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