Is your small business haemorrhaging money? This post offers a few tips on how to stem the bleeding – e.g. tracking expenses, being open to negotiate on prices, supporting more payment channels, overdoing office furnishings, not letting bad staff go and, of course, covering the telephone lines 24 hours a day.
Bleeding cash, haemorrhaging money. There are any number of terms that could be used to describe the need for fiscal first aid, but what’s the cure, the remedy, or the prescribed action that should be taken in order to staunch the flow of money exiting the coffers of your business for those of others?
The first step that you need to take is to gain an understanding of the warning signs to look out for. This will help you to understand where your money is going and aid you in getting a handle on your business finances. When you’ve achieved that, i.e. gained an understanding of the directions in which cash flows out of your business, then you’ll be able to make real changes that will see your money working for your business and not someone else’s.
Putting too much money into your workplace
First impressions are naturally very important in business, but many businesses take this issue too seriously and spend far more on their workplaces than they should. It’s obviously beneficial to work from an attractive workplace and provide your staff with a comfortable place to work, but how much money do you really need to spend on it?
When making changes to your office you need to set yourself a budget. A modest budget. One that enables you to procure what you need to procure and nothing else. You can still provide your employees with a comfortable workplace decked out with ergonomic furniture that’s comfortable and provides adequate spinal support, but you don’t need to break the bank in the process.
Check out second-hand furniture stores or online classifieds and you may be surprised as to the quality of the furniture that you can pick up for a trifling sum because so many businesses insist on buying their office furniture new. Office furniture is an area where there’s room to reduce expenses and save yourself money that can be put into areas where there’s little room to minimise the costs involved. Like signage for example.
Not tracking your outgoing expenditure
This should probably be listed first. Not tracking outgoing expenditure is one of the most common reasons why businesses bleed cash, so if you are guilty of this, and you would know if you were, it’s time to do something about this. And not at a later point in time either, but right now. If you don’t know what you’re spending, or on what, you won’t be able to understand why you’re spending what you’re spending or if you really need to spend as much as you have been.
So what’s the remedy for this common problem? Draw up a list of your expenses for the past quarter, or even the last month if you can’t track your outgoing expenditure back that far, categorise it as best you can, and then set yourself a budget for the following quarter or month.
Not sure how to go about tracing your outgoing expenditure? It’s simple and all you need to do is get a statement from your bank or use your online banking account. Once you’ve created your budget for the next time frame, a quarter or a month for example, then try to reduce your expenses by at least 10 percent, see how that goes, and then aim to reduce them again the following period.
Too much tech, too much media, or both
With the sheer number of tech tools available these days you’d be making a mistake to not utilise them to your advantage. Though having said that, as many businesses have come to realise, there is such a thing as ‘too much tech’, and that’s a reason why many businesses are not seeing the healthy bottom lines they should be seeing.
Evaluate the current tech situation in your office to work out what you need, what you don’t, and what could be better utilised. Chances are you’ll find that there exists many areas in which you could reduce your expenditure on tech by, for instance, not opting for the most function laden items or by buying certain items second-hand.
And the same goes for media – how many social media accounts does your business need? Whilst most are free to use, it’s the time spent monitoring all these accounts that drains money. Go about things as usual for a week, however, this time monitor the time you or your employees spend promoting your business on social media, and then work out what that sets you back over the week. It’s advantageous to analyse social media usage to evaluate the BCR, or benefit-cost-ratio.
Not outsourcing astutely
There are many business functions and processes that have the potential to be outsourced, but how do you know which to outsource and which to keep in-house? Outsourcing can empower you to streamline business expenditure, enhance business efficiency, and maximise business growth, but only if you go about things correctly. Otherwise, the results you see could be just the opposite.
The first step to outsourcing astutely is to categorise your business functions and processes as core and non-core. Core processes are those which are central to the fulfilment of your business’s value proposition to your customers whilst non-core processes are those that aren’t.
Non-core business processes would therefore include traditionally outsourced processes like accounting and manufacturing. And there are many more. Like call handling and telephone answering, non-core business processes that Message Direct, with our many years’ experience and a team of highly trained receptionists based in our Dorset call centre, is perfectly positioned to provide for you.
The benefits to outsourcing your call handling needs are profuse and include enhanced professionalism and the opportunity to make a great first impression on new customers, cost savings and access to cost management tools, specialised industry knowledge, quality monitoring and control, and a 24 hour, 7 day a week service that ensures your business never misses a call. Get in touch with Message Direct today if you believe the abovementioned benefits are worth capitalising upon.