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Be careful. Be aware of how cost-cutting on little things can cost you BIG time!

“I knew it was time to leave when they started using that cheap toilet paper!” Successful female executive – IT industry

You’re most probably aware of and you’ve probably been affected by cost-cutting in your organisation.

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I understand and respect the need to reduce expenses.
However, when I advise clients, I warn them to be aware to three important things:

1. Little things that may not seem important to some “accountant” numbers type can have a big impact on the satisfaction of your talent (your staff) and on your clients. I value the importance of numbers people. From experience however, I find they often just see the numbers and not the “bigger picture” and implications

2. We are bodies as well as business minds

3. Things that affect the body can also greatly influence our mind – our attitudes and our decisions

Remember the quote above? The final straw?

“I knew it was time to leave when they started using that cheap toilet paper!” Successful female executive – IT industry


From my experience in helping businesses bring about change and adapt to changing circumstances, I’ve seen so many example of “little things” causing major dissatisfaction with staff and clients.

Little things like the quality of the office coffee or the quality of the biscuits.

And of course the quality of the toilet paper!

Imagine a visiting client using an office bathroom – and finding that cheap and nasty toilet paper. Imagine the impression that leaves about the quality of your organisation!

Some offices have a special “fancy” bathroom for visiting clients. But, not all businesses have that luxury!

This may sound like common sense, but you’d be amazed how some clumsy and rushed efficiency drives really cause morale to crack and crumble.

I believe staff understand the need for cost cutting. I also believe organisations should be aware of how some little things (especially those related to our business bodies) can have a big impact.

I often help businesses let the staff have a say in what can and should not be cut. People are always more likely to go along with a measure of change they have been part of and consulted in.

Now you may think:
It’s easier to just tell them what we are cutting!

They have to obey or go along with it.

In this economic climate, where are they going to go?

Well, if you’ve hired talented and valuable people – chances are they will be of value to competitor organisations. Remember the quote above from a senior and valuable exec!

You can still guide the action for the cost cutting – by listing options of what to keep and what to cut. Or even talking to people informally about what’s most important to them.

I think you’ll be surprised what people are prepared to do without so they can keep “little things” like decent coffee – and decent toilet paper. It doesn’t have to be expensive – just don’t use the stuff that “feels” cheap and uncomfortable.


As an easy memory device – just remember this image of how you can keep people ENGAGED – by paying attention to and not cutting “the little things”.

I’d love to know what you think?

What little things matter to you?

Does the quality of the toilet paper matter to you? (I’ve found women seem to care more about the quality than men)

Please share your views in the comments section below. I’m betting readers will take more notice of the quality of the office toilet paper the next time they visit the bathroom.


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If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:
If you found this post interesting you can follow me and connect with me.
I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious business communication tips.

Linked In – under Tony Biancotti
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These days, lots of people and organisations need help with how to COPE with too much work, too much information, too many meetings, delivering difficult news, business writing, effective e-mail, e-mail overload, cross-cultural communication, better social media engagement etc. I like to help people COPE.



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