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home | Top 10 List | Top Ten Money Wasters - Part One

Top Ten Money Wasters - Part One
Herb Cannon

1. Outside Print Management

In my opinion one of the biggest money wasters is outside print management where they supply the equipment, paper, toner and perhaps an in-house person to operate the large format printing.  Each month they issue an invoice for each project which you then in turn use to invoice your clients.  Believe me when I tell you that the mark-up on printing is huge with margins of over 50%.  In a future article I will detail how to start your own in-house printing company and keep the profits for yourself.

2. Color Printing

Most employees have no idea of how much color printing costs the company.  I have seen stacks of personal color printing lying around the office.  Everything from store coupons to Caribbean vacation brochures are casually printed with no regard to cost.

3. Office Supplies

A cursory review of office supply closets can be an eye opening experience.   Dozens of boxes of felt tip pens in four different colors and multiple point sizes.  Countless colors of highlighters and markers.  A one year supply of copy paper.  Fourteen sizes of binder clips...  well may be not fourteen sizes but you get the idea.  I have seen companies with more money invested in their supplies than cash in the bank - and that is not an exaggeration!  Every owner should decide on a standard list of supplies that are needed to comfortably run the business. Anything other than standard should require a special approval.

4. Inter-Office Travel

A frightening amount of money can be spent on inter-office travel.  All too often I have seen companies that are in financial distress, casually purchase a last minute airfare for top dollar.  While I understand that this is sometimes unavoidable, it should be the exception and not the rule.  Top performing firms have a strict travel policy that outlines what is and what is not acceptable when booking travel.

5. Expensive Stationery

Do you really need to print your invoices on Strathmore Writing?  Of course not, but I have seen dozens of A/E firms do just that.  It may be time to take a look at your stationery and at least bid out the printing to 3 companies.  Printing costs can vary widely and you can save considerable money with a little bit of shopping.


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