Effective Ways to Conserve Money in the Office
Competition in business is cut-throat.
But if employees and managers would do conservation measures in the office, there is a higher chance for a business to thrive. No matter how minor or trivial this may be, when accumulated, these will still amount to a generous sum.
Not only the small businesses, but also the large enterprises are affected by the lingering economic downturn abroad brought about by the subprime crisis. We may already be cutting costs, but we can still trim our expenses by implementing extra measures to conserve our resources.
Here’s a list of ways to help your business flourish with little effort:
• Unplug electrical devices when not in use. Use smart power strips as this would automatically cut off energy when appliances are idle. Choose a smart power strip that has an “always on” socket where you can plug those that must always have a power supply.
• Avoid using dark paint colors on the wall. It may look cool but it would take much more lighting to brighten the room. Unless the dark color is really appropriate in your business, use lighter shade. Draw in the curtains or blinds to allow light to enter rooms.
• Turn off lights and computers when not in use. The idea that it would cost more electricity to start up lights and computers than to completely turn these off is largely a myth. Now, with modern technology, unless it will be for a few minutes only, the savings will far outweigh the cost of restarting.
• Recycle paper. Print on both sides of the paper if this will cause no problems. This automatically cuts your paper consumption in half.
• Buy in bulk. It’s cheaper by the dozen, so they say. We buy office supplies in Divisoria. Not only do we get bargain prices, but we also enjoy volume discounts, unlike the fixed prices in the usual stores.
• Deliveries must be scheduled. This allows you to conserve on transportation expenses. It also decreases wear and tear of your vehicle. You also get a lot of savings, if you deliver out of town, as this helps save on toll fees.
• Save by scheduling company events simultaneously. Just last December, my company saved a lot by scheduling our Planning Session and Christmas Party at the same time. Indeed, although we have exercised our brain cells during our Strategic Planning Session, we had fun afterwards during our fellowship night cum Christmas party.
• Scout for free software. Use free antivirus, open office, linux, etc. if compatibility is not an issue and if you are computer savvy enough to know how to use them! For storing documents, you may use free internet storage sites which allows you up to 50 gigabytes storage. Just verify if the site is credible. For pictures, you may upload and store them in picasaweb.google.com, photobucket.com, or flickr.com.
• If you have to buy computers, you may opt to buy laptops. They are now very affordable even when compared to desktops. Not only does it save space, but it also consumes far less energy as compared to desktop computers.
• Send e-mails rather than the traditional snail mail. Works faster, and saves you from going to the post office. This allows you also to access and retrieve information very easily.
• Acquire freelance services. For example, you won’t need a full time employee if you just need a job done from time to time.
• Conduct meetings over snack time. Sandwich and coffee is cheaper, than serving lunch during meetings or conferences.
• Purchase wisely. Ask for discounts, or else arrange an x-deal.
• Recycle. In our office we catch air con water drippings for watering our ornamental plants. You may raise your eyebrows, but indeed, we’ve been doing this for years, and our plants are green and healthy. We have measured collecting about 15-gallons of free water every day, and that’s a lot of savings for us.
• Negotiate for early payment discounts. With interest rates now so low, your funds may earn better on early payment discounts rather than deposited in the bank.
• Issue ballpens and other office supplies only when necessary. This way, fewer will get lost or pilfered.
These are just some suggestions to help your business run a tight ship. When people see management’s concern over cost savings, most of them will also tend to be more conscious of how to save money. Bean counters may rarely be heralded as corporate heroes but in the end proper cost cutting may be the medicine your company needs to stay alive.
*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.