The sixth cause of poor cashflow - Overheads are too high


This isn’t typically a place where you will find a lot of wastage. Our experience is that business owners are very careful about managing their expenses, and the smaller the business is, the truer that statement is.

Having said that, as a business grows, so do the layers of hierarchy. Management control can deteriorate, and the business can become a bit flabby. The trick is to trim the fat but not the muscle when it comes to evaluating your expenses.

As an absolute minimum, every business should do a thorough review of its overheads at the same time every year, so that this just becomes a natural routine.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do appropriate managers and key staff have individual expense budgets? If so, how are these managed?
  2. Have you conducted a formal review of all debt service costs and related fees?
  3. What policies and cost control processes are in place for sales staff? Include all working away allowances, vehicle reimbursement expenses, entertainment, and credit card use.
  4. What was your total marketing and advertising spend for the last 12 months? Have you analysed each component of spend based on effectiveness and results to the business?
  5. When was the last time you renewed your IT support contract? Have you negotiated a fixed monthly fee? If so, is your current fee and contract appropriate (consider migration of services to the cloud)?
  6. List all subscriptions you pay monthly for software as a service (SaaS) cloud services. Are you using all of these services and are you on the right plan for each? Conduct a cost benefit analysis.
  7. And finally, do you consider your accounting fees a cost or an investment? If they’re a cost, you need to reduce them. If you’re getting value from your annual spend with us, then maybe you should invest more to get better business outcomes.

Best practice to keep good control over spending is to set budgets and monitor them monthly. Talk to us about the best way to do just that. Phone 03 474 0475 and ask for one of our business advisers.

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