Franchises and other businesses with multiple locations have a lot of expenses to cover. As business owners attempt to cut costs, they may struggle to roll out these changes across all of their locations. Consider facility maintenance costs alone, on which retailers spend an average of $5.02 per square foot, and multiply that number across several locations. These and many other costs can make running a successful multi-location business difficult, particularly when looking for ways to reduce costs without disrupting any of your locations. Thankfully, plenty of cost containment strategies are available to make multi-location businesses more profitable and easier to maintain.
If you want to save more money for your business without causing any aggravation or confusion across multiple locations, the following are some effective cost containment strategies to implement.
Paper can account for a large chunk of a company’s budget, particularly when a business comprises multiple locations. The costs of paper include the paper, printers, ink, storage, and other aspects that can all add up quickly.
According to Garter, paperwork accounts for as much as 3% of a business’s total revenue. If you can find ways to create a workplace that’s largely paper-free, you can save more money on the costs of printing and managing paperwork. You’ll also be able to save more storage space if you can keep everything stored on digital systems.
Embrace Remote Work Whenever Possible
One big expense for many businesses is office space. If your business consists of several offices across various locations, you can benefit from more cost-effectiveness and overall efficiency with an environment that accommodates remote work. While making your business entirely remote may not be viable, you can take steps to make this an occasional option.
For example, you can set up co-working spaces that are more economical. You can also give the option for employees to work from home at certain times. This will help you maintain physical office spaces, but they may not need to be as spacious with a hybrid work arrangement in place. Meanwhile, employees benefit from the social elements of an in-person co-working space alongside the convenience of remote work. In turn, you can save more money while ensuring employees are consistently accessible, whether in person or online.
Communicate Effectively With Franchisees
If you own a franchise and find that your business is struggling or requires cost containment strategies, be sure to communicate these issues with both franchisees and staff. To successfully implement cost containment strategies of any kind, you need to facilitate a collaborative effort. This will ensure that everyone works together to take the necessary measures to improve the business.
For instance, if you want to save more money on energy expenses, you may want to encourage all employees to turn off equipment when it’s not in use. You can also limit the use of certain devices whenever possible. Depending on your goals, you can create company-wide guidelines that everyone should learn and follow to help cut down on costs in a collective effort.
Audit Your Expenses
To get a complete picture of your costs, you need to understand where all of your money is going. You might be spending more than you need to on everything from utilities and shipping to waste removal and merchant processing. The best way to determine precisely how much you’re spending and should be spending is to conduct an audit.
With the help of professional auditing services, you can find out what you’re paying compared to what other similar businesses are spending. You can then identify any errors or inefficiencies that you can eliminate in your cost containment strategies. For example, a single billing error could contribute to significantly larger utility expenses than what you should actually be paying. Auditing can also help determine the most cost-effective billing structure and apply it to every account.
Based on what you find in an audit, you’ll be able to take the necessary steps to optimize the cost and performance of all of your facilities.
If you would like to benefit from a comprehensive audit of utilities and more, connect with the experts at Util Auditors today.
Automate Mundane Activities
When looking for cost containment strategies to help your business, consider any tasks and processes across locations that you can automate in some way. Plenty of tools are available to help automate some of the more basic and repetitive tasks. Taking this step ensures your staff spends less time on them. This will further boost productivity and, ultimately, profitability.
The first step is to look at all of the processes involved in your business. From there, you can determine which could benefit from using automation tools. The ideal solution will be able to simplify these tasks. In some cases, you may also want to outsource tasks to others if this is a cost-effective option for you. However, you should make sure you outsource tasks to the right people. Otherwise, this may hurt rather than help your business.
Locate the Right Suppliers
You may also be able to cut additional costs by switching suppliers of expensive plans. Are you happy with your current supplier, but you want to negotiate a more cost-effective plan? Then consider reaching out to your supplier to discuss a new deal. When you have a good relationship with this supplier, they’ll be more likely to willingly negotiate. You can even mention what competitors are charging to steer the direction of the negotiation.
Use the Right Cost Containment Strategies for Long-Term Success
By implementing any of these and other cost containment strategies for your multi-location business, you can avoid the headache of balancing multiple stores or offices. The right approach will allow your business to grow and eliminate any inefficiencies that might otherwise hold you back.
For professional auditing services, turn to Util Auditors. We offer comprehensive utility auditing services and more to help optimize operational efficiency across your entire organization.