How Can I Reduce My Costs, Carefully?

 

Costs are the most accessible area of finances, but alarmingly,
research shows that SME owners typically spend less than two-and-a-half hours a week on cost management.

These five different areas can help you cut costs - and avoid scaring staff or suppliers.

  • Save Money On Your Supplies

  • Save More Money On Your Staff

  • Cut The Cost Of Acquiring New Customers

  • Improve Cash-flow Management

  • Wind Down Your Wastage

Save Money On Your Supplies (Without Scaring Suppliers)

Reducing supplies costs can sometimes have a dramatic effect on your cashflow. It can be that purchasing habits have been overtaken by changes that you can take advantage of, if you have the time/patience/negotiating skill to work it successfully.

Cut your costs - without worrying your suppliers:

As well as working to cut down the costs of consumables and utilities etc, you can work to decrease the frequency of purchase, associated spend on delivery, stock holding and so on. And before you sign for capital equipment, check with your accountant – there may be small changes that save you big money.

HOW? There are 18 different ways forward I can put in front of you to help you pay less.

Save Money On Your Staff (Without Scaring Them)

If you can reduce the cost of your staff by just 10% in total, you could be well on your way towards doubling your profits. For most Small & Medium sized businesses, staff are often their biggest outgoing, sharing that place with money (for mortgages & other loans), and supplies (except in service businesses).

Prune your people costs - without scaring your staff:

It is vital to avoid upsetting your staff in anything you do here, or you may find things backfiring. So every step has to be worked out with staff, and even for staff – as long as the business benefits too. A useful approach is to think about increasing productivity rather than shrink wages. But there are ways to lower expenses here that staff may like, as long as you go about it the right way.

HOW? I can give you 11 safe new ideas to promote productivity cost-effectiveness.

Cut The Cost Of Acquiring New Customers

It is vital to maintain and even increase your marketing when things are tight. This often means protecting that budget. But you can do much to improve the effectiveness of that spend, effectively reducing the cost-per-customer. And with resulting sales, you could argue that a real reduction in spend is then justified.

Use cheaper ways to attract customers:

You can explore low-cost and no-cost routes to advertising as additions (NOT replacements) to your usual  spend. And you can work to improve the targeting and conversion rate of whatever you do put out. It's ironic that bad messages cost the same as good ones!

HOW? We can talk through 18 exciting opportunities to maximise marketing efficiency.

Improve Your Money Management

How you can improve your cashflow is often an overlooked area, with sales and fulflment usually being the urgent priorities. For instance, you can save money by making money management choices and then actually use the money you get in to make more money by gaining interest on your reserves.

Win a windfall by tweaking your admin systems:

Surveying the area for possibilities can reveal that admin errors are a source of lost opportunities. Or you may find that late payments and bad debts is an area where you lose too much of the money your salesforce work so hard to achieve. Perhaps finding more savings is a fertile area, or maybe you should seek new forms of money coming back in – separate from sales and savings.

HOW? I can bring 30 options for boosting your cashflow for you to consider.

Wind Down Your Wastage

Almost all industrial processes create waste. Less obvious perhaps are the sources of waste in professional services – like wasting time through delays, lack of preparation, poor quality work needing to be done again, and so on. In sales, returned goods are a waste of time and money – and reputation... and thefts are not much better! 

Perk up your processes - gain several from-now-on advantages:

Chasing out the waste is not the sexiest work to do, but it can have huge rewards. It often focuses on an internal process that you can control – perhaps quickly and cheaply – once identified.

HOW? I have 20 papers on chasing the waste to gain time, money and productivity.

 

A Client says:

“When I first met Dave, I was beginning to expand again. I had downsized moving from Oxford and had spent some time maintaining relationships with my mainland clients letting them know that I hadn't moved to France and nothing would change. Once they were reassured, I started to increase my Island client base and took on two new staff

Our discussions have led to Bate Brand starting several new processes to encourage and maintain a regular cash flow. Dave was essential in helping to create and implement these. He was aware of the unique business challenges on the Island and advised us accordingly. Together we built a solution that not only worked well for us, but for our clients too.

To date Dave has saved us 30% of our marketing budget and 87% of our advertising budget: based on actual figures from our 2014/15 accounts.”

Mark Bate, Bate Brand Communications Ltd.

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Costs are probably the most surprisingly easy way to make a difference to your profits.

Doug Richard, entrepreneur says: “£1 not spent is a far larger pound than £1 earned”