Tame the Beast: An Inflation Survival Guide for SMEs - Business Leader News

Tame the Beast: An Inflation Survival Guide for SMEs

“This is a timely and essential guide for any small business that is worried about inflation. All business owners should read it.” – Jake Shaw, Co-Founder of 12 Ronnies

Gavin O’Toole has teamed up with London-based communications consultancy, Onyx Media and Communications Ltd, to produce this essential guide for SMEs. It draws upon research and interviews with experts and business owners.

The book provides practical advice on how to manage and limit the impact of inflation on your business and points to sources of help. It draws upon research and interviews with experts and business owners and looks at what causes inflation and how you can determine how safe your business is.

Gavin O’Toole is a highly experienced writer and editor with a long background at the UK’s leading newspapers, including eight years at the Observer, six years at the Financial Times, and six years at the Guardian. He has written for Reuters IFR, Al Jazeera, Guardian, Futures and Options Association, Markit Magazine, NACLA, Global Government Forum, Public Finance International, Latin America Business School/Ebanx (Brazil).

Here is an excerpt from Gavin O’Toole’s book, Tame the Beast: An Inflation Survival Guide for SMEs.

There is an old adage that, from time to time, a recession is not a bad thing because it forces people to look very critically at their businesses. It offers an opportunity to weed out unnecessary costs, dead wood, and renew your focus on developing a thriving company.

In the most challenging times, lean businesses are the most profitable and most likely to survive. That’s because they waste nothing, unlike many other organisations. So how do you become a lean business? How do you identify saving opportunities to reduce costs? How do you cut inefficiencies?

Identify waste

The first step is to ask telling questions about what you do and think about things that you take for granted: do customers value X? What value does X really bring?
You need to be brutally honest about certain costs and, if necessary, brainstorm with your staff—because waste is often hard to identify. Identifying waste should form part of your auditing process.

Eamonn O’Domhnaill at Yo-Yo OFFICE says: “We started by asking the question: ‘Why are we buying this, what are we paying this for?’ What we were actually asking was: ‘Do we really need this? Do we need five mobile phones, can we make do with four? Why don’t we send this second class and not first class? Why do we have this?’ And it’s amazing when you actually ask that question what happens: it’s the same question financial institutions ask when they come in for a rescue you and you think, ‘That’s an obvious question, why didn’t I think of that?’ So, what are we spending our money on? Why are we spending our money on it? Do we have to spend it in this way?”

Some costs are small, but speak volumes about a company’s culture.

Small costs can be the most insidious because no one thinks they are worth worrying about. If you have a small office and pay someone to come in to clean it once a week, is that worth it now that so many people are working from home? Would a member of staff be willing to run a vacuum cleaner around and empty the bins when this is needed instead? Does it need heating all week if staff only come in for a few days? Many small businesses are crying out for accessible space—do you have some that you can monetise? Do you have excess office space for coworking or a conference room that can be rented out for meetings?

O’Domhnaill adds: “Look at your warehouse capacity to see if you can sub-let part of it, even on a short-term basis. It never ceases to amaze me how many people need warehousing in this country, so being able to offer something to offset your own costs could be very helpful to your own cash flow.”

You do not have to explore options for monetising your space alone. A number of specialist providers now exist to monetise spare space at SME premises.

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