Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question,“what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
Over time you might notice that office expenses are creeping up. As a solopreneur or a small business employer, you are likely monitoring your overall expenses and monthly cash on hand closely. If you start to see an uptick in expenses without an uptick in sales or clients, consider looking closer at the following items to see if any of these areas have changed.
Do you know how much time is wasted by office gossip? A couple of years ago Harris Poll estimated that gossiping accounted for more than 42 percent of the time wasted in the office. On average, 60 percent of people wasted more than an hour a day surmising the management motives and future plans. Stop the office gossip by being transparent and upfront about what you’re doing and what you think. It’s amazing how directness and truth are anathemas to gossip and hearsay.
Email addiction is costing your office thousands in lost wages every year. Inboxes are overflowing, and your colleagues are stopping every five minutes to respond. Perhaps an email policy is in order? Consider what is vital to send to all employees and what can wait for a monthly management memo. Encourage file purges and old emails to be automatically deleted after a certain amount of time to save on storage space. Even virtual clutter takes up space on servers.
Proprietary Ink Cartridges
When you bought your printer, you most likely thought you were getting a good deal. Most solopreneurs and small businesses bought a machine that prints, scans, and photocopies for less than $500. The issue comes in when the new ink cartridges are $60 a piece, and you burn through a couple a week. Pro tip: don’t buy expensive ink cartridges. Opt for alternatives, like Jet Tec Ink Cartridges, which are cheaper and more convenient to buy.
Advertising, Press Releases And Marketing Firms
Make sure you know how much you are spending on advertising and marketing. If you are using a firm for these services, make sure you know your ROI. If you aren’t breaking even, consider pausing your contact, if applicable, and building relationships with clients first. Ask for testimonials for your product or service. Advertise locally and work to build relationships with local news outlets.
The Trappings of Business
Recently, Kane Jamison of Hoodwebmanagement.com said the biggest money drain was the trappings of business, or trying to keep up with bigger organizations and spending money on office settings, cars and appearances. Most small businesses, in his opinion, waste money on things they didn’t need. Don’t buy expensive desks when all everybody used for work was lightweight laptops and tablets. Don’t spend money on suits and haircuts to get the “business look.”