One way to increase profits is to reduce overhead. Most offices spend unnecessary amounts of money on personnel, maintenance, and real estate. Businesses can run more efficiently with fewer people and smaller office spaces through planning, policies, and technology. The most successful corporations and businesses are already doing so — but even the smallest company can learn from their practices.
Let Others Do the Work
Specialized contractors have their uses. The practice of hiring an entire staff to take care of problems and situations that rarely occur can be expensive and inefficient. Information technology or IT issues are good examples. Maintaining a fully staffed IT division only works for large corporations that constantly deal with server issues and constant changes and updates. Smaller companies are better served by independent IT companies.
Outsourcing IT services eliminates the need for regular staff wages and benefits, reduces the need to maintain office space and utility costs. Outsourcing is especially effective for advertising and promotional drives. Your company can be based in New York and hire event production companies from other cities. Going local also allows your campaign to be more connected with your target audience. There is no need for lengthy research or advance teams to get a feel of the community, as local production companies have years of knowledge and experience.
Make Use of Available Technology
Technology drives progress and profit. Breakthroughs in certain fields can directly apply to your business, making it more efficient or cutting costs. Automation is a great example. The largest corporations take hundreds — if not thousands — of calls each day. A staff of phone operators won’t be enough to handle the sheer volume of callers, but a single VoIP system can manage every single call perfectly.
Automated answering systems can redirect calls, provide information, and even answer common questions regarding your company. It replaces dozens to hundreds of employees — eliminating the need for wages and bigger office spaces. Automated trucks will soon ply US roads. While these trucks will still require human drivers, their cruise control systems cut down fuel costs by maintaining optimum speeds during long stretches of highways.
Automated accounting systems can straighten your books and deal with taxes. Your company still needs a certified accountant to monitor and validate the process, but it cuts the need for accountants down to single digits or a single person. Online shops can take the place of additional storefronts. They are accessible from anywhere in the world, and e-commerce platforms can even handle warehousing and shipping.
Explore Alternative Office Settings
Get rid of your office entirely. Technology has made them obsolete, and even the biggest corporations integrate telecommuting into their operations. Commercial office space is expensive — not to mention all the hassle of getting permits, as well as day-to-day maintenance. Most businesses can run with a skeleton crew, with most of its workers doing their jobs from home or at a shared office space. 2020 proved this concept.
Most office workers worked from home, and Zoom calls took the place of meetings. Surprisingly, research shows that workers in alternative office settings (working from home or in a shared office space) perform better than their colleagues in the office. Without office politics and hierarchies, productivity and morale go up. Credit goes where it’s due, and higher-ups won’t be taking advantage of inexperienced workers by passing down tasks. Your business cuts its overhead by eliminating or minimizing office space, utility costs, maintenance costs, parking fees, etc.
Try Going Green
Green practices might seem like an extravagance — and they probably were a few decades ago. Today, most companies can adopt green practices without increasing their overhead. Certain practices like solar technology can significantly reduce office spending — paying for itself in savings by up to four times the investment. Solar panels usually pay for themselves in 6-10 years, and they can last for 35-45 years.
Simply putting up UV-filtering film on your office windows can reduce utility costs by up to 40 percent. Installation can take a day or two and shouldn’t disrupt office activities. Carpooling is also a great option. Several states provide incentives for carpools in the form of special lanes or tax exemptions. Carpools will also reduce the need for parking spaces. Carpooling employees have reduced stress, and most create bonds with their carpool buddies.
Businesses need to adapt to the times to survive. Regular office practices are outdated, and more modern practices are more efficient and less costly. Cut personnel where you can, use available technology and don’t waste money on an office if you don’t need one.