4 Scalable solutions for reducing expenses in businesses of every size

There can hardly be a business owner, who’s still in business, who thinks cost control is a bad idea. The whole point of being in business is to make money, and not to be a ‘busy fool’. Here are four ways to scale your operations whilst keeping expenses under control – including the use of online expenses software.

So how can you preserve the quality of the goods or services you supply whilst at the same time whilst making sure they cost you less? (You could of course increase the price, but that could be the path to madness; if the market won’t stand it, you’ll very likely soon find yourself with lower sales volumes and no revenue increase, so let’s not go there just yet).

  1. Online expenses software. A modern app like Solo Expenses, in tune with the needs of a modern business environment, provides any business of any size with the most cost-effective and easy-to-use route to total control over expenses.
    It’s the pricing model used by Solo Expenses which makes it infinitely scalable, since it’s based on a per-employee per-month basis. This means that you’ll never pay for capacity you don’t need. The same true of the features on offer. Some, like mileage recording, are completely free for life; others can be turned on or off at will, as and when you need them, for which they’ll be charged accordingly.
  2. Contractor companies. Employing a contractor is more cost effective than taking on an employee. There’s a danger that contractors could be treated unfairly, because they have bills to pay just like ‘regular’ employees, so dropping them without notice can cause major problems. However, contractors with a broad client base spread their financial risk, and can provide expertise at a time when you need it most. And if they work remotely, there’s no need to expand your premises, with all the ‘no revenue’ work that could involve you in. Contractors take holidays, and get ill, but they’re more likely to arrange holidays to suit you, and to fight off illness more than anyone who’s on the books.
  3. Share workspace. Not as crazy as it might sound. Does everyone in your organisation actually need a desk and a workstation? If they spend a lot of time away from the office on business, we’d say they don’t. So why are you giving them one? And a computer, and a desktop phone? These are all accessories which suck money out of an organisation yet deliver no visible benefit. Remember, if you have suites full of empty desks, they’re in a space you have to heat and pay taxes on. Having shared hotdesking spaces might be the way to go, or have people work at home. Sceptical about the latter? Run a test. Check productivity. You might even ‘promote’ it as an employee benefit, with a cost attached. If people didn’t need to commute so often they’d feel better about life, and certainly be financially advantaged, given the modern cost of travel.
  4. Turn things off. Nightscapes of city skylines always look spectacular – but in just how many of the offices shown in our picture are people actually working? In many, none at all. Stories of equipment left running are widespread, like the newspaper office complex that left a significant number of television monitors, tuned to rolling news programmes, turn on throughout a two-week Christmas break. Or what about the executive who didn’t turn his computer off for several years, even though the nature of the job meant he spent less than four hours a day sitting at his desk. In neither cases, were the people responsible for the ‘off’ switch responsible for the paying the bill. Had they had even the slightest financial nous, they might have acted differently – but it’s up to the company owner to manage the process of controlling the utility bills.

We mentioned increasing prices. This may or may not be a route to take. It’s all about what the market will stand. With a well-known and trusted brand, customers expect to pay a premium, and doing so may even add to the kudos of owning the product. However, for products nearer the ‘commodity’ end of the spectrum in a crowded market, like bread loaves or chocolate bars, it’s far better to compete on price – and maximise profits by keeping a tight rein on the costs you can control.