In business, every penny matters because, in the end, your revenues are what makes a difference. If you’re into large-scale business, you seek to cut expenses every time. You attempt to introduce new ways, seek solutions to optimize your budget, and resort to new methods you have never tried before.
As a startup runner, you probably can’t afford significant expenses and would also seek to decrease them. Even if it’s a young business with outsourced staff and it seems like you have optimized spending as much as possible, new solutions appear every day, so you need to strive to catch up with them!
In other words, there is always something to improve about it – this is equal for a seasoned business leader and a newbie to the sphere.
On the other hand, it is far from smart to focus only on cutting down the costs of business operations. If you do cut them down, then this is for a bigger purpose. Your goals should be clearly defined, and your actions should pursue them. Most successful traders save costs to make them work and multiply in the right place.
What exactly are the operational costs of an outsourcing business?
Operational costs have to do with the maintenance and management of any business routine, outsourcing or not. This covers payroll, rent, bills, taxes, insurance, tools and equipment, raw materials used for producing goods, etc.
This also includes micro-expenses such as tickets for employees, repair of equipment and vehicles, and bank charges. They are pretty predictable and are calculated on a day-to-day basis. As a rule, they are defined by looking through your firm’s income statement. As a result, this document is a valuable source of data regarding the budget ins and outs.
Here are 2 points to think about before we share any ideas:
1. Identifying the right spheres
Once the right area to trim operating costs is found, a business can maximize profit.
However, don’t be too naive to think that every place where cutting them is possible will work out. Sometimes, doing this in the wrong area will be counterproductive, inevitably losing profits.
2. Being mindful of the long run
If your calculations tell you the profits would increase if you trim costs, try to see not just for the first few months. What will happen in the future? Again, you have to be forward-thinking not to damage the company’s earnings by what looks like a short-time change for the better.
Ok, but what exactly shall one do to stop spending money on the things no one needs or simply those which aren’t a priority? Read on to find it out.
Recommended for you: 20 Best Ways to Do Market Research and Analysis of A Business.
Thousands of things can fall into the category of trimming expenses. Still, we decided to take the most significant of them and the most relevant for the current times with regard to the markets and economics around the world.
The method of outsourcing talents doesn’t lose popularity, mainly because companies don’t have to spend as much on worker onboarding, training, and retention. It also lets you remain competitive while maintaining effectiveness and quality. Yet, outsourcing itself isn’t a magic trick and won’t save you much if you don’t approach it from the perspective of optimizing costs.
1. Avoid outsourcing in far-fetched areas
On the surface, it might seem that hiring your IT specialists or HR managers half the globe away is a good idea. However, it’s not for every trade. Building extremely long supply chains or spending a fortune to train these people won’t pay off, so it is better to find outsourced workers closer to home.
This concept in contemporary talent-seeking is called near-shoring. Consider neighboring countries to have fewer difficulties in building connections. Near-shoring will also help you decrease travel expenses.
2. Know which business functions to outsource
Again, if to outsource, then only secondary parts of your business. Only in this case will your payroll slim, and while outsourced teams work on second-significant tasks, you can focus on essentials.
Services that are already proven to be areas of successful outsourcing are:
Customer support services
It’s hard to disagree that maintaining an in-office customer support team is pricey. As a standard procedure, you will have to spend money on training and recruiting them. With remote customer support, these costs fall.
Teams to handle your advertising and generate new directions of influence don’t have to be in-house. Hiring and developing new experts specifically for your team is expensive as well. In marketing, you could reach out to overseas professionals, interview them, and tap into their portfolios.
Not every business needs a team of 20 IT service providers. As for a small or medium-sized business, it’s more to the point to have 3 people who cover multiple roles and can fix your software issues remotely.
The same concerns web developers, designers, and similar spheres. That’s a smart decision if you need them per project. Other spheres include copywriting, graphic design, and financial management.
“When creating good content, having a hired team of writers with well-formed skills and expertise is cheaper and quicker than going for an in-house team. It also appears to give additional flexibility.” – as quoted by Yegor Gusakov, the CEO & Founder of QIT Software, in one of his recent blog posts.
To add, you can enjoy whatever volumes of content you need and fit into tighter schedules. Ordering content from freelancers depending on the area and sphere where posts need to be written is another great plus.
3. Discuss costs with external vendors
This point is all about re-approaching the things you are already paying for. Think this way: ‘Am I using the best offers possible for the services I get?’ If you missed this at the start, don’t block the possibility of negotiating it now. This works great if:
- You’re in the status of a major customer. If, for a service you are outsourcing, your company’s orders make nearly a tenth of profit, and you boast an excellent payment history, count it a great position to discuss prices from. Of course, they might ask you to give something in exchange. If the method doesn’t work with one provider and they don’t want to drop the prices, your right is to switch them.
- Get bulk discounts. While this is most suitable for companies specializing in actual goods production, why not try it with your off-house marketers or copywriters? This may be as good as buying raw materials in bulk. Hence, it becomes a ‘volume discount’ and can be applied to many spheres.
- Review vendors or offer testimonials. For the services you’re especially satisfied with, give positive feedback, post it through your social media channels, or let their site have it. Many vendors will be willing to provide a temporary or consistent discount just for you.
4. Achieve changes not related to the price
This includes reviewing contracts and seeing where you can bargain for better terms of service. Here belong to better and faster delivery, more convenient payment conditions, length of the partnership, and much more.
5. Use tech to the fullest
If you are not dealing with technology every single day, it’s easy to forget how essential it can be and how it can assist you in trimming the operational costs of your business. This isn’t just about holding online conferences and attending webinars to boost professionalism and qualify workers (though all of it saves time and money).
Find programs and tools to help you calculate things or schedule payments, such as financial planners and payroll-specific apps. Other instruments worth using include communication apps for teams and their supervisors or coaches.
All in all, keeping a company’s expenses smart is a whole science. While opting for outsourcing its specific functions, you should never forget to assess the results in the long run, stay aimed for key business purposes, and reduce operational costs where necessary (and possible). Don’t shy away from negotiating prices and terms of the contract. Though it takes effort and confidence, many businesses use this method and gain more.
Having offshore teams work for you is extremely convenient and rewarding if you know which spheres to outsource and where to look for employees. Keep in mind also that you are to resist the desire to go for massive outsourcing at the same time. It’s better to have one or two branches outsourced effectively and working for outcomes than opting for a hundred people of staff whom you don’t need.
As a final point, remember to monitor and analyze the performance of outsourced staff. Observation in detail combined with analysis will give you a fuller picture to see and push you closer to where operational costs should be cut.
Use and combine these tricks to optimize the operational costs of your business with respect to the situation, and you will surely benefit from it.