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Tips 136-140: Try Flexible Scheduling

By Entrepreneur Staff

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Consider a Shortened or Extended Workweek or Shifts, Flex-Time, or Remote Work Programs

This will improve productivity, reduce costs, eliminate overtime, reduce turnover and absenteeism, and reduce the need for overstaffing. Research shows that companies can save an average of $10,000 per year for each half-time teleworker.


Be Suspicious of Employee Theft.

It's sad to say, but employee theft happens all too often. Here are some ways to prevent it:
  • Hire honest people; do this by performing background checks on all hires.
  • Train staff in how to spot fraud and make it easy/anonymous for them to report fellow workers.
  • Have employees sign a code of ethics that spells out the penalty for violations.
  • Make oversight obvious by installing surveillance cameras, performing surprise audits of expense accounts, and periodically having employees spot-check one another's work.
  • Require all employees to take vacations at least once a year--this is when many such problems are discovered.
  • Put checks and balances in place to prevent theft. For example, the person who does the bookkeeping should not also sign checks. --Kate Lister


Tie Employee Performance to Profit or Cash Flow

For example, pay salespeople based on receipts, not sales, so they'll worry about the creditworthiness of the customer. You also might want to reflect customer discounts in sales commissions. That will encourage them to keep the prices high.


Identify Five Things You're Spending on That Aren't Contributing to Your Bottom Line and Eliminate Them

  1. Do you really need that water cooler service or bottled water? Studies show that most tap water is as good or better.
  2. Do you pay fees on your checking account? There are plenty of no-fee accounts available. Before you go to the trouble of changing banks, pay a visit to your branch manager and see if they'll waive the fees--most will.
  3. Do you have a separate fax line that you rarely use? If so, cut the cord and use an online fax service or combine the fax line with your standard phone line.
  4. Do you pay long-distance fees? If so, make those calls free via Skype.
  5. Is your telephone, internet access and cable with different carriers? If so, look for a deal that combines all three.

It's amazing how much you can save when you set your mind to it. The above changes are probably worth between $1,800 and $2,400 a year. Skip that morning latte and you'll save another grand. You can buy a good home latte machine for less than half that and still get your morning caffeine fix.


Set Up Income, Expense, Asset and Liability Categories in Your Accounting System

If you're using a computerized accounting system (and you should be), take an hour or a day to set up income, expense, asset and liability categories. Then train it to automatically categorize expenses. If you write a check to Verizon, it should automatically assign it to your telephone expense category. This will not only save time on repetitive tasks throughout the year, but it will also make it easier to train someone else to pay the bills. And it will save you a ton of time when you prepare your taxes.
Entrepreneur Staff

Entrepreneur Staff


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