Local consultants can cut your costs 10 to 20 percent by next month

If you’re like the majority of businesses today, you’re unwittingly overpaying for certain operating expenses. But it needn’t be that way.

“A professional fiscal management consultant can identify where you’re hemorrhaging cash and plug the leak, saving you a bundle on your operating expenses,” says Roger Zona, CEO of TPI Efficiency. “Many times the savings are immediate — upwards of 10-20 percent on your next bill — which means more operating cash for your business.”

Smart Business spoke with Zona about the ways fiscal management consultants can help companies save money.

Why is overspending for operating expenses so rampant?

Most companies just aren’t aware of their options. Fact is, when it comes to managing key operating expenses, you basically have four choices — only one of which saves you any real money.

A common approach is to manage things in-house. But without a sizable team, you’ll be lost in the maze of rapidly changing policy issues and the subtle shifts and trends in the markets that greatly affect your price. Even worse, without the buying power of an economy of scale, you won’t have access to wholesale pricing that might save you significant money.

Another option is small businesses. Sadly, they’ll face the same pitfalls of doing it themselves with the added hurdle of less attention focused on your business while they juggle enough clients to stay afloat.

Alternatively, you can try a national call center service. The big issue here is the ‘one-size-fits-all’ trap they’ll shove you into. Without ever setting foot in your business and with only a passing glance at your numbers, they stick you in long-term contracts with a handful of cherry-picked suppliers that may in fact shave a few pennies off your bill, but pay them big bucks in kickbacks on your bills. Your business gets the same boilerplate ‘fix’ as everyone else, regardless if it’s the best option or saves you the most money.

Finally, you can partner with a professional fiscal management consulting company. They’ll send someone to your facility who will look for ways to save your business money almost immediately. And the suppliers earn your business, so it never costs you a dime and all the savings go directly to your bottom line.

How does a local consultant save me more money than those other options?

A consultant worth their salt will visit your facility and meet with you to gain a deep understanding of your management, growth goals and risk tolerance.

Next, they’ll spend as long as it takes to get a crystal clear picture of how your business operates before carefully sifting through your operation to identify myriad ways to save you money.

Then they’ll build you a custom tailored ‘Request for Proposal’ and send it to a vast array of suppliers. And they’ll walk step by step with you through the set-up process to ensure it goes flawlessly.

Finally, they’ll provide ongoing support for as long as you’re a client, including calls and face-to-face meetings, to update you on changes in the market that affect you and a plan to combat them.

What should I look for in a local consultant before choosing one to work with?

First, look at their internal team. They must have the manpower to keep their finger on the rapid changes in the markets. Do they have a proven system for achieving consistent, spectacular results for their clients? If they can’t explain it in 30 seconds, they don’t.

Do they have access to true wholesale pricing? Only a small number of consultants are licensed for wholesale pricing. Beware of those who aren’t.

It’s important they have a broad network of quality, vetted suppliers. Not just 10 or 20, but 100 or more.

And they should be supplier agnostic, meaning they don’t care who the vetted supplier is as long as you’re getting the best price for services.

Lastly, your consultant shouldn’t cost you a dime. No percentage of savings, no fee tacked onto your bill, nothing. Suppliers fight for your business, and happily pay a consultant a small, preset fee per customer, totally apart and aside from your dealings with them. That way it’s a true win-win.

Insights Energy Solutions is brought to you by TPI Efficiency Consulting