In a competitive market, sometimes you’ve got to compromise on margin to get the job, so your business’ survival depends on knowing your costs and keeping a tight rein on them. For owners of small- to medium-sized businesses, it’s difficult juggling your time between working “on” your business and working “in” it. We’ve come up with some tried and tested tips that can help you save money and have greater control over your business costs.
1. Improve operational efficiency
- A quick way to hit the ground running on this one is to get your staff involved. Create a culture of self-awareness and teach your staff how they can be more mindful when it comes to how their actions can impact business profitability. You can also ask their opinion on what products are deemed necessary to your business and what problem areas they can identify where money could be saved.
- Regarding basic and on-going office needs, create a catalogue and ensure both staff and your suppliers adhere to this. This will not only help you keep track of what your business is spending money on but is a great way to centralise your ordering process by consolidating and controlling when orders are made, reducing over-stocks, eliminating non-core purchases and rogue spending, and controlling freight costs.
- Consider using n3 supplier MYOB to simplify your accounts, GST and payroll functions, as well as receiving the most up-to-date financial analysis with access to dedicated reporting tools.
2. Cut costs without cutting corners
It is vital to understand what your overhead costs are. Staff, rent, and capital costs are all big-ticket items. Often, it’s the unexpected expenses that make a dent in your bottom line. We’ve identified a couple of areas you can immediately cut costs.
- Freight can be easily over-looked as an important business expense but is quite often the cause of unexpected costs. By consolidating your orders, you will not only help your business save on freight costs, but you will also help staff use their time more efficiently and become more aware of when orders are coming in and going out. n3 has two freight and mail suppliers we recommend;
- New Zealand Couriers offers varying courier services to meet your business needs, including ‘Same Day’ regional runs and MailLink which is offers mail collection services from your PO Box or DX Box directly to your business.
- New Zealand Mail provides a wide range of business mail products and services specifically to business customers. They pride themselves on great service, great advice and cheaper postal pricing including everything from stamps and postage included envelopes, to high volume mail, facilities management and franking.
- With rising fuel costs, it’s now more important than ever to make sure you maximise your business savings at the pump. When you join n3's Business Buying Group, you have access to four great fuel offers, providing you with great savings at service stations and diesel truckstops nationwide from BP, G.A.S., Caltex, Challenge and Mobil. The n3 Fuelcard from Cardlink can also be used at any station and offers a great way to manage fleet fuel and servicing requirements.
- Reduce your electricity bill by being more mindful of how you are your staff are using electricity is a quick and easy way to gain immediate savings. Turn equipment off where possible when not in use, opt for energy efficient lighting, and coming into the warmer months, make sure any air-conditioning units are being regularly serviced to ensure efficient running. Setting them on a timer is a great way to have the office cool when staff arrive while also being able to control how long they are running for. Speak to n3 supplier, Mercury Energy - they can suggest ways to help improve your energy efficiency both in the office and on the road! If you haven’t yet heard, Mercury now offer an electric vehicle drive-by-subscription. Read all about it here.
3. Don't pay retail!
Join a buying group!
Let’s face it, if you're a single entity, your negotiating power can be limited. By joining n3, you become a member of this country’s largest, most comprehensive buying group for businesses. You get the benefits of the buying power of our combined 12,000 member organisations to give you exclusive pricing across a wide range of spend areas. It's worthwhile to see how we can help, phone 0508 20 30 40 or email email@example.com today.