Teamwork makes the cost-cutting dream work

Improving profitability by putting people first 

6 tips for making cost-cutting a team effort

You need to cut costs to prepare for the future. That’s clear. But how can you do it so it’s easier, faster, and more impactful? By making it a team effort. Follow these recommendations to get your team involved to provide greater insights and more profitable outcomes.

The time to make strategic changes is now. And like any good strategy: the best outcomes come from solid teamwork. 

Whether you’re a veteran business owner navigating the new economic climate or a savvy entrepreneur trying to stand out in a new role – one of the biggest indicators of future success is how quickly and efficiently you can make positive change.

But change is hard. And when it comes to making it happen, a team effort makes all the difference. Not only will you gain insights into blind spots you never knew existed,but getting everyone involved ensures the goal is understood and the change is easier to implement. 

Below, find some tips for making knowledgeable cost-cutting decisions with the help of your most valuable asset: your employees.

Avoid “wrong-sizing”

Wrong-sizing occurs when you cut your budget or your staff before taking the time to learn about what your team needs to be successful. It’s impossible to know the in’s and out’s of every area of your business – that’s why you have a team. 

By talking with employees in each area of operations, it will be infinitely easier to distinguish between the need-to-haves and the nice-to-haves when it comes to business expenses. 

Turn over every stone in your business – Get creative!

Cutting costs is making money — and who doesn’t want to make more money? Take a look at every area of your business to find areas where you could be saving. Don’t limit yourself! From credit card processing, to waste and recycling,  even employee uniforms – you have more costs than you think, which means even more opportunities to save. And yes, turning over every stone takes time and effort – and that’s why teamwork is essential. From trucks on the road and people in the field to staff in the office – get your teams involved to identify processes that could be more profitable.

Assign team leaders to compile and report on opportunities to streamline and improve. This is a critical aspect of powerful productivity and efficiency methods like KanBan and Lean Six Sigma and can work well in virtually any environment.

Renegotiate your contacts

This is a time where many businesses are making exceptions and cutting deals for their current clients. If you feel like you might be overpaying on one of your business solutions, you probably are. And, we can help! Our Savings Experts can get you started with a free assessment to show you all the ways that you could be saving. It might be time to renegotiate some of your current contracts, so we can connect you with something even better.

Before doing the work yourself, log-in to your member benefits to better understand where it’s already been done for you. In just a few clicks, you can quickly unlock pre-negotiated rates in over 20+ categories.

Know your limits (and your budget) 

Every team should know their budget, their workload limits, and the balance of the two that keeps everyone running profitably. After decades of working with businesses across industries, the teams that have the most success with cost-cutting are those that involve the people with boots on the ground. Your team will know how much bandwidth they have left for new projects, and what could be outsourced to free up some more time. A downturn is a time to get creative and resourceful – which sometimes means trying something new.

Did you know?

The average business running in-house payroll bi-weekly , spends 235 more hours a year on essential payroll-related tasks than companies that outsource?

Get crystal clear on main priorities

By organizing your tasks as a team, you’ll be able to see where your time is being spent, and where there is room for streamlining tasks to make them more efficient. A project management tool like Monday, Asana, or Basecamp can help you get your ducks in a row. Once you have a good idea of where everyone is spending their time, you can identify any areas that might need fine tuning (you spend how many hours on hiring and application management?!). To take it a step further, fully managed cost-cutting platforms like Member Center help you see all of the business improvement opportunities for your organization.

Take the time to listen and learn from your employees 

Bringing your employees into the cost-cutting conversation can have a huge payoff. Any employee can reduce company costs, and every employee brings a unique perspective and insight into where your company could be saving. Perhaps one employee has noticed an inefficiency or costly service that you might not be aware of because it’s just not part of your daily to-do list. Or, a more recent hire might have used a software at their previous company that could streamline operations and save you thousands. But, remember – if it’s not on your calendar, you can probably bet that it won’t happen. Set quarterly reminders to check-in with your people, and implement a process where their suggestions can be seen and heard.

Make a point to better understand the many processes (and products) that your people use to drive success for your business.

When leaders take a bottom-up approach, they not only cut costs significantly but also realize their goals more rapidly. As the Harvard Business Review points out: Including your employees in decision making isn’t just a good people move, it’s a good business move!

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