Doing more with less—cutting costs while also increasing revenue—that’s the name of the budget game. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), the ways to go about cutting unnecessary spending in your budget are endless. Some take years to implement and some are much quicker and easier to put into place.
Facility cleaning might seem like an easy place to start. Who would really notice if the bathrooms are cleaned four times a week instead of five? Or if you asked the cleaning crew to vacuum high-traffic areas daily, but do the rest of the floors on an as-needed basis?
Well, someone would notice. That someone being your employees, who spend their entire workday using these facilities. Your prospects and clientele probably would too, since they’re busy forming quick impressions of your business and the services or products you’re providing.
Therein lies the trap. Keeping unnecessary costs low is always important, but not at the expense of quality. And as we’ve written about before, cutting corners around the cleanliness and presentation of your facility will negatively impact employee morale, productivity, and loyalty, as well as their overall health.
So let’s be clear...facility cleaning is not an area that you want to be stingy in.
Instead, we’d like to propose five alternative areas to consider cutting costs that will have a greater impact in the longer term.
Buying in bulk - This will look different in every industry. In manufacturing, you may want to purchase larger orders of the plastic film you use for packaging, in hospitals, it could be bandages and syringes, and in an office space, it could simply be bulk orders of toilet paper.
Energy Efficiency - Hire or appoint someone to do an energy audit, and while you’re at it, look into state or federal incentive programs. Changing to LED light bulbs, installing switches that shut off after a period of no movement, and looking into solar energy could massively reduce your energy usage.
Outsourcing - But only where it makes sense, specifically for highly specialized tasks that are limited in scope. It may be more cost-effective, especially for smaller businesses, to hire a fractional CTO, for example, instead of paying to have one on the payroll full-time.
Go Paperless - For many organizations this would require some big shifts, both in technology and process, which can make it seem intimidating. However, it is more environmentally friendly, will reduce clutter and storage space, and you’ll be able to cut the costs of disposing of the potentially sensitive information printed on said paper.
Employee Morale - This might seem off-the-wall, but think about it. Happy, valued, and loyal employees tend to stick around. Lower turnover rates mean less of your resources will need to be dedicated to offboarding, recruiting, hiring, and training.
Some of these might not be a good fit for your organization or maybe they’ll take time to implement. That’s okay! Go after the lowest hanging fruit, the items that are quickest and easiest to accomplish. It may also be a good idea to appoint someone to head this project. Ideally, this would be someone closer to the ground, who may have more visibility into the day-to-day operations than upper leadership.
This list is not intended to be a comprehensive guide or to over-simplify these complex issues. We’re simply recommending alternative ways of thinking about budget cuts. If you’re excited by these ideas, here are a few more of our favorites...
Collect on those overdue accounts and implement late fees.
Review and possibly renegotiate vendor contracts. Don’t forget software licenses!
Encourage your marketing department to analyze their advertising expenditures and hone in on the ones that are actually resulting in paying clients.
Now, happy saving!
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