[This is a sponsored article with Grab.]
Many entrepreneurs will tell you that managing monthly expenses and spending wisely is one of the main reasons for their survival throughout the epidemic.
Regardless of the epidemic, maintaining a balance of monthly overhead while maintaining a healthy revenue will always be the key to a business becoming self-sustaining. These costs may include manpower, utilities, marketing and more. And a business grows and scales, so this costs.
We interviewed some local businesses like BITTER / SWEET, The Asli Co., Sugirl and Tracey to get some practical advice on how they can reduce their own monthly operating costs to maximize profits.
1. Distinguish between “what you need” and “what you want”
Carmen, co-founder of Sugirl Desserts, a brand of modern, healthy desserts inspired by local recipes, had some painful lessons in this vein to learn from their previous business decisions.
For example, they wanted to create different types of packaging for the same product, which has become an unnecessary expense down the road. “Don’t invest enough money in packaging before the product is accepted into the market,” he warned.
Making a retractable canopy for outdoor food was another unnecessary expense spent on renovating their retail store, as they soon realized that no Malaysian would be willing to eat out in our eternal summer.
2. Expand only when it is beneficial to your business
Office rent is one of the biggest reasons for monthly operating expenses. Having a dedicated space makes it easier to collaborate and with less scattering, a small team may not be able to take full advantage of the full facility.
BITTER / SWEET, a business that makes technical cakes and cupcakes, works in a home studio to reduce rent and leasing costs. In addition, they do not have to pay for water, electricity and internet bills, which further reduces their overall expenses.
Although this strategy means that they do not currently have a storefront or a brick and mortar store, this is tantamount to incurring unnecessary costs until they are (or want to) fully prepared for expansion.
3. It’s okay to be “Qiyasip” for the right thing
Being stingy is usually seen as a negative trait, but when it comes to business, it pays to do the penny-pinch in the right way.
Carmen tells us that rent is a cost they are unable to reduce at the moment, but when it comes to utilities like electricity, they deliberately “Qiyamsiyap” about it.
In the rainy season and when it already feels cold, there is no need to leave the air conditioner on all day, especially if there are no customers. Only then will they choose to shut it down and save every cent.
4. Carefully plan and strategize to reduce waste
In the first few months of the operation, Carmen shared that food wastage was a huge problem.
“If a food operator doesn’t know how to estimate their sales and simply buys ingredients, there will be a lot of wastage and it will easily lead to profit,” he admits.
Everything is strategically planned to reduce costs and waste, such as proper food storage, portion control, and recovery amount. Each dessert of Sugirl Desserts is made based on a clear recipe and standard operating procedure so that the portion is fixed. No guesswork is required because even 10 ml of water has to be specified.
There is also a schedule that determines what to buy and how much to buy, which Sugargirl Desserts team diligently follows.
5. Outsourcing is your friend
U-Mae Tan, founder and baker of BITTER / SWEET, says that by using third-party services to deliver his cakes to customers, he has been able to focus more on productivity and business growth without having to worry about parking. When delivering products to their customers.
She uses delivery services to collect stock and materials from suppliers, which saves her more time and allows her to focus more on her business orders.
Asli Co. Orang relies on third-party delivery services to send raw materials to real mothers who will then turn them into a variety of products, including eye pillows, foldable tote bags and cute pet bandana collars.
By outsourcing this aspect of the business from the beginning, Asli company founder Jason Way shared that he has saved about 336 hours on the road and a lot of money on petrol.
Relying on an on-demand delivery service provider like GrabExpress is therefore a common strategy for convenience and speed, but one reason to consider this is cost.
Thus GrabExpress currently offers a subscription plan called Great transmitter It offers merchants discount vouchers that can help them save up to RM150 per month on delivery.
It costs RM3 per month Super Sender PlusWhich offers a 5% discount on 200 deliveries per month, while Super Sender Light Offers 3% discount on 100 deliveries.
Example: If a seller has 200 deliveries per month the price starts from RM15 per delivery, they can save a minimum of RM150 with 5% discount for each delivery. Learn how GrabExpress Super Sender works Here.
Excluding the delivery side, to save more time to focus on business development, Jason also started outsourcing talent for accounting, accounting and social media marketing.
Carmen also shared that through outsourcing content creators and designers, you have the flexibility to choose the right freelancer for your company.
6. Choose your service providers wisely
Choosing the right delivery service is a complex decision. You don’t have to consider whether you are in the coverage area of the delivery service, but after sales services are equally important.
Without after-sales service, problems with cropping after delivery cannot be easily solved. This can then be seen as poor customer service, although these problems may be due to external factors.
U-Mae itself has benefited from the live chat feature available on Grab because they are able to solve its problems instantly.
And while you may find that part of the operational cost savings means choosing a cheap delivery service, it can cost you a lot more in the long run if it is unreliable.
An example of this was when Tracy, a local handbag designer and distributor, received huge returns because their bags were constantly damaged during delivery.
By choosing the right service provider, the number of damaged products is greatly reduced.
“It’s important to choose an affordable delivery service provider, but it’s even more important to deliver the items well to their customers and take care of them throughout the journey,” the founder noted.
Johnson understands that the era of instant gratification is here where people expect to get their online shopping as soon as possible. Now on-demand delivery service, it is possible to deliver the product in a day.
“Before GrabExpress, our customers had to wait 2-5 days to get their bags. This will take some time and may affect their level of satisfaction. “
7. Build close relationships with your suppliers and vendors
Good relationships with suppliers and vendors allow businesses to create win-win situations. By keeping a gap between your suppliers’ payments, monthly costs can be further controlled.
Carmen has always made a point of discussing payment terms with its vendors that can benefit both parties and ensure a healthy cash flow.
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Having saved all that money, reinvesting those savings is a wise choice. For example, BITTER / SWEET redistributed their savings to further business development.
Tracy, on the other hand, used the extra cash saved to buy useful supplies that would be beneficial to the company. Even small investments can be beneficial in the long run.
Since all businesses operate separately, you need to take a closer look at your operating costs and determine what can be optimized and minimized.
If you own a business and want to outsource your delivery, GrabExpress Super Sender is an alternative method that can reduce your monthly operational costs and save time.
Here’s how you can subscribe in 3 steps and then use your vouchers in your distribution:
- Learn more about GrabExpress Super Sender Here.
Featured Image Credit: Sugar Girl, Bitter / Suite, The Original Co., Tracy