Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves – while perhaps not entirely true when it comes to running a business, cutting unnecessary costs can be a useful exercise to allow you to distribute potentially wasted cash to somewhere where it can be put to better use.
While it’s hoped that 2014 will herald the end of excessive thriftiness to the point where it stops or limits workers from doing their jobs properly, there is still good reason to cut out excessive waste.
Sustainability has already been highlighted as a top priority for many firms, according to recent research by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, with a third of respondents planning to up the amount they spend of making their operations more environmentally friendly. It’s not a bad idea – as well as improving the public’s perception of your business by catering for green issues, saving energy and reducing excessive by-products of the office also lowers costs.
In order to save money, one thing is certain – it can’t just be a one man crusade. For this reason, you have to ensure that your entire workforce is behind you when it comes to implementing changes and it’s important they understand why things need to be done differently.
For example, you may want to save money by using the printer less. The costs of paper and ink can easily rack up if printing facilities are abused and it will need more than one person to change their attitude for this to make a difference to the bottom line.
Try encouraging staff to only use a printer for work-related materials instead of personal use and enlighten them as to how they can take advantage of cloud computing to share documents digitally instead of relying on physical copies.
Another way of using modern technology to reduce costs and the environmental impact of your business is to substitute more face-to-face meetings with conference calls.
While it’s still important to press the flesh from time to time, by calling clients and colleagues that are based elsewhere instead of visiting them on every occasion, you will find that travel expenses drop dramatically.
Not only that, but the time that you or your employees would spend getting from one office to another can also be put to better use – making the working day a much more efficient affair.
Shop around, invest
Another strategy that can really make a difference is to be on the lookout for the best deal when it comes to your energy supplier. Gas and electricity bills can form a large part of your monthly outgoings and so it makes sense to ensure that you are getting value for money.
Similarly, it could be worth spending to benefit your outgoings in the long-term. For example, investing in insulation could save you a packet on your heating bill, while spending on solar panels could dramatically reduce the cash you spend on electricity.