Overheads are an often-overlooked aspect of business finance. They’re those unavoidable costs that occur whether you make and sell a million widgets or none. The standing charge you pay for the pleasure of having electricity available at your premises, whether or not you use any. The rent and business rates that you have to pay, whether there are fifty members of staff in the office or just you. The hosting fees you pay for your website, whether or not it has any traffic or brings in any business.

So, have you looked at your overheads recently? There are often savings to be made, and an annual review is essential.

  1. Start by looking through your bank transactions for the last year and list all your regular overheads: IT, server costs, phones, website and internet, software licences, insurances, power, fleet costs… Don’t forget to include any regular credit card payments, too. You may even find the odd transaction that slips through unnoticed via PayPal or even on your personal bank account, so make sure you check these, too. 
  2. Remember that these costs may change from year to year, especially if you took on a service at a beneficial entry tariff, so check what the current rate is for each of your outgoings and, if you’ve been locked into a promotional offer, make sure you know whether you’re now free to transfer to a different provider without any penalty.
  3. Once you’ve identified your overheads, you can compare different suppliers to ensure you get the best deal. Remember to check whether you’ll save money by paying annual or monthly service charges. Ask yourself if paying less upfront or keeping the money in your bank account longer is better. There may be deals, too, for managing service accounts online or through the supplier’s app, so make sure you’re fully informed about possible savings.
  4. Staff costs are also overhead, so review your team structure: could you outsource, implement offshore roles, or use fewer contractors? Alternatively, could you bring some functions in-house rather than pay contractor rates for services you use regularly?
  5. If you have a regular marketing spend, check the return on investment. What results are you seeing? Are you paying for vanity statistics of likes and views rather than generating real engagement and actual leads? Don’t forget that if the buyer’s attitude has changed, your focus must also be adjusted.


Finally, while staff expense claims aren’t strictly speaking an overhead as they should, in the main, be connected to specific leads or projects, this is a good time to check in on what is being spent here. Get expense budgets in place and manage them closely, clarifying that overspending needs to be explained and justified.

A clear view of where money is being spent, automation of processes, and going paperless are all potential ways to save money.

Call us on 01926 298829 or 07855275099 if you’re wondering where money is trickling out of your business and need help sorting things out. We can review your current spending, help you identify wastage, and introduce you to experts who will find the best deals to match your needs as you move forward.