It’s no secret that rising inflation, supply chain issues, and lower consumer spending is dealing a blow to businesses in most industries across North America. And as the U.S. experienced two consecutive quarters with contracting GDP, these trends may seem to last at least for the near future. In a recent survey by The Harris Poll, 92% of U.S. businesses leaders and 91% in Canada said their companies have been negatively impacted by inflation. Moreover, they’ve had to make difficult decisions, including raising prices, absorbing additional costs, reducing transportation, and more to help curb the rising costs of running their businesses.
While it may be difficult to predict when the markets will self-correct, leaders can do certain things now to lower operating costs and maintain productivity and profitability. Check out these creative tips to help safeguard your company from rising costs!
Make the Most of Your Space
During the past few years, businesses have learned they can do more with less. And while brick-and-mortars have been becoming a thing of the past, some still find it crucial to operate with one for company culture and customer experience. If getting rid of your office space is not an option, then use it to your advantage and make your space work for you. Any unused or underused workstations can be rented out to help lower the costs of operations. If possible, consider consolidating your workplace to a smaller, more practical area and lease 30% to 50% of your building to another business. Another trend that companies are doing is renting out desk space to independent contractors, remote workers, and sole proprietors.
Adopt a Hybrid Workforce
Energy costs are among the most affected by inflation. To overcome this barrier, consider implementing a hybrid workforce in which employees can work from home either part-time or full-time. Companies can not only save on electricity, but can also save on supply costs, water bills, toiletries, and even coffee. An extra benefit of allowing workers to stay home is that companies may save on other benefits such as child care and PTO costs. And if employees are saving money by not commuting, businesses won’t be as pressured to offer higher wages to combat high prices at the pump.
Save Time, Save Money
The old idiom “time is money” may be truer today than ever. So, as business leaders, it’s imperative to make the most of your and your employee’s time at the office to keep productivity high. Consider cutting back on unnecessary meetings, events, and seminars that take the employee’s focus off of the job at hand. While it’s important to cultivate a culture of communication, creativity, learning, and development, companies can often take too much time away from workers’ roles, leaving unused, unproductive hours and even days on the table. Consider cutting back the daily check-ins to once a week, or those weekly department meetings to once a month. Be strategic with each meeting by creating an agenda and sticking with it in order to avoid unproductive meetings and time-wasting communication.
Embrace Employment Specialists
According to a study, labor can account for as much as 70% of total business costs, including wages, benefits, payroll, and taxes. And while your employees are your greatest asset, how your workforce is set up may be adding unnecessary costs to your operations and hindering your bottom line. One way to keep costs down is by teaming up with a staffing agency. Employment solution companies like Express Employment Professionals can take the hassle out of hiring by doing all the work for you to find the employees you need during record low employment. Moreover, staffing companies like Express can provide contract workers or temporary employees to keep labor costs even lower by handling benefits, payroll, and taxes. Consider maintaining a core team and supplementing with temporary workers during the ups and downs of the current business climate.
How are you handling higher operating costs? What creative methods have you embraced to help curb inflation? Let us know in the comments section below!
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