3 Simple Ways to Reduce the Running Costs of your Business

Regardless of the line of work you’re in, running a business is expensive. Meeting your monthly expenses, paying employees, and still turning a profit is a tough task in a struggling economy. To keep your business running smoothly, without cutting corners, try to reduce the day to day running costs of your company. Here are a few typical expenses that are easier than you might have thought to cut down on.

Phone Bills

Firstly, the cost of the phone system itself. A VOIP system generally costs less to install, as you can still have multiple lines without the need for a PBX. You can also add lines as your company grows, without having to pay for an additional physical phone line. Most internet service providers also offer excellent bundles if you go through them for your phone system as well.

To keep the actual phone bills down, let employees know that calls are monitored (even if they aren’t, though most finance companies do record calls as a security measure). This will reduce the number of personal calls made, meaning your company isn’t paying for Suzie to chat to her sister in Australia for an hour. Having individual dialing codes will also let you monitor who makes what calls, and employees can’t bypass the system by using another office for personal calls.

Look at the plan you’re on and see if you can’t switch to a plan that offers unlimited local calls for a flat fee. If you do a lot of international business, and therefore make a lot of international calls, look at getting a prepaid international calling plan through a company like EnjoyPrepaid. Your international call rates will be drastically lower, and you can top up your account as needed.

Energy Costs

Heating or cooling your office building can be expensive, so see what you can do to reduce the costs. Switch off your thermostat over weekends, particularly three day weekends when nobody is going to be in the office. This way, you’re not paying to heat an empty building. Depending on your climate, it might not be worth switching off for just a day or two at a time if it takes more energy to warm it up again, but it’s definitely worth switching off for longer breaks.

Keep an eye on air conditioners in summer. Setting them too low uses a lot of energy, and they won’t be able to bring the temp down that far anyway, 20 degrees Celsius should be your minimum. Make sure areas with aircon are kept closed, so you aren’t cooling the whole building with a single unit, or the whole state if windows are also open. Encourage opening window instead of using air conditioning if possible, though some days may be too hot, so close up to keep the cool air in.

Printing Costs

The average business doesn’t need high-quality photo printing, and the kind of printer that offers it will be costly to run. For general printing, opt for a laser-jet printer. They may cost more initially than an inkjet, but the long-term running costs are much lower. They use a lot less ink, and the ink itself is less expensive. Some suppliers offer a maintenance plan, either as part of the purchase for the first few years, or as an optional extra. It may be more cost effective than calling in an independent contractor to fix your printer issues.

You should also try to reduce the total amount of printing. Send out company memos, meeting minutes, and anything that doesn’t need to be printed via email. Discourage personal printing, and give each employee a userbox, so the printer can track individual printing. If there are no limitations, there’s also no incentive to check for errors before hitting print, as it can just be reprinted. Reprinting documents because of simple errors adds dramatically to printing costs.

From simple things like making sure air conditioners aren’t left running and avoiding multiple trips in company cars, to bigger issues like buying the right hardware and getting an extended warranty, knowing how to reduce costs could save your business millions in the long run.