In amateur athletics, the winner of a 100m metre sprint often romps to victory a good second or so ahead of the second-placed challenger, and veritable streets in front of the straggler at the back. However, at the top of the tree, at Olympic level, with the Usain Bolts and Yohan Blakes of the world, the score is settled by mere mili-seconds.
The margins between success and failure are so minimal as to be almost invisible to the naked eye.
The same is true of top level business. It is the little things that ensure the success of one, and the deterioration of the other. Survival of the fittest: pure and simple.
As the old saying goes, “look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves”.
The secret to cutting corners
Remember, cutting corners shouldn’t mean sacrificing quality. Any corners which you cut as part of your business dealings should be aimed at saving you time and money, and not leave you saddled with extra costs to rectify mistakes. The important thing is to strike a balance between speed and accuracy. You need tasks to be completed as quickly as possible to give you the best use of time but precision is needed in equal measure too to prevent any backlash.
Reviewing your use of resources and the distribution of current workloads is a good place to start when seeking corners to cut. Identify areas which are oversaturated, where productivity is low or where overspending is common and look for ways to address this. Any action which will cut costs whilst improving efficiency and performance should be embraced and implemented immediately to allow you to begin reaping the benefits of cutting corners instantaneously.
Here are five handy corners that your business can afford to cut.
1. Lead by example
OK, so not necessarily an example of cutting a corner but repeatedly asking your staff to be diligent when it comes to costs becomes irrelevant if you fail to practice what you preach. When you’ve managed to climb your way to the top, you may feel entitled to one or two perks but if you’re really serious about getting ahead then instigate some self-discipline and go without. Your employees will soon follow suit.
Just an idea, but more and more companies are outsourcing certain elements of the business and are feeling the benefits of doing so. This is a great way to cut corners by taking the responsibility of certain tasks outside of your door but you need to make sure that you’re giving your work to people you can trust.
Outsourcing jobs to those offering a substandard or unprofessional finish will only make more work for you in the long run and completely undermine the purpose of delegating jobs in the first place. Look at company testimonials for proven track records which allow you take confidence in the work being offered to you.
3. Go paperless whenever possible
Take a quick walk around any office floor, and the first thing you will notice are reams and reams of paper. Absolutely everywhere.
Nowadays, there really is no need to have so much paper around. Most offices are fully digitised with people working on computers and important documents being emailed rather than posted, with certain exceptions when things need to be signed in person.
Apart from the security risk that comes with having so much paper lying around, and the huge amounts of unnecessary clutter, cutting down on the levels of paper you use can create a big difference to your company accounts – and is of course also environmentally friendly.
4. Be time efficient
A simple and straightforward one, but no less useful. In business, time is money and if you use your time effectively then you will, by definition, save money. Cutting corners to become more time efficient should never lead to sacrificing or compromising on quality so remember to bear this in mind. Instead, look for useful ways to make the most of your time.
This could be something as simple as not putting the phone receiver down when calling large lists of contacts but rather simply pressing the receiver button to end the call. Undertaking courses to help you type faster can also help you save time by allowing you to get through more work in a short space of time.
5. Buying recycled or refurbished ink cartridges instead of new ones.
A significant amount of the expense when it comes to printing is not from the ink itself, but from the cartridge. Every business needs to print things from time to time, like legal documents, brochures or marketing material, but replacing your used ink cartridges with new ones is an expense that can definitely be avoided.
Recycled or refurbished ones work just as well, save you money, and go some way towards helping the environment. Visit Phoenix Direct for more information on refurbished and recycled ink cartridges to begin cutting corners, but not quality, today.