Are you confused as to why your business is costing you so much? You could have a leak in your finances. Many of us will budget costs and forget about the little expenses, but these little expenses can often add up and turn into big expenses. There are lots of places where workplaces can leak money. Here are a few hidden costs to consider, as well ways of trimming them down so that your business is back to its healthy spending rate.
Unused software subscriptions
Many businesses are taking advantage of the digital age by buying all the best software they can. Some of these programmes may cost no more than $5 a month. But eventually lots of these software subscriptions can start to add up. What’s worse is that some of these software packages may rarely if ever get used. In fact, recent studies have found that the average office computer may have as much as $259 worth of unused software on it. Take a look at all the programmes you’ve paid for and consider which ones you really need. You could even pay a company to create your own custom software that does the job of multiple programmes – putting everything in one organised place on top of cutting costs.
Many businesses are now ordering everything online. This may even include cleaning chemicals, stationary and even coffee and teabags – things that can be bought in the shops without a delivery charge. With communication becoming so instant, businesses are also paying extra for faster delivery both to receive items and when posting items. All these next-day deliveries and first class stamps can eventually add up. Consider buying some things in the shop and not always opting for speedy delivery when it’s not needed.
Many manufacturing companies can waste money by not making full use of their resources. There may be better ways of using whole materials, as well as recycling methods. This is known as lean manufacturing and could help vastly trim down costs. Manufacturing isn’t the only area where there may be such wastage. In catering, measures such as stock rotation can be brought in to stop foods expiring, whilst bars may introduce spirit measures and head requirements on pints. In an office, there could even be a paper quota in place to monitor how much people are printing.
Various transactions can come loaded with bank charges. These may include transfer fees for foreign currencies, charges for clients using credit cards or charges for large amounts of cash. Having your money in an appropriate account could help to limit these charges, whilst using special transfer methods could also help to minimise these costs. For example, to get around transfer fees, some international businesses have started using bitcoin as a neutral currency. Similarly merchant accounts can be used to handle credit cards and help to minimise the costs on the business.
Are you racking up large phone bills? Limiting the time that staff can spend on the phone may be an unreasonable measure. Instead, consider a solution that will cost you less money on calls. Many businesses are going digital using cloud phone services or encouraging communication through services such as Skype. This is ideal for overseas calls where charges may be greater.
You may notice this cost, but you may not be able to pinpoint why exactly it’s so high. With more electrical equipment in our workplaces than ever before, electric bills are rising. However, you could be putting in measures to stop this. With lighting for example, you could consider a more energy efficient bulb such as a halogen light or LED bulb. You could even consider switching to motion-sensitive light so that when no-one is in the office, no light is accidentally left on.
You should also consider your computers – are they left plugged in with the plug-point on? Whilst you may do this automatically, staff may not consider it, and it could be worth introducing a rule that every switch is turned off at the end of the day. You can take a step further and change up the electric devices that you’re using. There are now energy-efficient computers on the market that may be better than the current ones that you’re using.
Also consider kitchen equipment that may be constantly churning up power – refrigerators and kettles and coffee machines with an Energy Star rating could be an economical purchase for your kitchen.