How Do You Control Expenses As You Grow? Four Foci

Interview with Andy Wallace, CEO, Maxx Metals

Situation: A company, noting that business conditions have improved, is planning for growth. This means keeping current customers and taking on the next tier of customers. They are also focused on improving customer service and the customer service experience. All of this costs money. How do you control expenses as you grow?

Advice from Andy Wallace:

  • As a small business, you can’t spend more than you have. You need to focus on all expenses from supplies to workers compensation. Major expenses are inventory and payroll. You need to focus on the line items, control the little things and control the big things.
    • There are three areas that we monitor frequently: inventory control systems, overtime, and assuring that safety is first to reduce accidents and control workers compensation costs.
  • Employees respect employers who respect them and their families. Recently we had an employee who was called by school because their child was sick. We told the employee to take the rest of the day off to take care of the child. The employee was back in an hour, having made other arrangements for the child’s care.
  • As you grow your payroll, hire the right folks with the right skills. Take time and don’t rush – you need to fill the position with the right person. As a small company having the right skills is important and reduces the costs for training and on-boarding new employees.
    • Important skills for us vary by position but include solid computer and technology skills; attention to detail, as well as writing, communication and math skills; the ability to multitask and respond positively to interruptions.
  • The culture of our company is extremely important. It’s the foundation of the company and we want to perpetuate it. Culture starts at the top with the leadership as examples for the employees to follow. It can’t be “do as I say, not what I do.” Employees know who arrives early and stays late, who is attentive to details. If we don’t set the right tone as leaders of the company, we can’t expect them to follow.

You can contact Andy Wallace at andy@maxxmetals.com

Key Words: Plan, Growth, Expenses, Inventory, Payroll, Overtime, Workers Comp, Respect, Skills, Writing, Communication, Culture

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