Increasing Profits without Sales !

When business owners or financial managers think about increasing profits in their firm we think the first thing that comes to mind is selling more, or increasing revenue. We can also turn that thought upside down and increase is profits without any additional sales - How? Expense reduction.

We know that sales are necessary for business survival, and that profits are even more necessary. It is the expense column of an income statement that turns those sales into losses, not profit!

Business owners could do very well to focus as much sometimes on expense reduction. As an example a thousand dollars in sales might increase profits by 100$ but a 100$ decrease in costs is the same as 100$ increase in sales! So management should focus on putting effort into that very leverage statement we have just made.

Well, we have identified the solution. How do we get there? Let's look at some very obvious and not so obvious solutions.

Anyone for an 'upgrade '? Use of internal of government funded training can improve employee skills and output. This is a long term investment with great rewards.

Employees should also then be incented to be more productive, this can be done in many ways, not the least of which is a reward for the employee suggestion box winner! Open door policy on suggestions has saved many firms thousands, sometimes millions. (In larger firms)

On the payroll issue a firm could add a shift as opposed to paying overtime. Some employees could actually be outsourced to reduce expenses. The independent contractor is clearly here to stay, whether we like it or not.

Employers should also investigate that they are paying only what is required re Unemployment insurance and workers compensation.

A company buys things. Purchasing or management should make an effort to buy smarter - negotiate better pricing with cash, take discounts, etc. Supplier relationships are key to any company's survival - but no supplier should think they are 'in for life 'without it being a mutually beneficial relationship.

Firms can also advertise better - in the internet age a small investment in websites, social media etc has huge paybacks.

Business owners are cautioned to research the DUPONT FORMULA. It's a simple financial tool that shows you that if you turn inventories faster and increase collections you can become more profitable.

Naturally some of the very basics still can sometimes be overlooked - i.e. reduction in postal and courier expenses.

What's the bottom line? Cut costs, increase profits. No sales required, but they sure are helpful!


Stan Prokop is the founder of 7 Park Avenue Financial . The firm specializes in business financing for Canadian companies     in the areas of working capital , asset based lending, SR & ED tax credit financing, equipment financing,  franchise financing and banking .


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