investing in technology that improves file management and makes collaboration across teams simple is a great start.

The key to streamlining these kinds of processes is to focus on what problems are unique to your industry. Agencies can benefit from automating the process of sending out invoices at the end of the month; including follow-ups, should they be dealing with a client that regularly misses deadlines.

Likewise, companies that operate with huge fleets of drivers can eliminate the time spent filing expense charges for fuel at the end of the month by using fuel cards. For example, cards by Fuel Genie collate payments into one account, allowing you to analyze fleet expenditure and budget more accurately.

For some businesses outsourcing their admin to another company might even be the cheaper option, should you be losing more in time doing the tasks than you would in paying another company to do them for you.

Embrace remote working

We’ve all become a lot more familiar with the concept of remote working in the last couple of months. While it might not be the most cost-effective approach for your business as a last-minute necessity, with some prior-planning remote working can be an excellent way to reduce costs for your business without sacrificing efficiency.

Small businesses in particular struggle with the costs of modern office space. Trying to cram a large team into the only small office you can afford to rent isn’t just expensive because of all of the desks, machines and chairs you need to buy, but because it becomes an uncomfortable place to work.

At the end of this process, businesses end up spending more on creating their work environment than they earn from it. Implementing remote working practices on a rota system where employees share desks can help you keep operational costs down without stunting the growth of your business and expansion of the services it offers.

By using a rota system employees don’t miss out on crucial time in the office connecting with their colleagues but also have the opportunity to get into the work from the comfort of their home. The evolution of cloud software and communication tools such as Slack means even remote workers are never out of touch with the goings-on of the business.

Work with freelancers

By the same token, outsourcing work and hiring freelancers can help a business take on major opportunities without committing to the cost of hiring staff on a permanent basis.

Say you win a contract for a big website redesign, but don’t have an expert in video content creation that the client has specifically included in the brief. Rather than having to bring in a whole new team member who specializes in that skill, but might not be as useful for future projects, you can just hire a freelancer on a temporary basis.

While a freelancer may charge a higher hourly rate than a permanent member of staff, you don’t need to make the long-term commitment to training and office structure with them. Many are happy to work remotely and experienced in doing so, confident taking direction from virtual instructions.

Building a network of talented freelancers who like working with you and understand your general practices is also a great way to have the confidence to take on more demanding and extravagant future projects, safe in the knowledge there are people you can call up to help you work on them. It also reduces the cost of future job searches, as you’ll have a group of people familiar with the business in mind.

Go paperless

It might feel like the cost of paper, postage supplies and printer ink are too minuscule to significantly hamper a business, but those expenses add up to significant cost for even major players.

Going paperless isn’t just a good way to save money, it’s a necessary step into the future. Cutting out all paper, other than essential printing, is an excellent way to not just reduce monthly spend, but speed up daily processes and reduce your carbon footprint as a business.

Most companies you work with will be operating 99% digitally now, with electronic invoices, cloud file storage and 100% email correspondents. Other than contracts that demand a physical copy, you shouldn’t be storing much if any paperwork around the office.

Operating with paper can result in some of the most common recurring business costs. It’s a simple enough change to make that has been rendered redundant by innovations such as Dropbox, particularly for a small business just starting out.

To not even take a look at some of these methods of reducing business costs is to condemn yourself to run at limited productivity with outdated systems. Too many businesses with great potential burn out because of high operation costs.

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