“Do more with less” has been a common mantra around many offices since the onset of the recession, but even as we move out of troubled economic times, reducing waste and unnecessary spending around your workplace is probably still a priority. After all, the fewer expenditures your business incurs, the more net profit it’s able to realize, so it always pays to be as thrifty as possible around the office.
As an added bonus, many practices that reduce expense are also environmentally friendly, so you’ll be doing your part to make your workspace greener as you cut costs.
Take a look at these nine tips to get started with scaling back on your office’s spending today:
Order in Bulk
Just as with purchasing cereal or paper plates for your home, buying office supplies in bulk can save big bucks. Consider investing in a membership to Costco or Sam’s Club to purchase bulk pens, pencils, paperclips and other office essentials at a steep discount.
Go as Paperless as Possible
Simply put, paper wastes money, so the more you can transition to paperless practices around your office, the more money you’ll save. For example, email your employees important information rather than using a paper memo; scan documents and send them via email instead of faxing or photocopying; use cloud-based storage for files instead of paper-based. All of these ideas will allow you to scale back significantly on paper-related expenses in your office.
If You Must Use Paper, Reuse It
If your workplace absolutely must use some paper, be sure that it’s being reused whenever possible. Printing documents on two sides will cut paper use in half, but if something prints one-sided, reuse the blank side for another purpose.
Energy bills are a major money-suck for a lot of offices, so putting your heating and air conditioning systems on timers so that they’ll automatically shut off overnight will go far in reducing this expense. You could also do the same for overhead lighting, which will add up to extra savings on energy.
Put Computers to Sleep
Another idea for cutting back on energy costs is to be sure that employees’ computers are set to go into sleep mode after a period of inactivity. Desktop computers use a lot of power, so setting them to automatically switch to sleep mode when they’re not in use makes sense if you’re looking to cut back on your power bill. Contact your department’s IT tech to set this up.
Switch to Laptops
If you’re really looking to reduce your energy expenses when it comes to computers, switching to laptops is your best bet. Laptops use much less energy than desktop computers, so transitioning to a laptop-only office will help you save significantly on the cost of power.
Recycle Office Equipment
Many states and municipalities offer cash-back rewards for office equipment (like computer parts, printers, and ink cartridges) that you recycle instead of throwing away. Contact your local recycling center to see if they offer this benefit; also get in touch with the office supply stores in your area, as some offer similar programs.
Shop Around for Business Phone and Internet Service
Cutting back on phone and Internet bills is an easy way to save money, and many service providers offer special deals for offices. Be sure to get price quotes from all the companies in your area that provide business phone and Internet service to be sure you’re getting the best deal. Don’t be afraid to play hard ball – many companies will negotiate if you make it clear you’ll take your business elsewhere if they won’t offer you the right price.
Rent Out Office Space
This is a somewhat out-of-the box savings tip that many offices around the country are beginning to employ: many businesses are only open during specified hours, so while your office space isn’t being used by your company, why not rent it out to a start-up looking to work odd hours? It never hurts to place an ad online and see if there’s an entrepreneur in your area who’s interested.
Keeping costs down at the office is easier than you think; with these simple tips your business will be holding on to more of its hard-earned profits in no time!Sara Collins is a writer for NerdWallet, a site that helps businesses and individuals save money by answering questions like, “Should I roll over my 401k?”