Businesses, by nature, pursue profit and financial gain. Obviously, this can be achieved by reaching new customers or expanding contracts with existing clients, but this isn’t the only way to increase returns.

Instead, many organizations are getting more from what they’ve got by cutting costs and eliminating pricey errors. Below are a few missteps that cost businesses thousands every year and what you can do to turn those cash-drains into usable money.

Neglecting Research

One of the worst blunders your business can do is to invest in a marketing campaign, novel venture or technological integration without fully researching it. How foolish would you feel sinking thousands into an online advertising campaign to an audience that ignores digital ads? It’s much better to spend your time assessing the cost and benefits of a plan from the get go.

As Sun Tzu says, “If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”

Never Measuring

Similarly, it’s a big mistake to ignore lessons from past successes and failures; and the only way to do this is through measurement. Do you know the return on investment from going paperless? How about from your latest PR event?

Hindsight is 20/20. So, invest in tools and technologies that track your progress and manages historical trends.

Lost Documentation

File cabinets, for the most part, are a thing of the past. Instead, employees prefer to store valuable data and documentation digitally. But that doesn’t mean files can’t get lost in the shuffle. Incorrect files names, external hard drives, and poor box service protocols can quickly bury important documents.

Stymie this clerical headache by requiring every employee to save their documents in a shared cloud platform.

Redundancy

Sometimes redundancy in a system is a good idea. It’s nice to know that your business won’t come to a grinding halt just because an employee left the company or because a specific technology is experiencing difficulties. However, an overabundance of similar tech, labor or data can do more to drain money and resources when you need it most.

Examine your operations and nix cumbersome redundancies.

Poor Communication

A business is only as capable as its employees, which is why it is absolutely vital to provide workers the tools and technologies they need to communication effectively.

Consider investing in collaborative technologies like internal chat platforms, video conferencing services or social software.

Inventory Hiccups

Sometimes manufacturers or supply chains fall prey to unavoidable errors, which can really muck up your operations. While these issues may be out of your control, you can make smart moves by addressing the problem right away with robust enterprise resource planning software.

Kenandy, for example, is an inventory management system built on Salesforce that gives real-time insight into the supply chain, manufacturing and more, for multiple departments.

Eschewing Cloud Computing

We touched on this earlier, but it bears repeating. The cloud is infinitely scalable, easy to access from virtually any web-connected device and is safer than many on-premises data stacks.

If you really want to cut costs and boost productivity, it’s time to embrace the cloud.

Employing Pricey Labor

Every office needs reliable and dependable teams in-house, but it is sometimes cheaper to employ an agency to tackle certain tasks, like one-off marketing campaigns. Additionally, internships and outsourcing are affordable alternatives to delegating redundant duties.

Overinvesting in Office Spaces

Finally, look at your office space. Does your building have a fountain in the lobby, an overabundance of conference rooms and floor space you couldn’t imagine filling in the next two years? It might be time to downsize to a cheaper office.

Once you have eliminated many of these expensive business mistakes, you will likely discover you have created a more efficient workplace that encourages employees to spend more time on customers and clients. This, of course, will result in a happier customer experience and greater profits for your organization. Now that’s something spectacular!


photo credit: danielfoster437 Glass Architecture via photopin (license)

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George Meszaros is the editor and co-founder of Success Harbor where entrepreneurs learn about building successful companies. Success Harbor is dedicated to document the entrepreneurial journey through interviews, original research, and unique content. George Meszaros is also co-founder of Webene, a web design and digital marketing agency.