Five Tips for Small Businesses to Reduce Operational Costs
By Nicholas Goh
Many people's ultimate goal is to own their own company. By having your own business, it provides you with a unique degree of control over your work life and allows you to execute your vision in any way you see fit. When you have complete power over the company's choices, you will not have to worry about being held liable for your boss's bad business decisions or getting fired as a result of someone else's issues.
It is important to maximise efficiency if you want to manage a profitable business. Reducing its operating costs is one of the most important things to undertake. You can focus on cutting down your costs by implementing processes that reduce waste and create cost savings.
Additionally, you should consider outsourcing certain services or technologies that are necessary to run the business but not core to it. Although it may not be easy, every small business that wants to succeed in the long run should have a strategy that strictly keeps its operational costs to only what is necessary. Here are five tips small businesses can use to reduce operational costs.
What are Operational Costs? How Can I Calculate Operational Costs?
Operational costs, also known as operating expenses or "Opex," refers to the costs associated with running a business. Operational costs consist of things such as employee wages and salaries, rent, utilities, marketing expenses, and other general overhead expenses. Operational cost calculation is essential in effectively budgeting for these ongoing expenditures. An operational cost calculator can be used to estimate the cost of running a business on an ongoing basis. Knowing this figure helps businesses anticipate their expenses and plan for future growth.
There are three types of operational costs:
These are costs that stay the same regardless of how much output you produce. They do not indicate a company's productivity, but the company must continue to pay them even if they do not perform well. Examples of fixed costs include rent, insurance, equipment, and administrative salaries.
These are costs that vary based on the amount of output you produce. A company's costs rise as output rises because it needs to purchase more raw materials, hire more workers, or consume more electricity. Examples of variable costs include raw materials, electricity, and direct labour.
These costs are neither completely fixed nor completely variable. They have elements of both and can change depending on the production level. Examples of semi-variable costs include repair, maintenance, and overtime wages.
Total operational costs = Cost of goods sold (COGS) + operating expenses (OPEX)
To calculate operational costs, you need to first find out the cost of goods sold (COGS) such as labour, materials, and overhead. Then add in all operating expenses (OPEX) such as rent, maintenance costs, marketing, utilities, and so on. The sum of these two components is your total operational cost.
Here are five tips for small businesses to reduce operational costs.
Incorporate a Hybrid Model
Many businesses in Singapore are switching to a hybrid work model.
The hybrid work model is a novel method of working that has gained traction in the modern economy. The way traditional offices operate has drastically altered, and hybrid workplaces now provide an entirely new way of working. This involves having employees to either work from home full time, coming into the office on certain days or a combination of both.
By doing so, it not only saves money on office space rent but also reduces commuting expenses, electricity bills, and other overhead costs associated with running an office.
Invest in Technology
Investing in the right technology can help any business save money and increase efficiency.
Technologies such as cloud computing, digital communication, and automation can reduce the need for manpower while still providing comparable outputs. Automating as many processes as possible is essential for any business looking to cut down on operational costs. Automation can help reduce the need for manual labour, minimize errors, and increase efficiency throughout your organisation.
This can be done by using software solutions for scheduling, task management, customer service and more. Even though there will be an initial cost involved, the long-term savings will more than make up for the initial investment.
Fix Operational Inefficiencies
Identifying and fixing operational inefficiencies can help to reduce business costs. Operational inefficiencies can include anything from wasted resources, inefficient processes, or even ineffective use of manpower. Taking the time to analyse each process and identify areas of improvement will help you to streamline your operations and cut down on unnecessary expenses.
Use a Virtual Office
A virtual office is a great way to save on overhead costs and increase efficiency. Businesses can access virtual office services such as shared workspaces, mailing services, internet access, telecommunication services and more for much less than the cost of traditional office space.
Servcorp's virtual office package is perfect for businesses who need to have a physical address and access to office services without the overhead of an actual office. By using Servcorp's services, businesses will be able to take advantage of these benefits from any location globally, providing comfort and flexibility.
Unsubscribe from Underutilised Software
Software subscription services are a great way to reduce operational costs. Businesses can access the latest digital tools and software without having to spend large amounts of money in purchasing them outright. However, many businesses find themselves paying for subscriptions they are no longer using or may never have even used. Useful software is important to have, but you do not want to be paying for anything that is underutilized. Analyse your active subscriptions and unsubscribe to any that fall into this category.
These are just five tips for small businesses to reduce operational costs. Businesses should always be looking for new ways to save money, but it is important to remember that cutting back on expenses does not necessarily mean sacrificing quality of service or productivity.
By implementing a few of these strategies and making sure you are only paying for necessary services, your business can save money and operate more efficiently.