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5 Great Tips for Reducing Small Business Overheads

5 Great Tips for Reducing Small Business Overheads

In a small business setting, overhead costs are simply expenses a business has to incur to make money. These costs include, but aren’t limited to: cost of supplies, wages, rent, telephone bills, travel expenses, insurance costs, etc. To ensure your small business doesn’t fail because of capital/cash flow constraints, as is the case with most small businesses, you have to watch your overhead costs.

Although most overhead costs are essential for the survival of any business, it’s possible to reduce them without cutting corners so that they don’t get out of hand and you don’t compromise business operations. Let’s get right into it and discuss some of the best tips for reducing overhead costs for small businesses.

1. Find cheaper but better office space.

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Office

    The cost of renting business premises is usually high. In fact, it accounts for a huge chunk of the overall business expenditure, so it’s a good place to start when you want to reduce overhead costs. In most cases, it’s possible to find a better and cheaper office. You can consider a smaller office if your current office has more space than you need. It’s also worth noting that office design, as well as furniture placement, can do wonders for small spaces. As a result, it’s always possible to work in an office that is smaller than your current one.

    Furthermore, you can consider allowing some of your staff to work from home. Of course, this applies to staff who don’t have to be physically present in the office to get work done i.e. data entry staff. There are other options such as virtual office services. Such options allow you to have all the benefits of having an office in a prestigious location minus the high costs associated with running such offices. As you can see, there are many ways of finding cheaper but better office space. You don’t have to compromise anything.

    2. Outsource work.

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    Outsource

      Salaries are also notable expenses for any business including small ones. One of the best ways of reducing staff overheads is to outsource work. For instance, instead of hiring support staff to answer calls, you can outsource such work to specialized companies. There are very many outsourcing firms available today that handle all kinds of office duties/tasks at a fraction of the cost. You just need to choose an outsourcing firm that suits you best. You can even find freelancers online using websites like Freelancer and Upwork. It’s cheaper and better than recruiting and training permanent staff when you are working with a tight budget.

      3. Use SIP trunks and VOIP technology for communication instead of a telephone line.

      SIP and VOIP

        This is by far the best tip to consider when you want to reduce your telecommunication costs. SIP trunk technology is way cheaper than using telephone lines and offers other benefits like an instant return on investment, scalability, reduced call cost, unmatched efficiency/reliability (never miss calls), increased productivity (improve staff collaboration) and much more.

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        4. Travel when you have to and travel cost-effectively.

        Conference

          As a small business owner, you will be required to travel a lot prospecting and networking. It is, however, possible to cut down on your traveling costs without compromising the growth of your business. Instead of visiting your customers in person every time you want to conduct business, you can choose options such as teleconferencing, video chats, etc. Such options are very cost effective for conducting business with people you have met before. You should restrict travel to important meetings only i.e. annual business renewals or when you are meeting clients for the first time. When you have to travel, you should book trips in advance and choose cheaper options i.e. travel economy instead of business class.

          5. Join a business cluster and take advantage of bulk ordering.

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          Business Cluster

            This is another great tip when you want to reduce the cost of getting supplies for your business. In most cases, small businesses don’t have money to buy things in bulk. You can still take advantage of bulk ordering discounts by teaming up with other businesses like yours and ordering supplies as a cluster. This way, you don’t have to spend more than you have to, but you still get huge discounts.

            Summary

            These are some of my best tips to consider when you want to reduce overhead costs for your small business without compromising business operations. Since overhead costs are usually inevitable for the success of any business, it’s important to consider ways of reducing them without affecting business negatively. The above tips are bound to help you do just that. In fact, your business stands to prosper when you implement them.

            Featured photo credit: Conference table with chairs. View from above. via kaboompics.com

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            Bruce Cahill

            Founder of BankJobbing.com

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            Published on October 8, 2018

            13 Incredibly Useful Tactics to Help You to Stick to Your Family Budget

            13 Incredibly Useful Tactics to Help You to Stick to Your Family Budget

            Are you having trouble sticking to a family budget? You aren’t alone.

            Budgeting is difficult. Creating one is hard enough, but actually sticking to it is a whole other issue. Things come up. Desires and cravings happen. And the next thing you know, budgets break.

            So how can you stick to a family budget? Here are 13 tips to make it easier.

            1. Choose a major category each month to attack

            As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” With that in mind, one approach to help you get into the habit of sticking to a budget is simply starting slow.

            Spend too much on Starbucks runs, eat out too often, and have an out-of-this-world grocery bill? Choose one bad habit and attack.

            By choosing one behavior to focus on, you’ll prevent yourself from being overwhelmed. You’ll also experience small victories, which help you gain positive momentum. This momentum can then carry over into your overall budget.

            2. Only make major purchases in the morning

            If you’re making large purchases in the evening, there’s a good chance you’re doing so after a long day and you’re probably tired.

            Why does this matter? Because our judgement tends to be off when tired – our willpower is compromised.

            Instead, only make major purchasing decisions in the morning when you’re energized and refreshed. Your brain will be firing on all cylinders and your resolve will be high. You’re less likely to give in and settle at this point.

            3. Don’t go to the grocery store hungry

            Have trouble with impulse buys at the grocery store? If so, there’s a good chance you’re going grocery shopping while hungry.

            The problem here is that when you’re hungry, everything looks good. So you’re more likely to make split decisions on things that aren’t on your grocery list.

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            Instead, make sure you eat prior to your grocery store trip. Then take your list, along with your full stomach, and go shopping. Notice how food doesn’t look quite so good when you’re not fighting cravings.

            4. Read one-star reviews for products

            Is there a product you just have to have (but maybe not really)? Check out the one-star reviews.

            By reading all the horrible reviews, you may be able to basically trick yourself into deciding that the product isn’t worth your time and money.

            Next thing you know, you didn’t make the purchase, you saved the money, and you feel good about the decision.

            5. Never buy anything you put in an online shopping cart until the next day

            If you are making a purchase online, it’s typically a two-step process. First, you click “Add to Cart” and then you go in to review your cart and pay.

            The problem is that there not typically much reviewing during step two. It’s generally click pay and there you go. However, this is the perfect point to stop for reflection.

            Once you add to your cart, your best bet is to step away until the next day. Let the item sit there and grow cold, so to speak.

            This gives you a night to “sleep on it” and decide if you really want and need to spend that money. If you wake up the next day and still find the purchase viable, then perhaps it’s time to go for it.

            6. Don’t save your credit card info on any site you shop on

            One of the other pitfalls of shopping online is that fact that most sites ask you to save your credit card information.

            While the sites will frame it as a method of convenience, the truth is they know you’ll spend more money in the long run if your credit card information is saved.

            The “convenience” takes away one last decision-making point in the purchasing process. True, it’s a pain to get out your credit card and enter the information every time. But guess what? That’s the point. If that inconvenience helps you stay on budget, then it’s worth it. Which leads into the next tip.

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            7. Tape an “impulse buy” reminder to your credit card

            Credit cards make spending much easier than cash. When you spend cash, you can literally see your wallet emptying. A credit card comes out, then goes back in. No harm, no foul.

            That’s why it’s a good idea to tape a reminder to your credit card. Customize a message that is something along the lines of “do you really need this?” or “does it fit the budget?”

            That way when you pull out the card, you get one last reminder to help you question your decision and stick to your budget.

            8. Only use gift cards to shop on Amazon

            Amazon is probably the easiest place online to blow money. It’s just so easy to click and buy. However, one way you can slow the process down is buy only using gift cards. Here’s how it works.

            If you plan on making a purchase on Amazon, go to the grocery store and purchase a pre-loaded Amazon gift card of the proper amount. There’s no convenience fee, so you literally pay for the money you’ll spend.

            Now take that gift card home and load it to your Amazon account. There’s your money to spend.

            Why does this help? It makes you have to purposely go to the score and purchase the card in order to purchase the item. That’s a pretty deliberate thing that takes some time, commitment, and thought.

            This process will effectively kill the impulse buy.

            9. Budget using cash and envelopes

            As mentioned earlier, it’s a lot harder to spend cash than swipe a credit card. You can take this even farther by using only cash, and separating that cash by budget category.

            Create an envelope for each category and stick the cash in there at the beginning of each month. When the envelope is empty, no more spending on that category, unless you borrow from another (be careful of that approach).

            This can be pretty helpful for people that have a hard time following transactions in their checking account, or keeping a budgeting spreadsheet.

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            The envelopes simplify the tracking process, leaving no room for error. Nothing hides from you because it’s tangible in the envelopes in front of you.

            10. Join a like-minded group

            Making the decision to stick to something like budgeting is difficult. It takes long-term commitment.

            You’re going to feel weak sometimes. And sometimes you may fail. That said, support from others can help strengthen resolve.

            Support can come from a spouse or a friend, but they won’t always have the exact same goal in mind. That’s why it’s a good idea to join a support group that’s likeminded.

            No need to pay here, as there are tons of free communities that fit the bill online.

            For example, reddit has multiple subreddits that deal with budgeting and frugal living. You can follow, subscribe, and get active in those communities.

            This will open your eyes to new tips and strategies, keep your goal fresh on your mind, and help you realize there are others dealing with the same struggles and being successful.

            11. Reward Yourself

            When you set a budget, it’s usually with a large goal in mind. Maybe you want to be debt free, or perhaps you want to see $10,000 in your savings account.

            Whatever the case, the end goal is great, but the end is often far away, making it hard to see the end of the tunnel.

            With that in mind, it’s a good idea to set mini-goals along the way. This helps you still look at the big picture but have something that’s attainable in the short-term to help with momentum.

            But don’t stop there – set rewards for yourself when you reach that small goal. Maybe it’s an extra meal out. Or a new pair of shoes.

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            Whatever the case, this gives you something in the near future to look forward to, which can help with the fatigue that can result in pursuing long-term goals.

            12. Take the Buddhist approach

            You don’t have to be a Buddhist to recognize some of the wisdom in the teachings. One of the tenets of the philosophy involves accepting that we can’t have everything we want. And that’s okay.

            Sometimes you won’t feel good. Sometimes you’ll have cravings. You can’t deny them. But you can recognize them, accept them, and let them pass by. Then you move on.

            Apply this to the times you want to do things that will break your budget. You’re going to have the desire to eat out when you shouldn’t. You might want to stay out and spend too much at happy hour with your work friends.

            The feelings will come. Recognize them, accept them, but let them go.

            13. Set up automatic drafts to savings

            If you wait until you’ve spent all your budgeted money to deposit money into savings, guess what? You probably aren’t going to put any money into savings.

            It’s too easy to see that as extra money and end up using it to treat yourself.

            Instead, set up automatic savings withdrawals. That way, the money is marked and gone before you can even think about it. It becomes a non-issue. It’s no longer “extra.” It’s just savings.

            Conclusion

            Sticking to a budget can be difficult. No one is denying that.

            However, if you can do a few things to set yourself up for success, and put some practices in place to curb impulse buys, then you can (and will!) be successful sticking to your family budget.

            Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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