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Don’t let business resources go to waste

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That’s why you need to cut down on any waste of resources.

The world of business can be accurately portrayed as extremely resource-dependent. It’s worth remembering what the study of economics, production, and many in general is: the study of scarcity – how we gain particular resources and, subsequently, how we use those resources when they have so many different uses.

Here are the biggest wastes of business resources that you need to stamp out.

Unnecessary meetings

Sorry, but I have to put this one first. It may not seem that important to you. But unnecessary meetings are, ultimately, a massive waste of time. And if time can’t be considered an important business resource, what can be? (Plus, they’re really annoying. And really boring. So I’m putting it first.)

A lot of people seem to think that those who complain about meetings are the people who aren’t really all that professional. Meetings are often presented as something that really serious, successful companies invest a lot of time in. Many business owners and floor managers seem to get an ego boost when they say that they’ve spent the afternoon in meetings; this seems all well and good, seeing as they’re the ones who are usually heading those meetings. And this is a very important thing to keep in mind.

Meetings, for the most part, are for the immediate benefit of a minority of the people in the room. For most of the others, meetings simply take time away from them, y’know, doing their job. Some people might not mind being taken away from their work so they can just sit and listen to someone talk. But you should definitely mind such a waste of time! You should consider looking into alternatives to time-wasting meetings.

Incorrect marketing strategies

The Internet is one of the greatest resources you have as a business. There’s so much potential when it comes to what you can do there in order to give your business a boost. Getting involved with social media allows you to tap into new potential when it comes to interacting with customers and clients, as well as other businesses. The likes of YouTube and Instagram make it easier than ever to use exciting mediums such as video and images in your attempts to get more attention online.

But the Internet is a highly abstract resource, something that doesn’t actually deplete. Incorrect use of it is a waste of resources because you have to put time and money into it. Yes, setting up social media accounts is free. But you need to invest time in setting up your accounts and designing marketing strategies. You may even have to employ businesses that specialize in digital marketing, which means that you’ll end up spending a lot of money there. So don’t fall into the trap of thinking that Internet use for business purposes is actually free!

The trick here, of course, is to be careful and highly selective when it comes to your strategy. Onsite SEO can be incredibly effective, but you have to make sure you’re not using techniques that are outdated and won’t really get you anywhere. Outsourcing your digital work such as marketing and social media management is usually the best way to go about it, but you should ensure that you properly research any company you may work with. Find reviews online, or see if you can get in touch with people who have used their services before.

Unrealised potential of employees

This is one of the common wastes of resources that often go unnoticed. Looking at an employee as a resource might sound a bit cold and dehumanizing. But hey, an employee is a resource! And by remembering that that’s what they are, you can plan out your business methods in ways that will benefit you both.

An employee is filled with potential that most business owners won’t even begin to tap. One of the most obvious ways to do this is to introduce further training programs to your office. You don’t just have to teach them the skills that are absolutely essential for the tasks at hand. You could look into improving several other skills that come in handy and that could improve their future job prospects. Of course, you would have to find a way to balance such things with their actual workload.

Another way of getting an employee to reach their full potential is to do everything you can to help them be content in their job. When a worker feels happy and valued by their employer, they’re way more productive. Perhaps you could look into introducing new and unique employee benefits. If you don’t have that much money leftover after your business expenses at the end of every quarter, then you needn’t put too much focus on material benefits; whatever you do, the most important thing to focus on is actually being a good boss! Don’t be a pushover, of course; but if you’re the type of boss who makes employees nervous, anxious, stressed, etc., then you’re simply going to demotivate them. And this creates massive amounts of waste of employee potential. Keep ‘em smiling!

Unused office space

To be fair, this isn’t a problem in most offices. There are many offices who simply have way too small an office. The employees are packed in like sardines in a can. They can barely move their arms without accidentally elbowing the property of the employee sitting next to them. It all creates too much stress and tension.

But there are many offices out there that aren’t using office space to its fullest potential. Which often means that they actually have office space to spare! Of course, the simplest way to work around this is to allow your employees to spread out a little more. Allow them to have a little more room in which to do their work. But most business owners are hoping to use that extra space in the future when their business expands and they can take on more employees.

One of the ways to avoid this problem is to avoid buying or renting offices that are bigger than you actually need. But if you do have extra space and don’t see yourself hiring more employees, then make sure you use that space wisely. Maybe you could use that space to incorporate awesome features similar to those of the world’s coolest offices. Whatever you do, you shouldn’t forget the need for effective space planning in your office.

Spending too much money

Ah, the most valuable resource of all: money. At least, that’s what people seem to think about the business world. In truth, there are many things in our lines of work that we care about more than money. Some of us, anyway. But this is a truth that cannot be avoided: money is extremely important. Wasting it is a bad idea.

There are way too many ways in which a business can waste money to go into here. In fact, many of the items I listed above are, in more roundabout ways, mistakes that end up wasting money. But there are some very general guidelines that every business should stick to when it comes to needlessly spending money. In fact, most businesses are making the same sort of mistakes.

Your business needs detailed financial plans and budgets. You’ll also need to keep track of your expenses, which means you’ll need a financial controller who’s always on the ball. So many instances of wasted money are down to making mistakes in these basic areas. But many wastes of money also take place through what seems like sound reasoning. Business owners will invest in large, super-suave offices, seemingly in an attempt to challenge the likes of Google and Facebook for ‘coolest offices in the world’. Some business owners will allow the use of corporate vehicles. Some will employ as many employees and consultants as they can afford simply because they can; simply because they like the feel of an office swelling with employees.

Make sure you know precisely what things you do need and what things you do need. Some things in the latter category — which we can call luxuries – may have some genuine use when it boosting employee morale, but things like corporate vehicles are often not that much more useful than local public transport. Don’t be frivolous, even when business is going really well.

The best businesses – the ones who really last the test of time and the market – are the ones that can channel their resources and potential into the most effective uses possible. A lot of business owners seem to overlook this, and a worrying amount of them go about it in completely the wrong way. Following the advice of this guide should allow your business to be much more efficient in its use of essential resources!

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