As a business owner, you likely have so many monthly expenses — manufacturing costs, shipping, employee payroll, and the list goes on. It is paramount to always be on the lookout for new ways to lower your operational expenses, as it will help you increase your monthly profit margin. It will also open up more funds that can be funneled into new sales and marketing processes, ultimately helping your business grow. If you aren’t always searching for new ways to cut costs, you won’t be maximizing your business’s potential in the market.
Are you having trouble thinking of innovative ways to cut your business’s monthly costs? I’m here to help! In my experience as the CEO and founder of CMA Exam Academy, a Certified Management Accountant exam review program, I’ve discovered these small-but-impactful ways to lower the expenses your business incurs each month.
Streamline Processes to Cut Operational Costs
Disorganized and/or inefficient processes can cause so much waste in terms of lost time, heightened payroll expenses from having too much staffing in one process, confusion that leads to errors that will need to be fixed, and more.
So take a long look at all of the processes in every department of your business’s infrastructure. This includes your sales strategies, customer service initiatives, administrative workflows, public relations campaigns, and HR protocols. Then comes the fun part: seeing all the ways you can streamline each process.
For example, does your marketing team have several people posting on the Facebook page and replying to comments each day? There could be a lot of time-wasting back-and-forth communication between them as they try to figure out who will reply to certain comments and when to schedule posts. So why not see if one person can handle all of the activities on the company’s Facebook page? The other person(s) can be put in charge of another social media channel or an entirely different initiative you know they would excel at.
In another example, say you have a customer service process that looks like this: someone sends an inquiry to a general “help” email address, the person in charge of replying asks a team lead about the best way to respond, and that person doesn’t know what to say so they have to ask a higher-up who finally has the right answer. Inefficient, right?
One way to streamline this process is by having a cloud-based info portal filled with all kinds of email templates for potential inquiries, which the initial customer service rep can access at any time. Or, make sure your website’s FAQ page is continually updated with common questions and answers!
Automate Repetitive Employee Tasks With Software
In today’s digital era, technology has helped businesses run more efficiently than ever. One instance of this is in how restaurants use software platforms to allow patrons to place pickup orders and book reservations online, rather than paying staff to man the phones so they can take orders and reservations.
You can also use software to automate repetitive tasks to allow employees to focus on revenue-generating tasks and decrease costs across your company! So much time is wasted on recurring tasks that can easily be done by efficient software platforms.
For example, do your sales team members spend hours sending every single client lead a check-in email each month to see if they have any questions and offer an exclusive introductory discount? All of the hours they spend on this task could be put towards initiatives to scout out even more leads (like cold-calling or attending tradeshows). So if you haven’t done so already, adopt the use of an advanced CRM that allows your sales team to automate these email check-ins.
If you charge clients by the hour, manually tracking billable hours is another repetitive task that wastes so much time. You can easily automate this task for both you and your employees by using time-tracking software like Timely. This software allows users to set the billable rate(s), track time spent on various tasks (which is recorded to a private dashboard that only the user can access), and then choose which billable time blocks to include in the recaps for clients. Using time-tracking software can free up a ton of hours that can be put towards revenue-generating activities.
Maximize Software Platforms’ Capabilities to Eliminate Some of Them
Think of all of the various software platforms you use on a daily basis. Do you currently use a separate CRM and project management platform? A different platform to send out e-newsletters and a cloud-based drive to store documents, spreadsheets, and images?
Well, it is highly likely that you can eliminate at least one software application just by maximizing another platform’s capabilities. This means you can remove one cost from your list of monthly expenses, which can translate into big savings in the long run!
For example, your current CRM could offer the exact project management capabilities your business needs, such as the ability to schedule tasks, set deadlines, and instant message team members. If you become well-versed in all of your CRM’s functions, you could get rid of your project management software and its recurring cost.
On top of this, you may discover that your CRM even has the ability to send out intricate and engaging e-newsletters, allowing you to also eliminate your platform for sending out email campaigns. Even further, the CRM may even offer hefty file storage so you don’t have to pay for a separate cloud-based drive anymore!
One of the best ways you can boost your company’s overall profits is by cutting down on monthly expenses. You can do just that by streamlining systems to lower operational costs and by automating employees’ repetitive tasks with innovative technology. On top of this, maximize all of your software platforms’ capabilities to see if you can eliminate at least one application. These three easy-yet-effective steps should help you lower your business’s monthly costs and improve your overall bottom line.
Nathan Liao is the founder of CMA Exam Academy, a top Certified Management Accountant exam review program. As a CMA and CMA coach, Nathan mentors accounting and finance professionals in over 80 countries to earn their CMA certification in as little as 8 months. The unique review framework in CMA Exam Academy has proven to be the key to his students’ outstanding success in attaining their dream of earning the Certified Management Accountant certification.
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