Business owners always try to find ways and means to reduce overhead costs and improve their employees’ productivity. The pandemic highlighted this situation as businesses asked their employees to work from home. And it appears the work-from-home arrangement was a blessing in disguise as it allowed the business to save on overhead costs while increasing the productivity levels of its employees.
A reduction in overhead costs and better productivity translates to savings for the business, which allows it to thrive even in the middle of a pandemic. In addition to thriving, the business’s savings allow it to expand and even increase the salaries of the employees. So, a reduction in overhead expenses and better employee productivity also benefits the employees of the business.
The following are some ways a small business can reduce overhead expenses and improve employee productivity.
Make Remote Work Permanent
When businesses asked their employees to work from home, some employees were apprehensive about the idea since it was new to them. But after they got comfortable with the situation, their productivity increased. Aside from better productivity, businesses also saved money on operating expenses as they didn’t need to maintain large offices for their workforce.
Due to this, businesses can make their remote work permanent. Some companies have already extended the work-from-home arrangements of their employees. These companies include Google, Apple, and Airbnb.
Business owners can consider checking employee tasks and see if remote working is suitable for their employees. Even though the business needs to upgrade its systems, the long-term savings outweigh the initial costs of making its employees work from home permanently.
Working from home also allows the employees to save on commuting expenses. They can use their savings to upgrade their computer set-up. They can also use it to pay off the home loan they took out for their current home.
Business owners can also consider automating tasks instead of hiring a full-time administrative assistant. Automation is possible for simple generic administrative tasks, such as invoicing, job recruitment, appointment scheduling, and backing up of files.
Automating these tasks allows the business to reduce the cost of hiring additional employees, which is important for the business to stay afloat during the pandemic. Aside from administrative tasks, a business can also automate marketing tasks, such as blog post scheduling, online traffic monitoring, social media posts, and event registration.
The business can also automate customer service tasks like sending email greetings to loyal customers, email responses to usual questions, and even customer support. The important thing here is that the business looks for the most appropriate software to automate different tasks to reduce overhead expenses.
Limit Variable Expenses
Variable expenses of businesses include office supplies, food, and business travel. While the pandemic helped reduce this, a business should continue limiting it when the pandemic ends. If the business makes remote work permanent, it will reduce office supply expenses. Video-conferencing can also reduce the need to travel for meetings and even conventions if the organizers offer online access to these events. The business should review these expenses and scale down or eliminate unnecessary expenses.
Check Software Subscriptions
These days, business owners depend on cloud-based tools to streamline the management of their businesses. While these online tools offer many benefits for business owners, their services might not compensate for the monthly cost of subscribing to some of these tools.
So, business owners must check their software subscriptions and decide if they should continue the subscription or not. If the business cannot use all the features offered by the online tool’s premium version, it might have to end the subscription and look for a free version instead.
Business owners can also look for an online tool offering all the features the business needs instead of subscribing to different cloud-based tools. A single subscription also makes it easier for the business owner to monitor the service’s monthly expenses.
Consider Independent Contractors
If business owners are planning to hire people to work on some projects, they can consider looking for independent contractors who have the project’s skills. For instance, the business owner can look for a freelance web developer to create a business website.
One major advantage of hiring independent contractors is that the business doesn’t have to pay for benefits. They pay for the services of the freelancers. And typically, the fee is costs less than hiring a full-time employee.
Reducing overhead expenses during a pandemic is essential for a small business to survive until everything goes back to normal.