Expenses shouldn’t take a toll on your business. If you feel that you’re over-extending your budget and spending too much, take time to identify which areas of your business are eating a big chunk out of your revenue and find ways to reduce spending. Here are some of the most common areas of you can start saving money on.
1. Reduce Energy Consumption
You can save money on your monthly energy bills by being more conscious about your usage.Use best practices such as turning off lights that aren’t in use, purchasing smart power strips with individual on/off buttons so that your office appliances don’t waste power, and replacing all your lightbulbs with LED lighting.
You have to get everyone in the office on board for your energy consumption efforts to work. You can even go as far as scheduling when the HVAC turns on or off. A good example would be turning off the air conditioning an hour before everyone leaves the office. The air will still be cool a few hours after the AC is turned off anyway, so make use of it.
Solar power is always an option, but you have to ask the building administrator if you can use the roof and run power lines back to your office. If allowed, you can divide the load and have solar power supply all your lights and smaller appliances such as computers and printers, while your HVAC unit will still be connected to the grid.
2. Computer Software
Software licenses and subscriptions could cost thousands of dollars. Don’t be fooled by the paid stuff available out there, because there are a lot of great alternatives you can use for free. These free options are mostly open source, with a helpful community of volunteers and fellow users who can help you if you have any questions.
- If you use Windows or Mac OS as your operating system, you can try using Linux. There are many distros available for download that are a easy to use, gorgeous to look at and will make your old OS eat dust in terms of speed and features. Most notable are Linux Mint, elementary OS and Ubuntu.
- Gimp and Paint.Net are suitable replacements for Adobe Photoshop, while Inkscape does a great job as an Illustrator alternative. Canva and Sumo Paint are great online tools for image editing as well. For office documents, spreadsheets and presentations, you should try LibreOffice, WPS Office and OpenOffice. If you don’t mind working online, Google Docs and Zoho do an excellent job.
If you run a software company and need free testing tools, opensourcetesting.org and riceconsulting.com have a ton of great links to all the free, open source testing software you can use.
3. Get Rid of all Clutter
Office clutter is evil and can cost you money in the long run, which is why you should be totally ruthless in getting rid of it. This includes everything in your office you don’t use or have no use for anymore. If it doesn’t work, throw it out. Anything that doesn’t add value to your workspace should be discarded.
- Throw away old pens, mugs, broken appliances, chairs, boxes, etc.
- Send paper off to be recycled.
- Scan all documents, contracts, receipts, etc. and go paperless.
- Tell all your vendors that you’re going paperless, so they should just email you everything.
- Sell all filing cabinets not in use and put old files into storage. Keep digitized files in the cloud.
4. Keep Office Supplies in Check
You can also save money on office supplies. Stop buying paper cups and tell your staff to bring their own spill-proof mugs. Reduce your paper consumption by going paperless and assigning tasks via tools such as Asana or Trello. Instead of buying original ink, have your old cartridges refilled.
Billions of pens are made each year, and millions are thrown away. Use pens with refillable ink to help save the planet and reduce your office expenses. Re-use old paper clips, clamps and rubber bands. Every little thing helps and adds up to your monthly savings.
Running a business should net you a handsome profit, not suck the life blood out of your operating budget. If at any time you feel your expenses are slipping slipping away, check where the spikes are and find ways to reduce it. The examples above are just some areas you can look at, but there would undoubtedly be more if you know what to look for.