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Calculating and Cutting Operating Costs | Chiles Capital

The Ultimate Guide to Expense Management

In order to achieve their goals of increasing cash flow and improving their bottom line, businesses must have a thorough understanding of operating expenses. These expenses encompass the day-to-day costs that are essential for keeping a business running smoothly, including rent, insurance, and employee salaries. Unfortunately, many business owners lack a clear understanding of what factors contribute to these costs. This is where our expertise comes in. In the following sections, we will provide you with valuable insights on how to identify operating expenses, present the operating expenses formula, and offer effective strategies for reducing them. One such strategy is to leverage the latest technology, which we will explain in detail. Read on to gain a comprehensive understanding of this crucial aspect of your business.

Table of contents

  1. What are operating expenses?
  2. How do you calculate operating expenses?
  3. The operating expenses formula
  4. How to use operating expenses
  5. 5 ways to reduce operating expenses 

What are operating expenses?

Operating expenses, also known as OpEx, encompass all the necessary costs to keep a business up and running, excluding those directly associated with the production of goods or services. This includes expenses like advertising, rent, utilities, and payroll. Understanding and analyzing OpEx is vital for business owners as it provides insights into how operational costs impact profitability.

It's important to note that OpEx does not include costs related to the production of goods or services, such as cost of goods sold (COGS). However, OpEx and COGS are combined in other significant financial figures, which will be explained later in the blog post.

Operating expense examples

As mentioned earlier, operating expenses are the necessary expenses to ensure the smooth operation of a business, excluding the cost of goods sold. These expenses can be found on a balance sheet and include various items such as the ones listed bellow:

  • Accounting, legal, or licensing fees
  • Advertising budget
  • Company vehicles
  • Employee benefits
  • Employee travel expenses
  • Equipment maintenance and repair
  • Insurance
  • Office supplies
  • Payroll
  • Rent and utilities
  • Research and development
  • Sales and marketing

It is important to track these expenses to have a clear understanding of the financial health of your organization. Tracking your business costs is crucial for maintaining a clear understanding of the financial well-being of your organization. While our list of operating expenses may not include all the specific figures applicable to your company, it is essential to keep a close eye on these expenses to ensure the overall health and profitability of your business.

small business operating expenses

Non-operating expense examples

There are additional expenses that businesses may incur that may appear similar to operating expenses but are not directly related to the essential operations of the business. These non-operating expenses can include items such as:

  • Amortization
  • Depreciation
  • Interest
  • Lawsuit expenses or settlements
  • Capital expenditures

Even though these expenses may not be classified as OpEx, they still hold significance for businesses and should be monitored and tracked closely.‍


How do you calculate operating expenses?

Calculating operating expenses for your organization is a straightforward process that involves adding up all the relevant costs. For a small business, the basic formula may include expenses such as advertising, payroll, company vehicles, rent, utilities, insurance, sales and marketing, supplies, and maintenance and repairs. Alternatively, you can also calculate operating expenses by subtracting operating income and cost of goods sold from revenue. Once you have determined your total operating expenses, you can evaluate the financial health of your business.‍

How to use operating expenses

Once you’ve found an accurate operating expense figure, you can use it in conjunction with a few other numbers to learn more about how your business is performing.

Calculate operating costs 

Operating costs give a larger picture of a company’s day-to-day expenses by adding together operating expenses and cost of goods sold. The formula is expressed as:

Operating Costs = Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) + Operating Expenses

Operating costs is another way of assessing how a business is doing financially, and is used to see if there are any savings or budget cuts that can be made to maximize profits.

Calculate operating income (EBIT) and operating margin

Operating income, or earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), is another helpful formula that uses operating expenses to determine the cash flow from key areas of a business. The formula is expressed as:

Operating Income (EBIT) = Gross Profit - Operating Expenses

Operating margin uses EBIT to determine how a business is performing financially compared to previous quarters and competitors. The formula is expressed as:

Operating Margin = EBIT / Revenue

Both of these figures can be used to get a good understanding of the financial status of a company and how it measures up to similar businesses in the same industry.


5 Ways to reduce operating expenses

Here are five effective strategies to reduce operating expenses and improve your business's bottom line without compromising the quality of your products or services.

1. Outsource Expertise:

In today's gig economy, it's easier than ever to hire qualified professionals on a per-project or freelance basis. Whether you need copywriting, bookkeeping, or a technology transformation, outsourcing can help reduce payroll costs and overall operating expenses. Consider outsourcing ai powered chat bots, like those offered at Chiles Capital, to handle appointment scheduling, lead qualification, and payment collection, freeing up your time to focus on more important and profitable aspects of your business.

2. Embrace Hybrid or Remote Work:

Rent is a significant expense for many businesses. By adopting a hybrid or remote work model, you can reduce costs associated with leasing office space, such as utilities and maintenance. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that remote work can be successful, with various technology that supports communication available to keep your team connected, even across different time zones. Additionally, remote work eliminates or significantly reduces travel expenses for meetings and company events, further lowering operating expenses.

3. Review Insurance and Utility Contracts:

Regularly evaluate your insurance and utility contracts to ensure you're getting the best possible deals. Don't hesitate to shop around and compare rates from different providers. Even a slight reduction in monthly payments can result in substantial savings for your business, freeing up cash flow for other purposes.

4. Optimize Sales and Marketing Efforts:

Advertising, sales, and marketing expenses can be a significant portion of your operating expenses. It's crucial to consistently evaluate the effectiveness and affordability of your marketing campaigns. Conduct A/B testing or similar strategies to ensure your advertisements are maintaining their effectiveness. Consider shifting your focus to creative and cost-effective marketing methods, such as outreach marketing. By optimizing your sales and marketing efforts, you can keep operating expenses low while still effectively promoting your business.

5. Eliminate Unused Software and Tools:

Many businesses invest in various software and tools to enhance their day-to-day operations. However, if these tools are underutilized, they become a drain on your operating expenses. Regularly review your subscriptions and track their usage. If a tool is not frequently used or not delivering the expected value, consider swapping it for more efficient software or eliminating it altogether. Cutting down on nonessential software can save your business hundreds of dollars each year in operating expenses.

By implementing these strategies, you can effectively reduce your operating expenses, improve your bottom line, and ensure the financial health and profitability of your business.

how to save your business money

Reduce operating expenses with Chiles Capital Growth Services. 

Understanding operating expenses is crucial for every business. It provides insight into the efficiency of operations and helps identify areas where costs can be reduced to increase cash flow. One effective way to minimize expenses is by outsourcing certain tasks to professionals, like the marketing and sales specialist at Chiles Capital. These skilled individuals can handle call screening, lead qualification, and payment processing, allowing you to focus on the most profitable aspects of your business. To learn more about how can enhance your communication and boost your bottom line, schedule a consultation today.