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How to Reduce Business Costs

By Junaid Tahir:
Business costs are sub-classified into two categories; Fixed Costs and Variable Costs.
Fixed costs are defined as the expenses which do not change as a function of business such as salaries of employees, rents of the office, facilities and equipment costs. However, please don't get confused that Fixed Costs cannot be changed. Indeed they can be changed but their prime definition remains the same that these costs are stable for longer duration of time and do not usually get impacted due to on-going business volume. On the contrary, the Variable Costs are the ones which keep changing due to multiple factors.
Below is the list of several domains and recommendations (minor tweak for SMEs and major ones for large scale companies) in the form of questions in order to give you a personalized experience and to invoke the thought process for the business cost reduction:

1-  Marketing, Advertising and Business Development:
i-             How much budget was utilized for marketing  in last 6 months? How much the marketing has been effective? Is there any need to re-evaluate the marketing strategy?
ii-            How much investment is done on customer's entertainment?
iii-          Do you do a monthly expense analysis audit? Do you know specific techniques to optimize your marketing budget such as AdSense, affiliate marketing etc?
iv-           Do you consider B2B marketing, email marketing, banner advertisement, pay per click, video marketing or SEO optimization?  

2-  Leasing and Rental Management:
i-             Does the company's office and warehouse at different locations? Why not having both at same location to reduce renting and transportation costs?
ii-            Any recent audit done to determine if the current rented space for office or warehouse is worth its expenses? Is the size and cost in sync with the requirements of business? Can this be moved to a less costly area?
iii-          Is there any tools, machinery or other resources which can be leased to earn some extra cash? Any marketing plans to do this?

3-  Staff Management and Optimization
i-             Are there any underutilized employees? Can some extra tasks given to these employees to make them more productive or 'earning' resources?
ii-            Can some of the permanent staff be converted to contract based? This will save extra benefit and reduce your long term liabilities.
iii-          Can some of the tasks/ resources be outsourced? (HR services, Visa, documentation, maintenance etc.)
iv-           Did any re-evaluation of resource responsibilities happened in last one years? Are there any employees with duplicate roles?
v-            Company sponsored mobile phone packages are fairly used? The packages are carefully selected based on the role of each employee? Any audit happened for the utilization of mobile and other resources given to employees?
vi-           Are the employees trained enough to perform their duties so that they make less errors and mistakes?
vii-         Right policies are in place so as to reduce the reworks? What is the accountability mechanism?
viii-        Mature and error free databases are in place for efficient and accurate reports generation and to avoid errors in data entry?
ix-          Is there any scheme available through which employees are given suggestions for the improvement of organizations and get rewarded if their suggestions are implemented?
x-           Any specialised use of tracking employee online activities such as Manic Time?
xi-          Employee lay off should be last thing to do as it impacts your organization in many ways such as loss of sincerity, productivity and efficiency of the rest of the employees.

4-  Vehicle Utilization and Fuel Management:
i)             How vehicles are utilized in a day to day work? How much company is flexible for the utilization for personal use?
ii)            How vehicles are maintained?  Is this task given to any agency to avoid corruption and in order to enjoy free benefits  such as car replacements ,free wash, oil, and tuning services?
iii)          How vehicles are tracked for the daily utilization (how many kilo meters travelled, how could multiple visits or same kind of visits be reduced?
iv)           Pick and drop of employee is happening on bulk basis or at individual level?
v)            Restriction of some of the travel (local and abroad) possible?

5-  Energy Conservation
i)             Motion detection Sensors installed for turning lights off during off hours?
ii)            Sleep mode enabled on laptop computers?
iii)          Older bulbs/fans/computers are still being utilized which are poor when it comes to energy efficient devices selection?

6-  Hard Resources Utilization and Audit
i-             How many printers & Scanners are in place? Can we reduce some of them?
ii-            How many pages are printed per day? Any mechanism to control it?
iii-          Is there any over utilization of pantry products? Employees are encouraged to use non-recyclable things?
iv-           Which of the policies and processes can be converted to paperless by avoiding photocopying/ printing/ reproducing ? Can you run a paperless company altogether?
v-            Is there any strong mechanism of inventory management? Any products lost because of poor control on hardware resources ?

With these recommendations, I believe any company can optimize their business costs consequently improve their profit margins.
How to you optimize the costs in your organization?

Some articles you may like:

About Author: Junaid Tahir is a passionate blogger. He writes articles on Leadership, Stress Management and Life Enhancement subjects at his personal blog
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Story: The Cold Weather

It was autumn, and the Red Indians on the remote reservation asked
their New Chief if the winter was going to be cold or mild. Since he
was a Red Indian chief in a modern society, he couldn't tell what the
weather was Going to be. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he
replied to his Tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and
that the members of the village should collect wood to be prepared.
But also being a practical leader, after several days he got an idea.
He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and
asked "Is the coming winter going to be cold?" "It looks like this
winter is Going to be quite cold indeed," the meteorologist at the
weather service responded.

So the Chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more
wood. A week later, he called the National Weather Service again. "Is
it going to be a very cold winter?" "Yes," the man at National Weather
Service again replied, "It's definitely going to be a very cold winter."

The Chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect
every scrap of wood they could find.
Two weeks later, he called the National Weather Service again. "Are you
absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?" "Absolutely,"
The man replied. "It's going to be one of the coldest winters ever."

"How can you be so sure?" the Chief asked.
The weatherman replied, "The Red Indians are collecting wood like crazy."

This is how stock markets work!!!

Sometimes in life, we conclude things by observing others. Its better to seek multiple advises from multiple resources.

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Story: The Old Man, his Wife and the Doctor

"I am a doctor working at a little clinic. At about 8:15am on a Tuesday morning, an old man in his 80's walked into my clinic to get out some stitches he received a few days before.

It was a very busy morning, and I asked him to please sit and wait. He told me he was in a rush, as he had a very important engagement at 9am he couldn't miss.  As he sat there,  I couldn't help noticing that he kept checking his watch. I decided to treat him since the doctor in charge was extremely busy, and I knew it would take at least an hour until he could see him.

I took off his bandages and saw that the wound was healing nicely. While I was gently pulling out the stitches, I asked him where he was off to that was more important than taking out stitches.  Was it also with a doctor?

"No," said the old man, "not a doctor. I am going to have breakfast with my wife, who is in the hospital."

"Why was she hospitilized, if I may ask?" 
"She's been there for a few years now," he answered. "she has Alzheimer's and needs constant care."
As I finished taking out the stitches, I asked the man if his wife would be worried if he were late to their breakfast.
"No," he said quietly, "and she never will. She hasn't recognized me in over five years."

I was astounded by this and just had to ask: "And you go to her every morning although she doesn't know who you are?"

The man smiled, put his hand on mine and said: "She may not know who I am, but I know who she is, and I remember for both of us."  And he shook my hand, thanked me and left me standing there, my body shaking with sudden emotion. 

image of old couple on a bench

"This," I said to myself, "this is what true love, movie love, is all about. This is what I want for myself." And I vowed, at that moment, to find such love.

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Story: 500 Baloons

Once a group of 500 people were attending a seminar. Suddenly the speaker stopped and decided to do a group activity. He started giving each person a balloon. Each person was then asked to write their name on it using a marker pen. Then all the balloons were collected and put in another room.
The people were then let into that room and asked to find the balloon which had their name written on it within 5 minutes. Everyone was frantically searching for their name, colliding with each other, pushing around others and there was utter chaos.
At the end of 5 minutes no one could find their own balloon.
Then, the speaker asked each person to randomly collect a balloon and give it to the person whose name was written on it. Within minutes everyone had their own balloon.
The speaker then began, "This is happening in our lives. Everyone is frantically looking for happiness all around, not knowing where it is.
Our happiness lies in the happiness of other people. Give them their happiness; you will get your own happiness. And this is the purpose of human life...the pursuit of happiness."
Thanks for the share - Tiffany Moore
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Story: The Rat and the Maze

This story teaches us the lesson of consistency which means that we have to "keep our engine running"...

Thinking about this concept of 'Keeping the Engine Running', I believe that efforts to achieve any goals in your personal or professional life should not be stopped till the time we conquer. The momentum of things can be slow or fast at different phases of time but overall efforts should not be halted. When you have doubt of failure for a specific task, you can take next small step to determine if things are going in right direction. In case this small step is successful you can continue our journey towards the target. In case of failure you can take corrective action by moving one step back. This will give you the wisdom and experience not to repeat this mistake in next phases of your project. By the way, don't consider failure as opposite to success; consider it as part of your success because it is empowering your experience and wisdom to achieve the target with maximum perfection.

Your unstable behavior is polluting your success journey. Your success demands consistency in your deeds. Remember the fact that consistent actions become your habits, consistent habits define your character and a concrete character makes the foundation of your bright destiny. So keep the engine running, always!
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Happiness Explained

4 Fantastic Online Tools You Can Use Instead of Photoshop

Whenever we talk about photo designing tools, adobe photoshop comes in mind automatically and it is because it has got place in the mind of all people concerned with the field of photography. Since adobe’s product is not alone in this race but all people knows about this fact that it is widely used software among them.

Suppose that you are one of the adobe photoshop users and had installed/using it on your computer, but unfortunately or by chance, you cannot get access to It from your desktop, In such a situation you have to make use of other tools that have the ability of photo editing.

The good news for you from my side is that there are lots of online & offline tools available with having capability of all types of photo editing. In this post, we are going to share a list of online tools that we think is best as compared to others in the same race.

The Best Online Photo Editors that Replace Photoshop Temporarily

Now, let get started with the list of online image editor tools that can be used in absence of adobe photoshop, we had already cleared that those may not be able to replace photoshop completely but are good for a short and irregular uses.

Ipiccy – Online Photo Editor & Alternative to Photoshop

If we look for alternatives to photoshop, ipiccy comes first in the list, it is because of having comprehensive tool with capability of almost all types of photo editing that photoshop can do. On the other hand it has got their popularity because it uses a simple interface to edit photos on the web. 

Online Photoshop Free

Online photoshop free is yet another great tool for photo editing which can be used in absence of adobe photoshop.  Looking at the interface it provides, you will find yourself just within the desktop software of adobe. Within its toolbox at the left side (just like their desktop version)you will find almost all tools listed at it In the desktop software. Other window(s), panels/plates and menus has got their place right where they are in desktop software.

Pizap – Online Photo Editor

Pizap is a simple photo editor which can be accessed online for free. This tool is suggested to those who need basic photo editing in their images. Along with cropping, resizing, brightening, rotating etc, it can be employed for adding some special effects to your photos, add text, adding frames & borders and as well as for other photo retouching editing.


Lunapic is yet another great internet-based utility having bunch of photo editing and retouching capabilities with simple& easy to use interface. This tool comes with a top menu-bar having options such as Edit, Adjust, Draw, Filters, Borders and wonderfully Animations TABS which have then furthermore options and tools inside. All of these tools and effects can be used and added to your photos for free and easily. The left side has a toolbox having all the basic photo editing tools to work on your photo.

Final Verdict

Online  photo editors aren’t fully replace desktop version of adobe photoshop but are good to know about in order to edit your photos when you are unable to access it on your desktop. With the hope that the above few tools will help you edit your photos within your browser in case of absence of a desktop photo editor, we are going to stop writing anymore about this topic.

About Author

Basheer Ahmad is a student having passion to explore & learn by surfing internet about photography and share with others as he shared the above photoshop online tools. You can connect with him on Facebook or Google+.


Make it take it

If you are making value you should be able to merket it in a smart way else someone else will take the credit of your hard work.

Story:The best pay back

One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry.

He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water.

She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk He drank it slowly, and then asked, "How much do I owe you?" "You don't owe me anything,"
she replied "Mother has taught us never to accept payment for a kindness."

He said... "Then I thank you from my heart."

As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt; stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

Years later that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled.

They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease. Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation.

When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes. Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her.

He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to the case. After a long struggle, the battle was won. Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally, she looked, and something caught her attention on the side as she read these words...... " Paid in full with one glass of milk."

(Signed) Dr. Howard Kelly.

Tears of joy flooded her eyes as her happy heart prayed: "Thank You, GOD, that Your love has spread abroad through human hearts and hands."

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