It is only when you own a business (or have a child) that you realise how expensive the basics can become when you really examine your expenses sheet. Economic growth is decreasing and the cost of basics is increasing, so there is no better time than now to look at your business’ spending to see what you can cut back on.
Here are five items that are definitely costing you too much money.
Businesses in South Africa use an average of 10 million pages a day, so using less paper is a proven method for reducing costs, especially since your printing costs go down as well. Discourage your employees from printing documents unless absolutely necessary. Contracts and other important documents can be printed, but ensure that employees are not printing out articles and recipes, for example. A way of controlling what is printed is to limit access to the printer to only certain employees.
Telephones and cellphones
Telephone lines are renowned for costing plenty of money. Every month you not only pay line rental, but also usage costs, and these can skyrocket, particularly if you allow every employee to have their own dedicated line. Allow only certain employees full-time access to telephones, as personal calls should be made on their cellphones.
Cellphones are another high cost, so ensure you only provide employees who really require them with contracts. Also, don’t allow your employees to dictate to you what type of phone they want. The latest Apple iPhone is not a necessity – your only wish is that clients can get in touch with them.
3G cards for everyone
In today’s workplace, your employees can really work from anywhere. However, signing contracts for an indefinite number of 3G devices and modems will really sap your budget, especially when these devices are not being used for work purposes. Why not have a set of devices in stock and assign them to employees whom you know need to work over weekends or in the evenings? This way you can monitor and limit the use of 3G.
Weekly office parties
As nice as it is to have parties and get-togethers for your employees once a week, don’t allow those organising them to go overboard. Bottles of alcohol and dozens of snacks are not necessary, especially since many workers would rather be on their way home than spend additional time at the office. Have one bash a month that really goes all out instead of one a week, and ask your employees to become involved by bringing snacks or drinks to share.
Satellite television subscriptions and entertainment consoles are a luxury that many businesses can ill-afford. Unless you are operating a newsroom that needs full-day access to news and sport channels, there is no reason for you to have a television set in the office. Entertainment consoles are also simply a waste of money, since employees will be distracted and waste time. If you want a gaming console for office parties, rather rent one or borrow one from an employee who wishes to spend their time gaming instead of socialising.
Roane Swindon biz4afrika.com