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Reducing Expenses Without Sacrificing Productivity

written by: B.T. Alo•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 6/27/2011

Business owners are constantly looking for ways to reduce business running costs and increase profits, especially in times of financial difficulty like the present national economic climate. Some businesses even resort to compromise on the quality of product or service they provide.

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    Reduce Expenses the Right Way

    This type of decision can destroy your business in the long run. Legal action could even be taken against businesses that provide substandard products or services. Here are simple things you should do to reduce your business expenses and increase revenue without affecting productivity or quality.

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    Review Standard Operating Procedures

    If a business has been in operation for several years, it is possible that some standard operating procedures have become obsolete or less efficient. It is important to re-evaluate operational processes from the bottom to the top, and make changes like trimming unnecessary steps that were needed before but are not anymore, or making new changes to labor functions. For example, if it took two employees to process all daily orders when the business first got started, and after 3 years of operation, those two employees have become much more efficient at their jobs that they can process twice as fast, then you might need to keep just one employee on processing daily orders and delegate the second employee to another task – thereby cutting expenses and increasing productivity.

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    Use Technology

    Many business owners are reluctant to adopt new technology in their businesses because of initial costs and the learning curve it might take to use new technology products. However, a proper adoption of the right technology products for your business can save you money in the long run. It is important for business owners and managers to stay informed on the latest technology products in their industry and then make a thorough analysis on if and how any new technology product would impact a business before purchasing. The Internet is a great place to search for and find several free software tools, also known as shareware or freeware. These can be used at no cost to your business at all.

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    Get Your Employees on Board

    Implementing changes before explaining them to your employees will not be effective. This is because you always need everyone's support to keep on track with any changes implemented. Consult with employees or front line managers on a regular basis, feedback from your employees will be very valuable. Since your staff members are experts in their own fields and they also deal directly with customers and other operational functions they are in the best positions to help you identify what's working and what's not.

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    Think Outside the Box

    Think like a 21st century business owner. The reality of globalization has provided unprecedented opportunities. Coupled with the emergence of the Internet, there is a widened spectrum of possible clients as well as employees and other resources. You no longer have to limit your business to just your city or even country. You can now start thinking globally. Consider outsourcing work to save money, you can find employees in other countries for everything from Internet marketing to customer service. Some Fortune 500 companies do it, and small business have adopted this business model as well. and are great websites to find outsourced labor from across the world.

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    Lead by Example

    A business owner is a leader and so needs to set the tone of how other members of an organization behave. Unless an owner or manager practices cost cutting themselves and takes very seriously all changes implemented, it would be much harder for employees to adopt them as well.