Every little bit counts, especially when your start-up doesn’t have money to throw around.
Yes, you do need to spend money to make money, but there are everyday costs that may seem insignificant at the time, but they add up.
Outsourced Finance’s Managing Director, Depo Ogunruku, knows just how quickly small costs can balloon; she shares her three top tips and tricks on what to look out for, and what strategies you can put in place.
1. Do a consumables audit
Caffeine is the fuel that keeps everything going, and we’re not saying you should cut these out completely (we think that’d be reason enough to go to the CCMA!), but just limit it a bit more.
It’s a simple psychological tactic: if you see ample supply of something, you’re triggered to indulge more – and waste more – because, well, there is more. If you limit these consumables, people are likely to rein it in a bit.
Instead of putting out a whole kilo of coffee, or filling the fridge with 10 cartons of milk, rather decanter bulk items into smaller containers, and only put out two or three cartons of milk. Yes, it may be more effort each day, but a little bit more admin may save you a lot of rands in the long run.
It also might even deter stealing – if there are less consumables sitting around, it’ll be more noticeable when they go missing.
And think beyond tea and coffee: take a look around – what about things like stationery, paper, and ink cartridges? Are there consumables being wasted or over-used when they don’t have to be?
2. A happy team = a productive team
It’s a no-brainer: if your employees aren’t happy and motivated they’ll be less attentive – and probably make more mistakes. As a business owner, we don’t have to tell you that mistakes cost money.
Happy employees are more engaged, motivated and productive. They are also much more likely to go the extra mile for the company and clients – in fact, a UK study showed that productivity among happy employees increased by an average of 12%.
Take the time to listen to your staff and address any reasonable concerns they may have. Investing in staff training also makes a huge difference – when your team knows that you are invested in them they’ll feel more appreciated, and they’ll have the skills to do their job better.
3. Keep on top of the numbers
Bookkeeping records expenses and accounting interprets and analyses them. Understanding where your money is going gives you a better idea of where costs can be cut, if needed.
The right bookkeeper will help keep things in order, so you’re not scrambling for pieces of paper at month-end, and the right accountant will be able to put the data into perspective, and advise you going forward.
Running a business also means running a budget. So have a budget plan in place that is strong enough in critical situations but flexible enough when needed – and keep Depo’s three tips in mind.
Need help managing your SMME’s budget? Contact us; we’ll be more than happy to help you get started.