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  1. Before making any changes assess the potential downside such as damaging morale,reducing quality or creating long-term vulnerability.
  2. Identify your major costs such as staff, premises, utilities, travel, transport, capital expenditure, financing costs and the components of your product or service and other supplies.
  3. Always shop around and decline the first price you are offered. Wait, before asking for the “best price”.
  4. Benchmark key activities and costs to identify long-term opportunities for significant cost reductions.
  5. Plan to make major purchases – such as machinery or vehicles – before they become necessary.
  6. Improve financial control; refinance expensive overdrafts with loans and minimize working capital.
  7. Decide which costs to control centrally and which should be the responsibility of individual cost centres (e.g. production, sales).
  8. Review how activities and costs contribute to achieving your business objectives and quality standards.
  9. Involve employees by explaining what you are doing and encouraging cost-saving suggestions; consider offering incentives.
  10. Establish cost budgets and monitor actual costs against budget as part of a systematic cost-control process.
  11. Identify opportunities to improve efficiency; use technology where appropriate and consider outsourcing non-core activities.
  12. Consolidate purchasing with a small number of suppliers and negotiate improved terms and discounts; check invoices for overcharging.
  13. Eliminate unnecessary activities, duplication of effort and unnecessary waste; reduce obvious overcapacity.
  14. Control excessive costs – for example over-specified supplies or always using first-class post.
  15. Design products and production to use standard components and efficient processes; improve quality control to minimize waste.
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