Earlier this year, Walmart announced that they will save $200 million by changing their light bulbs and save $20 million by using a new floor wax. Those kinds of numbers are cause for anyone to stop and re-think routine purchases. Making supply or operational changes in your store probably won’t save you $200 million, but, there are likely plenty of opportunities to trim your spending to make a bigger profit. Make part of your New Year’s resolution to reevaluate internal costs to see what can be tightened up. Start by looking at these areas:
Regularly reevaluate your carriers including rates for different weights and shipping speeds. Often, the least expensive shipping strategy will be a mix of different carriers for different situations. The United States Post Office is increasing their rates significantly come January 2019, and UPS, Fed-Ex and other carriers also increase rates annually. Be sure to review your rates with your carrier rep, and renegotiate if necessary. Once your overall strategy is in place, make sure you’re not overpaying. Use a service such as Refund Retriever to ensure carriers are not overcharging — and if they are, that you get your money back.
It’s easy to go into auto-pilot mode when it comes to inventory and reordering — including non-merchandise supplies. Take a hard look and compare what you are actually using to what you are buying. If there are supplies you are constantly purchasing, such as receipt paper, purchase in bulk from a wholesaler or warehouse club to get the best price.
Take a page out of Walmart’s playbook and opt for more energy efficient products like LED light bulbs. They cost more upfront, but will save you money in the long run. Most utility companies also offer free business energy audits so an expert can point out exactly how you can cut back on your utility costs.
Make your staff more efficient by scheduling them properly. Utilize foot traffic data to factually determine your busiest hours. Proper staffing ensures you are not missing sales by being understaffed, and not paying for unnecessary hours. Solutions like Dor are specifically designed for small businesses.