Hidden Costs Businesses can Control – do You?

It can take thousands every year to run a thriving modern business. Between the cost of technology, renting office space and paying salaries the list of costs can be daunting. What is a small business owner to do? Examining the hidden costs is one way you find opportunities to save. Here are a few of those hidden costs you can indeed control.

Hidden costs burn your business profits

Slow Speeds

Test internet speeds of your business internet, bandwidth issues could cost you thousands every year. How? Productivity costs! The time it takes to wait for a page to load or information to be shared due to slow internet speeds is valuable. This cost far outweighs the expense to increase your package with your ISP.


Cough and cold season is approaching, this time of year costs businesses thousands. Some businesses implement a clean workspace policy requiring individuals to work from home when contagious, vigorously clean desk spaces weekly and have doctors come in once a year to administer flu shots to those who want them. Taking steps like this can help avoid the hidden cost of sick or ill employees.


Today’s workforce expects benefits from a company. When you’re a new business just starting out benefits might be at the bottom of the list due to expenses. Small benefits such as providing bagels on employee’s birthdays or having soda available are things that you can provide, much cheaper than providing 401K plans. Will they be seen the same? Well of course not, but at least you can do small things to provide a better atmosphere for employees and show you care.

Silence & Negativity

The cost of employees afraid to speak up can cost businesses thousands of dollars yearly. Similarly, a negative employee who festers bad energy can also do the same. These are two expenses a business owner most certainly can control. Be on the lookout for individuals who showcase these qualities, or managers who become overbearing causing silence. The costs can be deadly to your business.

Procrastinating employee
photo credit: Tony Delgrosso

Miscellaneous Costs

Overhead costs can get easily blown out of proportion if not managed well. Maintaining your business, office space and employees can get expensive. DIY what you can and consider renting vs. owning whenever possible. For example, rent a printer vs. buy one. The maintenance costs are usually included and for a short term lease it can be the better option vs. purchasing. Do-it-yourself by decorating your office yourself instead of paying a designer. Find office space yourself instead of using a realtor. Save where you can with small hidden costs like these.

The Cost of Doing Nothing

There inevitably becomes a cost associated with doing nothing, sitting back and not examining where funds can be saved. It’s imperative for every business owner to continually look at bottom line expenses and where money can be saved, or profit can be improved. There is a large cost associated with doing nothing.

These are just a few of the hidden costs associated with doing business today. What hidden costs did we forget? Share with us in the comments below.