Running a business is not all fun and games as many seem to think. Others may envy you because they think money comes pouring in like rain. What they don’t realize is the real struggle of keeping your business profitable, and how you try your hardest to reduce expenses and save on costs whenever possible. Aside from the usual rent/lease and other operational expenses, what really eats into your budget is the labor costs. Hiring, training, and retaining your employees can be a bit costly, especially if what you have is just a newly-established business and you’re also struggling to find your footing in the industry you’re in.
But there are ways that can help you lower labor costs without affecting the quality of product or service that you offer. The items in the following list are tried and tested tips and techniques that business owners can follow to reduce costs and possibly increase profitability.
Invest In Your Employees Through Job Enrichment
Consider this first: employees who specialize in tasks or already possess a set of skills vital to your operation usually costs more. But they’re usually worth every dollar you spend since he or she will add more value to the company through their performance. However, not everyone has the luxury of hiring an army of highly specialized employees. The best way to reduce labour costs by hiring a team of specialized, highly skilled employees is through cross-training or job enrichment. You already have the manpower to do the job, all you need to do is to teach your current employees how to handle new responsibilities that are not related to the duties they’ve initially applied for.
It’s a win-win for both employees and employers. First off, employers finally get the right people with the right set of skills to work on higher level tasks. Secondly, employees get the training to actually become a vital part of the system, and the specialization and skills that they get from the training stay with them forever, even when they move on from the company and look for better opportunities.
Shorten Workdays and Offer The Option to Work From Home
A typical small or mid-sized business usually rents/leases office spaces and production floors. Every day your company is open means another day spending on operations and maintenance. One way to save money and still keep the business going is switching from an 8-hour, five-day workweek to a 10-hour, four-day workweek. You’ll be able to save a bit on utilities, as well as cleaning and maintenance. This, on top of the joy that your employees would get from another rest day, even if they’re still technically working 40+ hours a week.
Another solution is to offer the opportunity to work from home a couple of days in a month. This way, you get to retain the same number of workers, even as you reduce the number of heads in your office which again, translates to savings, especially if your lease specifies the number of employees working at your office at a time. You can introduce the concept of hot-desking, wherein there’s no definite workstation for every single employee. All they need is a login credential to use any office computers, and they can sit anywhere they like.
Make The Most Out of Today’s Tech And Innovations
Ever heard of BYOD? “Bring Your Own Device” is a clever way to save companies money while making the most out today’s technology. By letting your employees bring their own devices to work, you’re able to save money by not getting all of them a dedicated business phone. You can just install your business applications, say for example, RingCentral Meetings or Glip, and they will be able to use their personal smartphones and devices for work.
Another way you can save a lot of money is by switching from traditional private branch exchange (PBX) to a cloud PBX. This way, you can still connect employees from different locations without spending too much on infrastructure and maintenance.
Francis has been writing for more than a decade now, focusing on Digital Marketing in the last couple of years. He is currently in charge of writing web-optimized content for RingCentral, an industry-leading cloud phone systems provider. Francis is also a voracious reader, spending most of his free time immersed in fictional worlds. You can reach him through Twitter.