Five Ways in which 21st Century Businesses can cut their Running Costs
You don't need to be a financial guru to appreciate that businesses throughout the world have been faced with some pretty lean times over the last few years. More than ever before business leaders and financial managers have been forced to scrutinise cash flow and ensure that every penny counts. Even at the most basic level, balancing a business's books and forecasting financial performance are challenging prospects and particularly for managers who have no financial background. Business skills training specialists Maguire Training offer a comprehensive range of business finance courses including Finance for the 'Non-Financial Manager' and 'Understanding the Nature and Behaviour of Costs', which are designed to equip delegates with the knowledge, skills and strategies required to successfully manage all aspects of business finance.
When times are tight, competition is fierce and customers are scarce, one of the first potential ways of saving money is to reduce running costs. The good news is that in the twenty-first century there are a number of ways in which businesses can achieve significant savings in running costs without compromising business stability or performance. Below the experts at Maguire Training suggest five ways in which 21st century businesses can cut their running costs.
- Switch licensed office software for open source alternatives
Whilst you might not want to risk swapping Microsoft Windows for a (cost-free) operating system such as Linux, it is possible to deploy fully functional and compatible open-source office suites (word processor, spreadsheet tool, presentation package etc.), web browsers and many other software productivity tools which are entirely free to download and install and which are fully supported.
- Switch to internet or cloud-based telephony
For smaller businesses, using an internet telephony application such as Skype or Vonage can result in greatly reduced business call costs and adds the advantage of inexpensive video calling/conferencing. Larger businesses can remove the costs of purchasing and maintaining physical on-site telephone systems by opting for cloud-based telephone services which offer as much or as little capacity and as few or as many calling features as a business needs and can be expanded or reduced in accordance with changing needs.
- Outsource non-critical business functions to freelance workers
Thanks to the internet there is a thriving marketplace of talented freelancers who can carry out the widest variety of tasks from marketing to business support at a fraction of the cost of employing an in-house member of staff to do the same job.
- Shop around for the best deals from service suppliers
Once again, the internet has made it incredibly easy for businesses to identify and compare the product and service suppliers that can provide the most cost effective deals for everything from broadband connectivity to mobile telephony and from office stationery to printer and photocopier maintenance. Customer retention is as important to your suppliers as it is to you, so if you are a longstanding customer make sure to push for any loyalty discounts or incentives.
- Question whether you need to be a 'bricks and mortar' business
Physical office or retail space is an expensive commodity, and should your business be able to reduce or even eliminate its physical premises in favour of 'virtual' operation, with call-centre workers telecommuting in from home for example, the reduction in rental costs and associated utility bills could be enormous.
The correct handling of finances is crucial to the survival and long-term success of any business. Maguire Training provides all of the expertise that leaders and business managers need to ensure that their financial operations are running smoothly. Better still, each of these outstanding courses, including 'Finance for the Non-Financial Manager' and 'Understanding the Nature and Behaviour of Costs' is conveniently available as online training, accessed via Maguire Training's innovative and versatile E-learning platform.