There are a multitude of ways that a business can be successful. It’s easy to overthink these things or build it out into a complex corporate strategy that takes months or even years to unravel and implement. In reality, the fundamentals are incredibly simple.
You need to sell enough products or services to make a profit, ensure that your cash flow is healthy and consistent, and spend as little as possible on overhead costs and business expenses. Focusing on these three areas gives you the foundations of a highly successful enterprise.
This article will focus on the most underappreciated of these three fundamentals – how to minimize your company expenses. Although it sounds simple enough to achieve, it’s actually rather tricky.
You have to initially invest a great deal into your business so that it can function — such as staff salaries, marketing budgets, production tooling, etc. However, as you progress and analyze your internal workflows, it’s imperative to reduce your expenses by cutting the fat wherever possible.
Here’s a guide to lowering your corporate expenses:
Implement a procurement process
One of the best ways to make your procurement process as streamlined as possible.
By setting up intelligent procurement processes, you can keep track of what you’re buying from suppliers and ensure you’re only ordering what’s strictly necessary at any one time.
It also enables you to look back on previous orders and see whether it was worth your investment.
Keep track of what you spend
Another way to lower your business expenses is to closely monitor what you’re spending.
While this relates to the procurement process in part, it also includes your expenditure for staff, overheads like rent, gas and electricity, insurance, and other essentials. You would be amazed at the number of individual payments you have to make each month, or even each day.
To help you keep track of expenses, consider creating an efficient record-keeping system. You should also regularly review financial statements and have a designated member of the team to monitor expenses for you.
Set a strict budget
A business can also keep track of its spending by creating and maintaining a budget. Regularly comparing actual spend to the budget can identify areas where your business is overspending and you can make necessary adjustments accordingly.
Creating a workable budget for expenses and overheads should begin with gathering information about your past spending habits. To do this, gather and review your previous financial statements (such as income statements and balance sheets) to get a better idea of where money has been spent in the past and where it will likely be spent in the future.
You should then calculate a realistic figure to set as a monthly budget. If you like, you can break this down into departmental budgets to make it easier for team members to stick to.
Once you have created a monthly budget, track actual spending against the budget every month. Any discrepancies between actual spending and budgeted amounts should be investigated and explained by the relevant members of the team.