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How your business is wasting money without even realizing it

2nd April 2019 Print

If there’s one thing that businesses are all businesses are passionate about, it’s saving money. Anytime a business can produce the same results, at a faster pace, while spending less, they pounce at the chance like a cat going after a mouse. It’s how businesses continue to grow when things are going well and survive when they aren’t. That’s why it comes as quite a shock to most businesses when they learn that they’re not only not saving money, they’re actually wasting it too.

Don’t believe me? Consider this. In 2018, Glassdoor reported that businesses waste around $37 billion in salaries from unproductive meetings each year. That’s just one example. In areas ranging from marketing to HR, many businesses both large and small excel at throwing money away.

It doesn’t have to be this way. You’ve worked too hard to grow your business to see it fail because of spending habits that are completely in your control. Read ahead to discover some of the most common ways that businesses waste money, even if they’re not aware of it.

Unproductive Meetings

I pointed it out in the intro, so it’s a great starting point. The all-important tradition of having hour-long meetings is ruining the cash flow of many businesses around the world. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with meetings in and of themselves. It’s a good chance to assess where your team is at, establish the goal for the week/month/quarter, and create a shared understanding amongst your team. However, for 91% of attendees, meetings are a big waste of time.

Think about how much you can get done in an hour. For a sales professional, that’s anywhere from two to four sales calls. For writers, that’s a potential 1,000-word article completed. For programmers, that’s an additional four lines of quality code they could enter. The point I’m making is that you’re losing an hour of solid work with your meeting. What are you really getting in return?

Cut the Fat, Increase the Substance

If you want your meetings to be worth the amount of time and money you’re investing, they need to be as streamlined and results driven as possible. Here are a few suggestions to help you get there:

- Take only as much time as you need. If you get everything done in 15 minutes, then adjourn the meeting and get back to work.

- Limit your meetings to one, two at the most per week.

- Have a specific goal for every meeting. If you’re meeting just because it’s how you start your Mondays, then skip it.

- Keep inputs from your team quick and to the point. If they don’t have anything new or that benefits the group, have a quick chat with them post-meeting.

Keeping Everything In-House

There’s a misconception amongst many businesses that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. For performing those functions that your business was built on, that is 100% correct. But for functions that every business has to do, that don’t actually contribute to the bottom line, it’s not necessary that you do them yourself.

Outsource Your Non-Core Functions

Depending on what sort of business you’re in, you stand to save tens of thousands of dollars each year by outsourcing the functions that don’t relate directly to what your business does. It most businesses, examples include functions like payroll, accounting, and IT. For specialized industries like construction, an example could be transportation. Maintaining your own fleet of vehicles means spending tens of thousands on fuel, taxes, insurance, and maintenance. Renting vehicles for projects is a great way to save on costs related to your bottom line.

Constantly Upgrading Technology

There’s a common fear permeating the business world. That fear is that if you’re not operating with the latest and greatest in hardware and software, you’ll be outpaced by your competition. Here’s the thing - if a software subscription costs $500 a month for 30 features, but you only use 10 of those features, what good is it really doing you to invest that extra money?

Only Buy What You Need

Think about a subscription to satellite TV. If you’re not a sports fan, do you pay the more expensive price for the sports package? No. You buy the package that matches your viewing habits. You need to approach your purchases for business the same way. 

You know how your business truly operates and what functions you need your software to achieve. Trust me - there’s a program out there that does exactly what you need it to do, and nothing more. Don’t waste your money on programs that charge extra for features you don’t need. You can always upgrade later if you need to.