5 Ways to find hidden savings in your business

In the Know
Words by Zembl

Between the increase to minimum wages, the increase in superannuation and rising inflation, many aspects of running your business are becoming more expensive.

While it’s always prudent to keep an eye on your expenses, it’s now becoming crucial to review your ongoing and everyday operating costs to ensure you’re not paying too much. 

Conducting an audit to identify areas where you could save is likely to generate a strong return on investment, in terms of time spent auditing vs savings made. It can seem like an overwhelming task, but with a clear hitlist and strategic goals, you can knock this project over sooner than later. 

The sooner you get started, the sooner the savings flow through. So, here are a few different areas of business operations you could review with a goal of making savings and driving efficiencies, without compromising on quality, service or output.

1. Staffing

Your team is likely to be amongst your top two expenses, alongside rent/lease. Your staff expenses may have increased in line with a recent 5.1% increase to minimum wage, and the July 1 uptick in superannuation (10% to 10.5%). 

While reviewing staff requirements can be a huge undertaking, it could reveal some impactful savings. For instance, retailers and hospitality businesses may be able to review demand on specific days and adjust staffing levels, while corporates may be able to analyse their organisational structure, to ensure all roles offer strong ROI. 

2. Subscriptions

This is one of those expense lines that can catch many businesses off guard, as that pesky “auto renew” can see you paying for resources you don’t ultimately use. 

These usually get auto-debited from credit cards or bank accounts, so grab 12 months worth of statements and highlight subscriptions. Then, analyse whether you really get value from them. Keep an eye out for subscriptions and apps to do with HR and hiring/scheduling; news sites; IT and tech; and operations and logistics. 

Reviewing other recurring expenses to the business, like consultants and freelancer agreements, can also offer savings. 

3. Supplier costs

It’s good practice to review supplier costs on at least an annual basis, looking for opportunities to outsource elements of production where possible. 

Depending on your specific suppliers, you might be able to negotiate lower prices based on volume or loyalty. It may also be a good idea to shop around with other suppliers to see what’s available: you can take these costs back to your existing supplier to price match, or look at moving suppliers if the savings are significant. 

4. Energy expenses

With energy price increases taking effect as of 1 July, your business/es may not have received a bill that reflects higher prices yet – but they’re coming. Increasing wholesale energy prices have prompted regulators to approve price hikes nationally of up to 19% for businesses (depending on your state or territory).

Electricity, gas and even solar rebates are all being impacted and the more sites or premises you have, the greater you’ll feel the impact. There are 5 things you can do to help ensure your business doesn’t pay too much for energy, but the most impactful is around comparing energy plans. By auditing your usage and rates then shopping around for a more competitive deal, you have an opportunity to move to a cheaper network tariff, with your provider or a new retailer.

5. Internet and phone plans

When it comes to the basics in your organisation, like internet access, phone systems and mobile phone plans, there can be a wide margin between the cheapest and most expensive providers in the market. 

Reviewing your internet or mobile plans offers a great opportunity to find better rates, with particular cost efficiencies available when you bundle services together (ie internet + phone + mobile phones). Start by asking your existing provider for a better deal, and if they’re not willing to come to the party, review your options in the market.   

At Zembl we constantly review the energy market, working with businesses to help them take control of their energy bills and achieve potential savings. Contact us for an obligation-free review today on 1300 957 721.

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