3 Areas Your Business Is Wasting Money On

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Especially when a business is in its infancy, worries about the company finances can be focused on bringing enough into the business. You worry about capturing new clients, making the most of existing ones, and accurate financial planning to guarantee you’re going to be able to meet your obligations going forward. 

As important as the above is, it’s not the end of the story when it comes to concerns about finances. You have to be just as diligent about the money that goes out of the company accounts, especially if there is a chance you are spending more than you really should be. 

While all areas of your business are fair game when it comes to scrutinizing your costs, there are a few aspects that you might overlook. To get a thorough look at your business finances, you need to ensure that the following are considered in your review. 

1) Printing Costs

If your office is never without the gentle hum of the office printer, then you have to ask yourself why. 

Firstly… the world is becoming more and more paperless. We can now bank online, never holding a copy of our checking account statement in our hands through preference of viewing it on screen. We shop online; we pay our bills online; we can run our entire business online if we so wish. 

So why are you printing much at all? The only real justification for printing is if you are printing off your own advertising leaflets, but even then you might be better served with online advertising instead. If you print contracts, then why not make the switch to the plethora of options that allow you to sign contracts digitally? 

Even if environmental concerns about your printer usage aren’t top of your priority list, then the simple financial reality of endless printing should be. Ink cartridges are notoriously expensive and even if you make the switch to laser printing (and thus use toner instead), you’re still spending a fortune on something that no modern business truly needs. 

2) General Utilities 

If someone were to try and talk to you about cutting your energy and water usage, chances are you would automatically assume that they were talking about your domestic use. We’re all quite used to the idea we should be more careful with how we use our utilities at home, but have you given much thought to how they are used in your business? 

The simple cost of running an office is an energy-demanding one, what with all the electronics, the need for adequate lighting, and the water required for the kitchen and general facilities. Yet so rarely do companies pay attention to what they are spending and attempt to limit their output. 

To try and pull back some of the costs, you need a two-pronged strategy. 

The first is to introduce your employees to the idea that the energy isn’t free. A lot of employees tend to think of their office usage of utilities as quite different to their home usage - which of course it is, but it does mean they might not be quite so conscientious. Instilling rules to ensure all computers and lights not in use are turned off will make a big difference if done as part of a group effort. 

The second is to look at how you’re using energy and where you can cut back. An installation of solar panels or switching to commercial irrigation might be an expense upfront, but could save you a lot of money in the long run. You might even be able to get financial help from local government for these measures, as part of funding available to help companies become more ecologically aware. 

3) Staff Absenteeism 

Your staff are going to get sick and need time off; that’s a given. It’s definitely not worth you going out of your way to run a Draconian sickness policy, as being tight in this area can ultimately cost you employees in the long run. 

Sick days cost US companies as a whole $576 billion on an annual basis, so it’s definitely an area you can look to investigate. The vast majority of the time, the sick days your employees take will be legitimate - but they might not be. That’s why you need to look for patterns in absenteeism. For example, you might find that certain employees:

- Call in sick around public holidays. This is usually done in an effort to extend the time off. 

- Call in sick after big sporting events, usually because they have been out celebrating/commiserating. Sickness is an inevitable part of life, but there’s no need for your business to be funding self-inflicted sick days. 

- Call in sick during particularly stressful times. For example, if you tend to schedule a lot of big meetings around the end of the month, that just happens to be when someone is absent. 

Individually, you shouldn’t read too much into absenteeism on these occasions. What you do need to look for is a pattern by certain employees, which should become more obvious if you studiously track who is off and when for a period of after 12 months. Once identified, a quick word in the employee’s ear should be enough to warn them off continuing their own sickness policy and ensure your business saves money as a result. 

Save Your Business On A Budget More Money

Paying attention to the money you pay out for your business is just as important as focusing on what you are bringing in. As the saying goes, look after the pennies and the small fry and the dollars will take care of themselves. Every entry into the debit column of your company accounts should be considered a matter for scrutiny, so don’t be shy about asking questions and looking for options if you see something that just doesn’t quite feel right. Ensuring that your business is running as efficiently as possible when it comes to all finances is just good practice, so take the time to carefully go through everything that you’re spending and see if you can find extra ways to trim the fat.

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I hope you enjoyed this article about areas of your business that are wasting your money and harming your profit margins.

Interested in more articles about saving money in business?

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