We all want to save money when it comes to the business, and if we can make it a little more eco-friendly in the process, then it’s certainly good all round. There’s a lot you can do for your business no matter how established it may be so to help yours, here’s how to save money and go greener.
Streamline Your Finances
Whether you’re starting up a business and you’re on day one, or you’ve been running a successful business for several years, it’s always good practice to make sure your finances are looking the best they can be. It might be helpful to streamline your finances so that you can handle everything a little easier and cut costs where possible. Putting all your finances in one place, like your invoices and expenses, means you can keep track of what’s going in and out of the company at all times. This is something that will become more useful as the business gets bigger and you’re dealing with multiple outgoings and incomings.
Make sure there’s a filing or storage system in place to hold onto any receipts and any financial documents. Whether that’s storing them digitally or physically, always label your documents so that they can easily be found. This is certainly useful for smaller businesses as you never know when the taxman will visit you to check that everything is being claimed correctly. Audits are often carried out on businesses, so be prepared for this to happen at any moment. Keep on top of your bookkeeping whether it’s just yourself in the business which looks after it, or if it’s another member of the team. If you don’t have the funds to hire someone, you could always hire someone externally to manage it. It’s likely to be cheaper and a good alternative until you’re able to hire an internal bookkeeper/finance team.
Cut Down On Stationery
You buy a box of pens, and within half a day, the box is empty, and all pens are scattered over the office. Within a week or so, these pens almost have a life of its own and disappear. This is what usually happens with a lot of stationery, and as a business, you’ll often find yourself spending your company’s hard-earned money on stationery. Not everyone needs fancy fountain pens or a stapler that goes into the three figures, so implement a plan to cut down on stationery. Liaise with your reception team or those who order the stationery only to buy the necessities needed. If anything else is required that’s not within the usual shopping list, always seek to shop for the best price available and avoid anything too expensive unless it’s necessary.
Stationery can amount to a lot of money over the financial year so if it’s possible to cut down, then do it sooner rather than later. It’s always good to review it at the end of each financial year to make sure the costs aren’t going up.
Going digital is incredibly beneficial to the environment. We can often waste reams and reams of paper and if one business is going through several a day, imagine the scale of it throughout the world, let alone your own country. Many businesses are now opting to go digital because it can end up saving money, time and effort. Think of all the space that you could free up by not having to print out documents, storing them in large bulky folders that end up going into numerous cupboards. Some businesses may not be able to go digital but if it’s possible, try and get a project going where you transform all your physical documents into digital files. You may need to consider getting some temporary administration assistants in to take on the work, but it can end up making a huge difference to many aspects of the business.
Make sure you’ve got a safe and secure system on your computers so that there’s little risk to your security. Digital is the future, so if you want to improve the longevity of your files, then storing them in digital form is the best way to do it.
Be Strict With Spending
A lot of businesses can find it very easy to spend money and sometimes it’s completely necessary to do so. Whether it’s investing in new software for the company, funding a new campaign or project, or hiring new members of staff to expand the business. But sometimes, this spending might not always be warranted. Therefore it’s always useful to have an accountant to advise you on your spending habits. They can also help with tax (although you might want to seek advice from a tax advisor too) and will make sure that any spending is going to benefit the business and not hinder it. Having a financial plan for the year is also good to have, as well as setting any goals that you’d like to achieve. By then knowing how much you could make, might affect your spending habits.
With no financial plan, businesses could make huge financial expenditures that could cripple them and risk bankruptcy. So be cautious and strict with your spending as a business. Always question everything as it might not always be the right time, financially, to spend the money.
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
Recycling can sometimes feel like hard work, but we’re all contributing to a cleaner society, and if we end up throwing everything out into general waste, more recyclable materials will just end up in landfills that could have actually gone into making more recycled and biodegradable packaging. So, set up an initiative in the office to recycle as best you can. Use separate bins and put up clear signage to guide staff to use the right bins. Encourage your departments to all take an active role in making sure other colleagues contribute to recycling. It may seem like you’re a small business and not doing much by recycling, but in fact, you are contributing to a bigger impact.
Use Energy Efficient Products
Thankfully nowadays, there’s a lot more choice when it comes to the equipment and appliances we use in our offices. Whether it’s a kettle, microwave or printer, energy efficient products do exist, and it’s worth investing in them. Consider it, if you have the budget, to replace any appliances that are sapping energy and burning the money in the bank at the same time. It’s an expense now, but it can end up saving you money on your utility bills and the overall running of the building. You might also want to slimline water tanks as these are great for conserving and catching water, especially for those with a business outdoors.
Encourage Remote Working
Remote working is not only useful for the business, but it’s also a huge positive for your staff. Having flexible working is great for employees to have a better work-life balance. They’ve got time to make more memories with family and friends, will be less exhausted and stressed out which bodes well for work productivity. Having less time spent in the office also means you cut down on the daily running of the building. There are fewer computers on, less stationery used and less coffee drank. Offer this option for your staff and not only will it earn a new level of respect but it’ll save you a lot of money over time. Give it a try!
Promote Existing Staff Instead Of Hiring New Ones
Instead of forking out the cost to hire a new staff member, why not promote existing staff. Before jumping the gun and putting out new job ads, look at your current team and see whether any of them could have the skills already or have the ability to learn what’s needed through additional training. Most employees will want to seek a career within a role, so make an effort to spot the talent within the existence of staff already before hiring new ones. A pay rise will cost a lot less than budgeting for an extra member of staff. Set up someone to one meetings with potential employees and see if you can offer to promote or provide extra training with the promise of financial gain.
Motivate Your Employees To Go Green
As a business, you do have an influence over your staff. So it may be worth it to motivate your employees to opt for a greener lifestyle in their own lives. Offer incentives that will encourage them to adapt their lifestyle with schemes like the cycle to work and even offering gift cards and bonuses for certain choices they make within work and outside of it that are more eco-friendly. There are plenty of ways to encourage your staff to go green so influencing!
Saving money is always useful to any business, and with more companies becoming conscious of global warming, it’s great to see that some are already making big changes to how they operate and run their business.
This is a collaborative post.