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In times like these, businesses can’t afford to be lax with their budgets. Money is tight. All business owners must carefully optimize and prioritize spending for the best possible outcome. Unfortunately, many businesses—perhaps yours included—are wasting money without even realizing it.
Common Ways Businesses Bleed Money
Money is at the heart of every business decision you’ve made in the past. It influences every decision you make today and every decision you’ll make in the future.
It’s nearly impossible to do anything of significance in a business setting without filtering it through some sort of financial lens. And this is true regardless of whether you run a small business with tight resources or you have a business with a massive budget.
Small businesses usually have limited resources. Therefore, saving money and eliminating waste are huge focal points. On the other hand, large businesses often have bloated expenses and lots of debt. In some cases, they have thin margins that put pressure on the organization to continue achieving high sales volume just to tread water.
So bleeding money isn’t really a question of size. It’s a universal issue with far-reaching consequences. And the sooner you address this issue, the more likely you are to reach your goals, financial or otherwise, and enjoy sustained success.
Let’s explore some of the common ways businesses are unknowingly wasting money. Do some digging and you may discover some of these strike particularly close to home.
1. Are You Overpaying Utility Bills?
According to P3 Cost Analysts, 95 percent of companies overpay invoices each month, and utility bills are a major culprit.
It’s easy to put utility bills on autopay and to just assume that the amount you’re getting billed for each month is the correct amount. But paying bills based on assumption is a dangerous game that leaves you vulnerable to errors and overcharges.
An audit of your utility bills is probably one of the best things you can do to avoid wasting money, both now and in the future. Depending on your situation, the types of facilities you run, and the errors you uncover, you could potentially save thousands of dollars per year.
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2. Service Subscriptions Can Waste Your Money
Subscription services are convenient. However, that’s both a pro and a con. The downside of subscription services—at least from the perspective of the customer—is that they’re easy to forget about. The payment is automated and you never think about it. That’s a potentially dangerous proposition!
You may think $100 here, $25 there, and another $40 per month over there isn’t a big deal in terms of wasting money. However, all of these little expenses add up. Recurring expenses for subscription services that you don’t really need can drain your budget and bloat your expense sheet. Consider reviewing and purging on a regular basis.
3. Are You Wasting Money on Non-Essential Supplies?
There’s certainly a case to be made for investing in the happiness and satisfaction of your team. But be leery of spending too much money on non-essential supplies.
Non-essential supplies include fancy office furniture and artwork, promotional swag that gets tossed in a closet and never sees the light of day, catered office meals, or unnecessary infrastructure.
There’s nothing wrong with any of these line items in isolation. However, each can be wasteful if unjustified within the larger budget.
For instance, you might be wasting money on an expensive CRM solution when you don’t have a large enough client base yet.
4. Do You Really Need All That Physical Office Space?
“Space is the biggest and most common money waster I’ve seen for small businesses/entrepreneurs in my 22 years of business experience,” consultant Rich Patterson writes. “I’ve seen supposedly educated business people and naïve newcomers overpay, overbuild and overspend on buildings, lease, rent storefronts, leasehold improvements, fixtures, and signage.”
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Aspirational expenditures—ones where you try to spend your way into being a bigger and more successful business than you are—are dangerous. Make sure you stay grounded and that your office space is aligned with your current financial picture.
Become Intentional with Your Spending
Smart spending is intentional spending. It doesn’t always mean cutting back and gritting your teeth so that you can hang on and survive. The goal is not to scrimp. Rather, the objective is to be purposeful in how you spend.
Intentional spending allows you to maximize the resources your business has and pursue any and all opportunities for growth.
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