Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Small Business Coach

Skip to content
overhead costs

How to Reduce Overhead Costs in a Small Business

Overhead costs are getting out of your hands? It is crucial to manage for small businesses to ensure sustainability and achieve end goals effectively.

“To make money, you gotta spend some money”

This is almost a rule of thumb for any business. It is true, but only up to a certain point. Of course, expenditure is inevitable. But you need to identify the right places to put your bucks in. There is no need to spend money in places where you can hold back. Moreover, if you are spending in unnecessary ways, you will run out of resources to invest where it is really important or when you are in an emergency situation.

This is a very common issue, especially for small businesses. Every small business understands how difficult it may be to cut costs without losing internal or external performance quality. If you need to reduce your overhead expenditures, the first step is to set aside time to go over all of your expenses and figure out exactly how much you’re shelling out. Once narrowed in, you can then begin to evaluate what is essential, what can be lowered, and what should be completely eliminated.

overhead costs

This, however, cannot ensure profit and prevent revenue leakage alone. In order to meet that objective, small businesses should be really mindful of their overhead costs and strive to lower them at all costs. This can be a daunting task. But not impossible.

Overhead costs (also known as operating expenses) are the costs of running a business that aren’t directly related to the products or services your firm provides but are still required to keep your business going. Besides, it can potentially affect your profit margins if you are not careful enough. If you find your books continuously in the red, you will find yourself in a highly unsustainable situation sooner rather than later. Not just profit margins, both your growth prospects and cash flow will suffer if you keep spending more on your daily operations than necessary.

Having said that, you cannot eliminate operational costs, a.k.a. overhead costs, completely. But there are ways you can significantly reduce it, making more room for profit in your business.

Here are some of the best market practices and hacks to cut overhead costs.

1.  Take A Deep Dive

It’s critical to go over all of your overhead expenditures and cross out everything that’s excessively expensive, inefficient, or unnecessary. Once you’ve found an overhead expense that may be cut, such as a license you no longer require but are still paying for, you can take steps to eliminate it.

2.  Find A Cost-Effective Space for Your Office

Commercial/office space is frequently a significant portion of your overhead costs. Rethink the size and placement of your facility, and consider whether it genuinely meets the most pressing demands of your company. Buying office space could be an excellent long-term investment, offering an asset of worth that will increase in value over time. However, if you’re searching for a quick strategy to cut overhead expenditures, this isn’t always the best option. Purchasing real estate not only locks up your working capital but also adds additional overhead costs for maintenance.

On the other hand, renting is less taxing on your finances because you usually only need to pay a deposit and the first month’s rent, rather than a large down payment. It also provides more freedom if you need to relocate, upgrade, or downsize.

If your business model allows, you can also consider a cloud business model where you operate from home with the help of remote teams and digital platforms.

3.  Outsource

It is not necessary to perform everything in-house. Outsourcing specific jobs and responsibilities allows you to fill employee vacancies without having to pay a full-time salary; it also saves you money on office supplies and additional overhead costs. Furthermore, if you need to cut back, you may simply discontinue using third-party services. Just be cautious when selecting vendors and only outsource duties that lend themselves well to freelancing, like accounting or marketing.

4.  Cut Back on Utilities

Utilities make up a sizable chunk of your overhead costs. Electricity, water, gas, sewer, phone, and internet service are examples of utilities. There are several strategies to cut your utility costs while also helping the environment. Mobile phone, and internet usage should be assessed on an annual basis to establish the levels of service required; moving to lower-priced plans may result in cost savings.

overhead costs

5.  Go Paperless

Perhaps the most effective way to cut overhead costs, especially for service-based businesses, is to embrace digital technology and automation. Although it may seem trivial and insignificant, the costs of paper and ink add up to a staggering amount, burdening your bottom line. Also, exploring refurbished integrated computing systems can help your paperless business reduce costs by minimizing the reliance on traditional paper-based processes.

By eliminating paper-based methods, you can save a significant amount of money in carrying out your daily operations. Try automating necessary backend tasks like scheduling, accounting, invoicing, database management, data sharing, and so on. To do this, all you need is a cloud-based field service management software system. The smart digital tool takes care of all your administrative tasks, saving you time and money. It also assists in preventive maintenance, reducing overhead costs in the long run. Cloud software also has the potential to reduce data recovery costs and system downtime, both of which can add costs to your bottom line.

Conclusion

Contrary to common belief, cutting overhead costs will not necessarily affect your service quality. On the contrary, embracing digital technology can improve quality and save you money at the same time. This is why the industry is leaning more toward cloud-based software solutions. Therefore, it can be safely concluded that automation is the key to cutting overhead costs for small businesses.

_____________________

Author Bio

Joy Gomez

My world is made up of codes. It is the central element that drives my universe. I am a self-taught, process-driven programmer with a creative bent of mind. Since I was an engineering student, I dreamt of creating something unique. To satiate my creative appetite, I took to coding. Blessed with abundant support and generous scholarships from my employers, I simultaneously worked full-time and pursued my dream. My passion and high productivity helped me in my journey as well. Finally, I created
Field Promax to follow my drive of coding and streamlining processes; and do more of what I know best—coding.small business coach