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Expense management can often be one of the most challenging aspects of running a business. In fact, many businesses fail simply because of poor budgeting and financial planning. Unfortunately, some businesses are forced to resort to layoffs as a way to save money, putting many hardworking people out of work. However, employee layoffs aren’t always necessary, and should be used as an absolute last resort when trying to save money. Here are a few ways to cut costs without layoffs.

Find Cheaper Alternatives To Office Perks

While you should always provide a certain amount of office perks and incentives to your employees, make sure you aren’t spending beyond your means.  Things like bottled water, weekly catered lunches and extended paid time off are all nice perks but can easily add up and become big expenses for your business. If you’re wondering how to motivate a team while cutting back on perks and incentives, simply get creative and try to find cheaper alternatives.

Instead of purchasing bottled water, for example, invest in office water coolers or water filtration system. Your employees will still be able to enjoy cold water, and you will be able to save money as well. Instead of buying lunch for your employees once a week, consider holding an office potluck. Getting creative with how you can reduce expenses will save your business a significant amount of money, and you’ll be able to avoid a dreaded wave of layoffs.

Reduce Your Energy Expenses

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but cutting back on how much energy your business is using can really save you money.  This doesn’t mean you have to sit in total darkness all day, but being more mindful about where your energy dollars are going will save you a lot of money in the long run. Before you leave for the day, make sure all lights are turned off and any electronics that aren’t being used are unplugged. During the work day, consider limiting the amount of energy you use. If your office has a lot of windows, try using natural light instead of your office’s fluorescent lighting. Not only is using natural light more pleasant, but you’ll also be cutting back on energy costs.  Additional efforts, like unplugging computers, coffee makers and printers can also be implemented to reduce energy expenses.

Consider Shorter Work Weeks

Many companies have started shortening typical 5 day work weeks to 4 days, in an effort to scale back payroll. While this may be a controversial decision at first, your employees will understand that this may be a necessary move, at least for the time being, many companies choose to do this seasonally, during slower periods. While your employees will be experiencing a pay cut, having an extra day off from work could be beneficial to many employees. While a pay cut is not ideal and should only be used as a last resort, many employees would rather take a pay cut than be laid off.

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