With small and medium-sized businesses every penny counts. Your business needs to stay lean in order to operate efficiently, and one way to get and stay lean is by having minimal overhead. There may not always be a lot that can be done to decrease overhead, but because it is a constant expense finding ways to trim those expenses can have significant savings over time. These three digital solutions can help decrease your company’s overhead and are relatively simple to implement.
- Make Video Conferencing Standard
Not every meeting can be held by video, but a lot of them don’t need to be in-person meetings. Create standards within your business for which meetings should be held using video instead of an in-person business trip. For example, performance evaluations might be able to be handled through video and save your company the cost of several annual trips. By making video conferencing the norm you could also increase the amount of telecommuting, which is a highly sought after option for employees. Video conferencing allows your workforce to have face-to-face meetings and remain highly connected even while they work remotely. Even if you don’t transition to staff being able to work from home fulltime having two employees split one desk can save you a lot of money on office space. At Dell, they were able to save $12 million a year in real estate costs by consolidating offices and creating more flexible work space options.
- Reevaluate Your Business Software
Software licenses are very costly, and you pay per employee. One of the quickest ways to reduce your annual cost to employ is to look at the business software you’re using and decide if there is a more cost effective solution. Two main software services most businesses use are for payroll and for office collaboration. For the latter, a good option to look at is using Google’s business software bundle called GSuite. It starts at just $5/mo for the basic option and probably has everything that your small business needs, including Gmail, Calendar, Google Drive (cloud storage), Docs, Sheets, Slides, Hangouts (chat), Hangouts Meet (video chat), Keep (an Evernote comparable tool) and more. Several small business swear by using GSuite and it is a solution that is constantly innovating and at the forefront of cloud-based tools.
- Go Paperless – And Mean It
A lot of businesses express a preference for paperless or know that it could save some money but they don’t get serious about implementation. This guide by Medium breaks down how a small or medium sized business can go paperless, and it might not be easy because up to 40% of people describe themselves as “paper people”. Create rules and enforce them. Define for your workforce which things are not to be printed and share instructions on how to perform the same task digitally. For example, if you’re making it known that printing emails is a no-go, share a step-by-step guide on how to digitally save emails. Another rule that would help reduce one of the largest sources of paper waste in an office is outlining when a document should be faxed instead of emailed and how email is the preferred solution. Eliminate printing presentations and agendas for meetings – display them on a screen and if someone absolutely needs a paper copy share that it is everyone’s responsibility to bring their own necessary documents to meetings.