Accounting & Finance Insights Productivity

6 Ways You Can Reduce Operating Costs as a Small Business 

Written by Lillian Connors

Your ability to generate profit doesn’t just depend on the number and value of your sales. It also depends on your expenses and what you’re left with at the end of the month. So, in order to increase your profit, what you need to do is reduce operating costs. There are so many ways to cut corners, yet, what you need to put a focus on is your ability to do so while not damaging your efficiency and productivity. Here are several ways  you can do just that.

1.  Start hiring remote workers

The first thing that you can do in order to run a more frugal operation is to start hiring remote workers. This is a trend that would allow one to increase their workforce without having to move to a bigger office. Those who are dead-set on working from a traditional workplace can always find a shared office space in their vicinity but for the rest of your staff, working from home won’t be an issue. This also makes your hiring process more cost-effective, seeing as how you have a much bigger talent pool, which makes it easier (and cheaper) to hire the same quality level of talent.

2.  Pay bills online

Another thing that no one tells you is that on average, it costs a small business between $12 and $30 in fines in order to pay for a single bill. On the other hand, by paying online, you could pay as little as $5. Needless to say, this a saving of 60 to 80%o per bill. Now try to multiply this with the total number of bills that you would have to pay over the course of a year. Other than this, you don’t have to waste time on the commute and waiting in line. Due to the fact that, in the business world, time is a finite resource, this further makes the case in favour of online payments.

3.  Negotiate

Sometimes, the main reason why you’re paying so much for your supplies, your insurance premiums and your office lease is simply because you haven’t even tried to lower it. Don’t concern yourself with ‘offending’ your supplier if you try to negotiate a lower price, you’re only looking out for your business.. Just be realistic in your approach and you’ll likely come out with a better deal.

4.  Order supplies in bulk

The easiest way to pay less for your supplies is to buy them in bulk, yet, there are two issues that you would have to resolve first. For starters, you need to ensure that there’s enough storage space available. Second, you need to make sure that the quality meets your standards, so that you don’t end up regretting  a particularly large order. Remember, the larger the order, the bigger the saving but this can backfire, as well. That’s why you should either buy a smaller test sample first or just go for renowned suppliers like Winc Australia for greater reliability.

5.  Watch out for employee theft

The worst thing about employee theft is the fact that, if left undiscovered, it could go on for years and years, with you, the business owner, being none the wiser. There are several ways how you can solve this problem. First of all, you should regularly check your inventory and regularly update your ledger. Second, if you have a delivery system, make sure to pay for a professional fleet management software and hire a seasoned fleet manager to keep an eye on things.

6.  Make a list

The last thing you need to do is make a list that consists of every single dollar that your company spent in order to find a way to make operating costs a bit more inexpensive. For instance, your business may not use the landline, to begin with, yet, you may pay for it every single month. Over the course of the year, these kinds of expenses accumulate and what you’re left with is a massive deficit in your budget. Needless to say, in order to avoid these pitfalls, you must first undertake an audit of your business’s operating costs to determine what is and isn’t necessary.

If you are struggling to quantify the contribution of a particular expense to your business, then eliminating them is the best course of action.  

“The opinions expressed by BizWitty Contributors are their own, not those of BizCover and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Please read our full disclaimer."

About the author

Lillian Connors

Lillian is a senior business consultant and the co-editor at She's mainly focused on business optimisation and sustainable growth. In her leisure time, she likes to lose herself in a good book or drink a couple of hoppy pale ales.

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