Business resource management is part of the day-to-day management of running a business. And everything you do in your business, from the way you manage your time to the contractors you keep on payroll, have an effect on your monetary resources.
- The way you pay your bills (payroll software, staff, etc.)
- Receiving money from clients (invoicing, payment processing, etc.)
- What you spend money on (contractors, supplies, etc.)
1. Watch Out for Bank Fees
These days it seems like there's a bank fee for just about everything. Whether it's a fee for maintaining a monthly minimum or over-drafting your account, it's important to know what fees you may incur. Have your bank give you a list of fees. You may even want to switch banks if you feel like these are too high or unreasonable. If you have several business accounts with monthly fees and are only using a couple of them, close the extras.
2. Make It Easy for Clients to Pay You
Technically this is a money-making tip and not a money-saving tip. But, if you're making money aren't you also saving money?
Many businesses still don't take advantage of the number of payment services out there. These services (Paypal, Invoiceable, Harvest, etc.) make it easy for your clients to pay with debit and credit cards, and even automatically send invoices when they're late. These services often cost money and/or take a percentage of the amount charged, so be sure to read the fine print and use them wisely. The real benefit of these types of services is the increase in cash flow. The faster and more consistent, the better.
3. Stop Spending Money on Dining Out
It's fun to be the boss and take the team out for a meal. Businesses can get caught up spending needless amounts of money on food. Take a step back and think, do you really need to have Friday's lunch catered? Food is one of the worst, least deductible tax write-offs, so maybe instead of every week, you have Friday's lunch catered once a month. You could save $200-$500 a month! It's important to reward your team when they have worked really hard, but make sure it's a prize, not just an expected perk.
4. Go Easy on the Supplies
Purchasing pens, paper, copy machines and other miscellaneous supplies can get out of hand very quickly. Be strict about the budget you set for supplies. Think about what supplies you really need to do business. You may not need that $2000 copy machine after all.
5. Skip the Booth & Just Attend
Ok, it's cool to have a booth at your industry's biggest conference but they are a an infamously huge waste of money when done half-hearted and without a full-on lead-generating strategy. You essentially pay an exorbitant amount of money to have your team confined to one place during the show. At least part of your team always needs to be at the booth.
It's true that some networking may occur within the confines of your booth, but if you and your team were in five different places at once, you'd have better business development opportunities by not having to babysit the booth. Just going to a conference is expensive. Save thousands by skipping the booth and just attending. Be a bag sponsor if you want.
6. Set an Example
As the saying goes, "Be the change in the world". Culture within a company is set by executives but it's also set within individual departments and teams. Set the example for your team. Demonstrate how you use company resources and your team will follow.
7. Be a Better Scientist
"We've always done it this way because that's how we've always done it". That statement gets repeated at hundreds of businesses on weekly basis. Most businesses have forgotten how to experiment.
Every company is guilty. You have a repeatable process that works, you already have a relationship with one vendor. Why should you change any of it?
You should always be striving for the best, but the unknown may be better and cheaper. To start experimenting you only need to ask yourself this one question, "Is there a better way of doing this?". It could a faster way or a cheaper way. It could be as simple as using a new software tool to help give you better perspective of what your team is up to.
Be curious, try new things and you'll make discoveries that benefit your business by saving them time and money.
These seven business resource management tips are just the beginning. Every company is unique so we hope we've sparked your imagination. Business resource management is about getting creative with the way your company uses its time, money and effort.