As a business owner, one of the many things that you should watch out for is cash flow. Naturally, if the funds coming in are less than your operational expenses, you are not earning any profit at all. Unfortunately for small-scale entrepreneurs, this happens more often because there aren’t enough funds to get around in the first place.
What does this mean for the owner of the business? Basically, you have to look for as many saving opportunities as possible. Even the smallest savings will go a long way towards managing your cash flow so that in the end, the money coming in from your customers will be more than your daily operational expenses. Keep reading and find out how to save money at work!
If you are unable to watch over the business’ cash flow, what will happen? There’s a very big possibility for one of the employees to get laid off. The quality of the product you’re manufacturing or the service that you are offering might also get affected.
This is not a good thing at all, because customers expect quality in exchange for the money that they are paying your business. A worst-case scenario is for you to not have any operational funds at all, which leads to the eventual closing of the business.
Fortunately, there are many ways for you to save money around the office. As long as you have a solid business plan and you know which areas of operations you can save money on, you can successfully keep your business afloat, and reach your short-term and long-term goals.
Ways to Save Money at Work
Again, the rule of thumb to follow when looking for ways to save money around the office is to make sure that the saving measure will not affect the quality of product or service that you are offering to your clients.
Another thing to remember is that every little bit of savings will help. Even if it’s just a few dollars off the price of your paper supply, if you consider the yearly savings that you will save, it will add up to a significant amount and cut off your overall operational budget.
Take a look at the following ways on how you can save money around the office:
1. Use less paper
According to CNN, workers in American use paper for printing, copying and faxing trillions of sheets per year. This does not yet include other paper-based products used in a typical office like envelopes, notepads, memo pads, calendars, business cards, flyers, pamphlets, vouchers, checks, legal documents, etc.
If you’re a small to mid-sized entrepreneur, the money that you can save towards operating a hopefully paperless office environment can go towards the more important expenses.
So how can you cut back on paper consumption in your office? First, you can ditch the fax machine. Instead of faxing over documents to other offices, suppliers, customers or business contacts, you can simply use electronic signature and send over the documents via e-mail. Aside from saving money on paper, you can also save money on fax charges and electricity.
Another way to save money at work is to ditch sticky notes and memos. Sticky notes may be good physical reminders of what an employee is supposed to do for a day, but these tiny, colorful paper pieces actually cannot be recycled. Instead of using this non-eco-friendly paper, use a dry erase board or white board instead.
Third, you can cut back on the sheets of paper used for printing documents, e-mail messages and other files by having all employees cooperate. Tell them that in a typical office, 50% of all documents get recycled at the end of the day. This means that when they are pressing the print button, there is a 50% chance that the document need not be printed at all.
If a document does need to be printed and filed away, use the Print Preview feature to make sure that there are no errors on the document, thus eliminating the need to reprint and waste paper and ink.
For documents that employees need to study, you can simply distribute PDF copies via e-mail instead of printing them out and using reams of bond paper in the process. Other ways to save paper in a typical office is by eschewing checks, saving on envelopes by doing electronic postage, and collaborating online.
Reduce your energy consumption
Next, how can you save money on utility bills? If you have a small office with five desktop computers, a printer, a fax machine and other office equipment, majority of your budget will go towards paying utility bills. According to Harvard University, there are several ways that you can cut back your energy use inside the office:
- Put your computer on energy saving mode and turn them off at night. This will result to a total savings of 172 kWh per year, or around $250.
- You can save more than 100 kWh of energy per year by turning off all printers at night. For copy machines, the savings equate to around $40 per year, or 270 kWh.
- By relying on overhead and natural lighting, you can turn off personal lights and save up to 200 kWh per year. That’s a total savings of $30.
- If you have a refrigerator in the office pantry, you will use up to 15% less electricity by going for a model with a high Energy Star rating.
- By simply asking all your employees to implement ways to save energy inside the office, you can cut back on your electricity consumption and use the funds to further your operations or improve your products or services.
Automate your bills payment
You don’t want to pay late fees or interest on your utility bills or credit card bills, so you might want to consider automating the process. Save money at work by enrolling your bills in automatic debit payment and avoiding late fees and surcharges.
If you have a credit card that you are using for office expenses, make sure that you are able to pay off the full amount on the due date. Otherwise, you will be paying a lot of money on late fees and finance charges.
Learn how to save money on advertising
Fortunately for today’s business owners, there is no need for them to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on pricey TV, radio or print ads. They can always rely on cheaper modes of advertisement like the Internet, and the foolproof word-of-mouth promotion.
If you have a small office and there’s another business owner next door, you can piggyback on print ads and use half of a streamer for your own brand, then the other half for theirs.
You can also join trade shows or professional associations related to the industry you’re in, and see what they can offer in terms of advertising your business for free.
During peak seasons, hire contractors or freelancers
Depending on the product or service you are offering to your customers, there will be seasons when the demand is high and months when the demand is low.
During the peak months of your operation, do you need to go through the entire hiring process – only to lay off the employees once the peak season is over? Not necessarily. Not only will this waste your time and money on paying manpower, but it will also be very inconvenient for all parties involved.
A money-saving and practical solution is to hire contractors and freelancers. You can hire their services only when there’s an overload on operational requirements. Once the peak season is over, the contract is automatically terminated because you are working on a project-to-project basis only. Another way to save money at work, don’t you think?
Share office supplies
There are many shared office options today where a group of workers can rent a fully-equipped office space for a certain timeframe. Aside from ditching the need to rent an office or a commercial space full time, you can also save money by sharing office supplies and equipment.
The main way for you to go green is by operating a paperless office environment. You can also use eco-friendly cleaning supplies for the office, implement eco-friendly measures on your daily operations, and make sure that you are not contributing undue harm to the environment. Not only will this lower your operational costs, but you can also advertise your company as a green business.
When buying supplies, raw materials or hiring a service, look for at least three price quotations from different companies
Lastly, when you are buying supplies, raw materials or hiring a service, look for at least three price quotations. Although it pays to go with the company that offers the cheapest price, you still need to see what the Terms and Conditions of the contract are.
If all three companies offer roughly the same price quotation, pit them against each other and ask what they can offer as an additional perk for you to pick them out. You can also consider bartering services to save money on the supplies or service that you need.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways for entrepreneurs to save money around the office. Every little bit of savings helps, so make sure to follow these tips to cut back on your day-to-day operational costs. Now you know how to save money at work, so what are you waiting for?