We must get our fiscal house in order! At least, that’s the talk we’re hearing in Washington D.C. these days. I don’t know about you but watching the continuous political squabbles over the budget is getting exhausting so let’s focus on something that we have direct control of, our business. Unlike the politicians in Washington we have the liberty of attacking the major issues in our business budget without worrying about the political ramifications. So let’s make OUR budgets the “hot button topic” in our lives.
I had an epiphany at the Cheesecake Factory. And no, it wasn’t that cheesecake should be illegal, although it should...sooo good. Anyways, as I stared at two uneaten baskets of bread throughout the meal and all I could think was how wasteful it was not only in general but to the business itself. How much money could the restaurant save on bread if the waitress simply asked if we wanted bread? Take some time to analyze the uneaten bread in your business. If there are suppliers you have been using for years and you haven’t gone bargain shopping in a while, now is the time. If there are products at the office that you use consistently and haven’t found a good wholesale supplier, find it. Shipping costs, gas, and un-needed office or storage space are all possible holes in your budget. The job might be tedious but the costs add up. Remember, the last thing you want to do consistently in your business is throw away bread. Pun intended.
Cut Fat, Keep Muscle:
Most likely, your business is in the same shape as our government, overweight. It’s obviously time to get leaner. However, while knowing what to cut is important, knowing what not to cut might have an even larger impact. In order for your business to get stronger you have to have muscle and it’s your job to figure out what that muscle is. What are the people, the processes, and the divisions that truly make your business unique and drive revenue? Making these areas more efficient such as devoting more marketing to social media and cutting marketing costs is good. That said, eliminating your marketing muscle is probably not a good idea. Make these areas in your business stronger even if it means diverting funds from some of the other fat you trimmed.
That doesn’t make much sense does it? Well it does if we’re talking about re-investing into the aspects of our business that will not only save us money in the long-term but contribute to the growth of revenue. As the business visionary you are, you know there are things that if addressed now could mean more revenue and more savings in the future. Do your best to create a re-investment fund in your budget to address these areas. This is a savings account used solely to sharpen your business, speed up systems, and sharpen processes. Let’s face it, you probably don’t need 28” chrome rims for your work truck but new software that simplifies the process of acquiring projects and getting paid for them is money well spent.