The Schooley Mitchell Blog

New business owners — be prepared to tackle unexpected operating expenses

Opening a new business is an exciting and proud moment for every new entrepreneur. You’ve probably put a lot of consideration into a financial plan that accounts for the expense of the services or products you offer, and how to eventually become profitable. However, even the operating expenses you think you’ve fully accounted for may come with unexpected costs.    

Here are some expenses to consider, and some advice for how to best tackle them.    

Billing Errors  

In our experience, it is not uncommon to find errors in a business’ telecommunications bills. That’s just your phone and internet services. With all your vendors, across all the services you need to operate, it’s important to make sure you’re not being charged incorrectly.    

It is not uncommon to find errors in a business’ telecommunications bills.

It’s never a bad idea to scrutinize exactly what you are being charged for on your bill and ask for clarification if need be. Having a third-party audit of your expenses can also go a long way in eliminating billing errors.                                                                                              

Redundant Services  

More often than you might expect, services you need are packaged together with services you don’t. Sometimes vendors will make it seem like your only option is to pay for bundled services; and while some bundles are great, others can feel like you’re being saddled with a service you never asked for. This can be especially overwhelming if you’re already dealing with all the stress of launching a new business.    

You don’t have to pay for the first, most expensive bundle you are quoted, from the first vendor you contact. Explore your options.  

Paper Waste  

In the pre-pandemic world, data estimated that the average North American business spent three percent of its revenue on paper, printing, filing, storing and maintaining files. Likewise, 50 percent of business waste was composed of paper products. This is a huge expense, and one that often goes unnoticed, all the while eating into your profitability.    

In the pre-pandemic world, data estimated that the average North American business spent three percent of its revenue on paper.

You can plan to avoid the cost of paper waste through a variety of methods:

  • Do what you can online.
  • Invest in services like eSignature, cloud collaboration software, and other such products that make printing and copying redundant.
  • Pay bills and checks online whenever possible.

Remote working has provided a vast array of solutions that employers can use to move their processes online.  

Don’t let three percent of your revenue get shredded.    

Payment Processing  

If you’re going to be accepting payments from customers – especially via card or online – you want to make sure you use a vendor who will be transparent and put you in the right rate category. Likewise, if you’re using person-to-person, or P2P, applications to accept payments from online orders, you want to make sure you’re prioritizing security to avoid payment fraud.    

Don’t overpay.  

In conclusion, watch out for paying for more than what you need. Being vigilant and consulting with industry experts can go a long way in preventing costs from eating up your revenue.    

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