Article | July 29, 2021
The first and crucial part of building your small business is setting up finance for your business. Overhead costs for small businesses are also included in this broad category of business finance. An old proverb, “You need to spend money to make money,” gels perfectly with the business notion.
Business owners spend a lot of money creating a product or service, which is considered “direct costs.” Some expenses are not directly related to the creation of a product or service but aid in the operation of your business; these are referred to as "overhead costs" or "indirect costs." However, from an accounting standpoint, overhead costs are not considered expenses at all.
Small business owners have a lot of costs to consider especially overhead costs. Here are a few examples of overhead costs: a business license, accounts payable, invoices, office supplies, accounting, and legal fees, bank fees, and many more to pen down.
Business owners are behooved to be careful and make sure that their expenses should not outweigh their income. Business overhead is one area that most businesses face, and it is worth investigating further and managing it accordingly.
Overhead expenses consume most of the remaining space on your profit and loss statement. However, cutting your overhead costs will improve your business finances.
Let us further discuss few aspects of overhead costs and how to reduce overhead costs for small businesses.
What Are Overhead Costs?
Overhead costs are the indirect but requisite expenses for running a business. These costs do not directly generate revenue for the company, but they do not change as your business grows. Overhead costs must be borne even if no products or services are produced or sold for a period and cannot be
Here are few examples of overhead costs for small businesses:
Electricity bill, gas, water, internet, etc.
Rent for office spaces, warehouses, etc.
Business licenses and permits
Marketing and advertising materials.
Salaries and wages
Insurance for vehicles, employees, and properties.
The key is to keep track of your overhead costs and not let them interfere with your efforts to grow your business and turn a profit.
Once your concept of direct and indirect costs is cleared, the calculation of overhead costs becomes relatively easy.
Types of Overhead Costs
The overhead costs are divided into three main categories that can directly affect your small business fixed costs, variable costs, and semi-variable costs. Fixed costs are easily trackable. Below are few types of overhead costs for small businesses.
Fixed Overhead Costs
The majority of your business expenses fall under fixed overhead costs and do not change regardless of the profit earned by the company or change in the level of output; it remains the same each month. Fixed costs are easily tracked and managed as well.
Fixed costs are pretty predictable and are required to keep a business running smoothly.
Few examples of fixed overhead costs
Renting a manufacturing facility or a corporate office.
Fixed asset depreciation expenses.
Software subscription fees.
Fixed overhead costs are stable and do not deviate from the amounts budgeted for them. However, there are a few exceptions, such as if sales exceed what the company budgeted for, in which case fixed overhead costs may rise as new managers and administrative staff are hired. More employees are added to the company.
Similarly, if you decide to purchase a few additional pieces of machinery to increase production, this will result in a permanent change in fixed overhead costs.
Variable Overhead Costs
Variable overhead costs are those that change depending on the business activity, such as sales volume. Variable costs rise as your sales rise and fall as your sales fall. Variable overhead costs, as opposed to fixed overhead costs, vary from month to month.
Here are some examples of variable overhead costs:
Maintenance of equipment.
Unless the number of workers increases or decreases with production volumes, the labor involved in the production, or direct labor, may not be a variable cost.
Semi-Variable Overhead Costs
Semi-variable overhead costs have qualities of both fixed costs and variable costs. A business may incur such costs at any time, though the exact cost will vary depending on the level of business activity.
Utilities are classified as a semi-variable expense. These costs are only fixed up to a certain level of output. For example, the office’s electricity bill is a monthly cost but varies as per the season.
Semi-variable overhead costs include:
Utilities (power and water costs).
Company vehicle expenses (i.e., gas).
Ways to Reduce Your Overhead Costs
Going paperless is a simple way to save money. Although it may not appear to be a high cost, paper and ink do add up. Instead, adopt technology such as a cloud-based system to store all of your vital corporate data online. This will save you time and money while also allowing you to keep track of details for a more extended period. In addition, going paperless is cost-effective too.
However, going digital also reduces clutter and makes it easier for business owners to stay organized. In the event of a computer or program failure, make sure you have a backup of all your documents.
Going paperless is an intelligent decision to reduce overhead costs for small businesses because of few advantages such as being environmentally friendly, easy access, and digital file system easy to organize.
Create a Systematic Purchasing Process
It's a good idea to appoint one person in the company to handle, examine, and authorize purchases so that he can see all the expenses that management plans to incur before they're paid. In addition, negotiating contracts and placing office supply orders should be the responsibility of this person.
By putting one person in charge of purchasing, that individual can devote all of their time to finding the most incredible deals. The individual in charge of purchasing should be a skilled negotiator who is not hesitant to ask for a discount. Request that your purchasing manager go shopping for better prices on the things you buy frequently. Consider rewarding your purchasing agent with a bonus if they achieve specific cost-cutting goals without sacrificing quality.
Purchasing equipment such as computers, photocopiers, and other necessities every year is a significant expenditure. As a result, leasing equipment is frequently the best option for businesses looking to reduce monthly costs. Renting or leasing equipment makes it easier to upgrade to newer versions of computers and other equipment. Additionally, while leasing, costs such as equipment repairs and maintenance will be reduced if not eliminated.
Tax benefits are frequently available for equipment leases. In addition, depending on the lease, you may be able to claim your payments as a business expense by utilizing specific legal provisions.
Leasing equipment is one of the most productive ways to reduce your overhead costs for small businesses.
Market to Your Existing Customers
Marketing to your existing customers can be a good strategy to reduce costs. This step reduces your marketing costs and shows that you care about rewarding loyalty, which gives your brand a boost.
Customers who are happy with your products or services are more inclined to tell their friends and family about them, and word of mouth is still the most effective marketing method.
Organic promotion from peers is more likely to be trusted by potential customers than paid advertising.
Choose a Business Credit Card That Suits You
Choose the best business credit card that suits you for your business expenses. Your company can benefit from credit cards in several ways. For example, Cash-back benefits, travel miles, or a point system are all available on cards targeted for corporate use.
When buying office supplies and paying for travel expenses with a credit card, these incentives can pile up quickly. First, examine the annual fees and interest rates associated with your credit card. Then, it could be time to apply for no-fee credit cards with lower interest rates.
Choose a credit card that is ideal for your company, particularly in credit limits, interest rates, and fees. This could be one of the methods to your cost-cutting.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are typical overhead costs?
Overheads are business costs associated with the day-to-day operation of the business. Accounting fees, insurance, advertising, legal fees, interest, labor burden, rent, supplies, repairs, taxes, travel expenses, phone bills, and utilities are examples of overhead expenses.
How do you calculate overhead costs for a small business?
Divide the total overhead costs of the business in a month by the monthly sales to calculate the overhead rate. To calculate your overhead rate, multiply this figure by 100. A lower overhead rate indicates greater efficiency and profits.
Are overheads fixed costs?
Typically, overhead does not fluctuate with increases in product production, which is why it is a fixed cost. Mortgage or rent for buildings such as the corporate office are examples of fixed costs.
"name": "How to write resolutions for small businesses?",
"text": "Examine all aspects of your small business from the previous year to create a solid list of resolutions for the coming year. Consider your successes and failures and work to alleviate them."
"name": "What is a resolution for a business?",
"text": "In business, a resolution is a proposal made during a meeting of the company's shareholders or directors. It is discussed, and its approval represents an official confirmation of any action that the company will take. Resolutions are classified into four types: elective, extraordinary, unique, and ordinary."
"name": "Why should every business have a resolution?",
"text": "Resolutions help to focus your efforts and energy on new goals and reaching new heights. In addition, resolutions enable business owners to understand where they can increase efficiency and grow over the coming year."
Article | August 27, 2021
Coming up with great business ideas is one of the most important things you will need to do as an entrepreneur. You can have all the confidence and training in the world, but if you don’t have an idea your customers can get behind, your organization isn’t going to go anywhere. So, what do you do when you’re struggling to find your Eureka moment? It takes many business leaders a lot of time and effort to find the idea that’s going to make them the next Bill Gates or Elon Musk. While there’s no guaranteed way to ensure lightning strikes, there are a few tips you can follow to improve your chances of getting the right inspiration.
Build Your Education
Going to college and earning your degree is not just a way to improve your resume, it also trains you how to think in different ways and look for unique solutions to problems. Going to college to earn a business degree can help you to develop your confidence, your understanding of your industry, and your ability to brainstorm. All you need to do is find a private lender who can finance your way through school, and you can use this period of your life as a crucial time for personal and professional growth.
Record Every Idea
Sometimes, we are too harsh with ourselves about what we identify as a good idea. Sometimes, a concept can come to you in the middle of the night, and by the time you’ve reached the next morning, you might have already convinced yourself it’s no good. Rather than ignoring moments of inspiration, take a note of all ideas, whenever they come to you – no matter how silly they might seem. Getting used to this process of considering every idea will help you to avoid ignoring any concepts that could be a lot more impressive than you think.
Start with the Problem
One of the best ways to guarantee that your business will be a success, is to work backwards from a problem your customers already have. The chances are you already have an industry and target market in mind for your business, so start exploring the market and finding out what competitors have to offer. Are there any gaps that aren’t being addressed? What kind of problems do you notice customers in your marketplace talking about all the time? Is there anything you can do to solve these issues for your customers? How are you going to offer a result where no-one else could?
Be Better than the Competition
Sometimes, you do not need a brand-new idea, all you need is a way to be better than the solutions already on the market. For instance, rather than designing a completely fuel-efficient car that does not use any fossil fuels, a lot of automobile companies started working on hybrid cars that could offer a combination of performance and eco-friendly functionality. Find your most significant sources of competition in the market and ask yourself what you could do to make the solution even better for your audience. Ideally, you shouldn’t get too focused on being the cheapest option when you’re just getting started. Most of the time, larger companies have more supplier options, so they can fight you on price quite easily.
Leverage Your Passions
The best business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs are often the people who started with a hobby or an idea and turned that into a career. Ultimately, you’ll always accomplish more in your business if you’re doing something you genuinely care about. With that in mind, you should always choose an industry that appeals to you when you’re building your new company. Think about what kind of products and solutions you’re usually excited about. Ask yourself what you’re good at, or what you can do that no-one else can. If you launch a business, you are passionate about, you will be much more likely to keep pushing forwards, even when your company faces a difficult stage.
Do Not Restrict Yourself
You do not have to choose a specific business idea and stick to that no matter what from day one. Spend some time brainstorming concepts, and do your research to find out which idea has the highest earning potential, or which is the most exciting from an innovation perspective. Once you’ve built your business, you can also begin to think about how it can grow in the future. For instance, just because you start your career creating gluten-free bread for people with intolerance doesn’t mean you have to stick to just bread forever. As your company evolves, you can move into new markets like pasta and pastries, or even spread around the world.
Keep Exploring New Ideas
Even once you have chosen an idea you want to pursue as a business owner, that does not mean you should stop coming up with ideas. Constant innovation and creativity are how most businesses stay ahead of the competition. Encourage your entire team to share their thoughts on how the business can improve, and have regular meetings where you can discuss new opportunities and avenues. Just like people, companies can evolve and change over time, give yourself the freedom to grow at the pace that suits you.
Article | July 9, 2021
How did your company survive the pandemic? What is the business strategy takeaway for surviving future recessions?
To help business owners survive future recessions, we asked CEOs and business professionals this question for their best strategies. From standing firm on price to looking for innovation in the market, there are several ways to help your business survive any future recessions and continue to grow your business.
Article | February 18, 2020
Impact of Technology on Small Businesses: It is absolutely undeniable technology has had a massive impact on our daily lives. It is one of the things that has truly transformed the way we work, think, and even spend our free time. Things aren’t slowing down, now, however – there are still thousands of entrepreneurs and businessmen working tirelessly to make new technological paradigms and tools available for the general public.