As entrepreneurs, we get excited by sales. Gaining customers. Selling inventory. Seeing our businesses grow. All these things energize us and motivate us to keep pushing our businesses forward.
Costs are a different story. They represent money flowing out of a business. Some costs are obvious, such as purchasing inventory or renting a storefront. Other costs are less noticeable, such as taking a taxi ride to deliver a product or giving away free samples. As much as we want to ignore them or imagine they don’t exist, costs play a vital role in the health of a business.
So how can entrepreneurs take control of their costs to improve business profitability? Here are four tips!
Tip #1: Nothing is too small
Ever wonder why accountants have the reputation as “pesewas-pinchers” who count every pesewa flowing in and out of their businesses? It’s because they realize the value of tracking expenses, no matter the size. Often, the costs that hurt you the most are the ones that you consider too small to track. Why? These small costs add up quick. What appeared to be insignificant taxi rides to deliver your product to customers could add up to the point that those sales are no longer profitable! As a result, follow this easy rule – if you incurred a cost related to your business, record it.
OZE lets you categorize and record a transaction from one simple screen. OZE can then do the math for you and show you how large some of the costs can become!
Tip #2: Don’t wait to record
Entrepreneurs are busy people. They juggle many responsibilities at the same time and constantly need to address new opportunities or problems. In such a situation, it becomes difficult to remember expenses, particularly small ones. How much did those office supplies cost? Was that taxi ride 5 cedi or 8 cedi? While we sometimes gather receipts, many cash transactions don’t leave a trail for us to reference later. This forces us to rely on memory, which never seems to prove as reliable as we wish it was. To avoid forgetting to record an expense, or not remembering the correct cost, it’s best to record the expense as soon as possible. Ideally, make it a habit to record expenses right away.
Don’t carry around a bulky cashbook or wait until you get home to record a cost transaction. Use OZE to record the transaction when it happens right on your smartphone. Because we know you don’t go anywhere without your phone (and neither do we)!
Tip #3: Record in one place
Recording costs in notebooks or spare pieces of paper can get messy. Without a central location, a complete transaction history is difficult, or nearly impossible, to compile. A cashbook is a step in the right direction, but it’s not an ideal solution. If the cashbook is lost, so is your transaction history. Even more, recording transactions in a cashbook puts the burden on you to do all the math and analysis by hand (nobody has the time for that)!
OZE lets you manage your costs simply, quickly, and all from the convenience of a single app. You can even back up that data to cloud to ensure that your data stays safe, even if your phone does not.
Tip #4: Review regularly
Recording transactions is a great first step to effective cost management. However, if you never review your transaction history to figure out ways to improve then all that effort will be a waste! Take time on a regular basis – weekly or monthly is a great start – to review your expense history. Understand what your most common expenses are, how large they are, and how they are changing over time. Why did transportation costs rise 10% this month? How did the increased material cost affect profitability? By regularly reviewing your costs, you can take control of them and make the necessary changes to boost your efficiency and profitability as an entrepreneur.
OZE does the hard work for you. The dashboard enables you to see your balance at a glance for a given day, week, or month. It even shows your performance in easy-to-read charts!