Ways to Cut Your Office Costs Overview: Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, but they can be squeezed for every penny they have. From rising health care costs to mandatory ergonomic guidelines, a number of outside factors make it difficult for small businesses to compete and achieve growth.
And while technology has made it easier than ever to do business from anywhere, it’s harder than ever for small businesses to keep up with the Joneses. Fortunately, there is one area where most small businesses can improve their efficiency and profitability – office costs.
From printers to furniture, and office equipment, to working with a cleaning company that offers affordable commercial cleaning rates in Canada, there are a number of different ways to reduce the costs of running a small business. And by implementing these strategies and more, you can reduce your office costs and increase your bottom line. So, take a look at our six best ways to cut your office costs and increase your bottom line.
Proven Ways to Cut Your Office Costs
Despite having to deal with rising costs in nearly every area of business, cutting your office costs should be one of your top priorities if you want to succeed. High overhead costs are often the reason why small businesses close down or have trouble turning a profit, so it’s imperative that you reduce them as much as possible so you can focus more on growing your business and less on keeping it afloat. These six tips will help you get started with cutting your office costs today.
1. Use a Programmable or Smart Thermostat in Your Office
Saving energy isn’t just good for your bottom line; it’s also good for our environment. And while green initiatives are often relegated to larger companies, there are plenty of ways you can go green without spending an arm and a leg. From using smart devices to track your energy consumption to using programmable thermostats to regulate room temperature, small businesses have more options than ever before.
In fact, a few easy tweaks could help you reduce your monthly bill by as much as 20% – 30%. Start with simple measures like using smart plug-in timers on appliances that can automatically shut off when they’re not in use. Further, take advantage of technology by implementing ‘smart’ heating systems that can learn your habits (like your indoor temperature preferences) and set themselves accordingly. The money saved will add up quickly over time.
2. Outsource Appropriately
Oftentimes small businesses think that outsourcing is a quick and easy way to save money, but for many, it can actually end up costing you more in lost productivity and wasted time on projects that your employees should have handled. By outsourcing work that’s outside of your skillset or knowledge base, you might end up paying a higher price than expected due to miscommunication and mistakes made by freelancers with less experience.
Your business is growing, but you are struggling to keep up with the increasing number of calls.
Investing in a new phone system will give you more time to focus on your core business.
Use cloud-based business phone system that provides you with advanced features and a large number of virtual extensions for your employees. You can use it at any time, anywhere – on any device!
So, before you go ahead and hire your first freelancer or pay an outside company for services, make sure you really need them – and that they’re up for the job. For example, a designer who can execute on a great idea or a web developer who can code an easy-to-navigate website is worth their weight in gold – but you can probably hire someone on Elance or Odesk at a fraction of their normal rate if your project isn’t as complex. That way, you get more bang for your buck without breaking your budget.
3. Buy in Bulk When It Makes Sense
While it might sound like a no-brainer, buying in bulk is often worth it if you’re ordering an item that will last you at least 6 months or more – and particularly when you can combine multiple orders with other businesses. For example, while some items may be cheaper per unit on websites like Amazon, some products are actually less expensive when ordered directly from a manufacturer due to special deals that they offer exclusively for bulk buyers.
From paper supplies to cleaning supplies, office chairs, to printers, there are numerous opportunities for small businesses to save money by taking advantage of volume discounts. All you have to do is search online or ask your vendor how much discount you’ll get if you order more than once during a set period.
4. Limit Travel Expenses
At some point, you have to get on a plane or on a train – but when is it worth it? The answer is whenever you can save time and money by traveling rather than having someone fly in from another city or state. In fact, small businesses should always be looking for new ways to reduce their carbon footprint while saving money at the same time, which is what makes teleconferencing services like Skype and Google Hangouts such a valuable asset for team collaboration and travel savings.
An added bonus of using these types of systems is that they allow employees to take more work with them while they’re away from their desks, enabling them to get more done in less time when on the go!
5. Modernize Your Marketing Efforts
Of course, a business won’t survive without new customers, and it’s up to you to find ways of attracting them by making your business more visible in today’s digital age. Gone are the days when businesses had their choice of four television networks and two newspapers from which they could place advertisements – so what does that mean to you? In short, it means that your marketing efforts will need some updating.
Think about it – while some people may still subscribe to paper-based magazines or visit sites like AOL for news updates, more and more consumers are turning towards social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter for a new source of information and educating themselves on products through YouTube and Google searches. When used correctly, these tools can be an excellent way to raise awareness for your brand and make it easier than ever before for potential customers to learn about and ultimately use your products or services.
6. Cut Superfluous Expenses
In a perfect world, you would have infinite amounts of time and money to devote to your business – but in reality, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to cutting down on needless expenses. This doesn’t mean that you should skimp on important things like employee training or investing in new equipment; it just means that there are opportunities out there for small businesses in all areas of their budgeting, not just in-house spending.
For example, if you think your office is spending too much every month on soft drinks from vending machines or Starbucks runs during lunchtime, look into getting a water cooler or setting up a coffee maker with free refills instead.
And while it may seem obvious, one of our favorite tricks for increasing both morale and productivity at work? Invest in an unlimited supply of snacks! Many companies offer free snacks with paid membership plans that can be easily set up via PayPal or another payment processing company.
There are a lot of things that go into starting a new business, but don’t let that scare you away. With careful planning and persistence, you can move toward your dreams – just remember to take one small step at a time!