Running a small business is a challenge. Sometimes, the smallest things can make a big difference. If you are a small business owner, it is likely that you look to keep costs under control in any way possible. One area that can be overlooked when budgets are being made is the cost of utilities and other office overheads, but going back to the basics can often save you a bundle. This article looks to give you tips on how to do just that.
Lighting can be a huge expense. At home, you can just turn the lights off and save, but at work you need them on to ensure quality work and safety. Don’t worry though, there are still ways to cut lighting to save on electricity.
For seldom used rooms, like bathrooms, consider occupancy sensors that automatically turn lights off when people leave the room. These sensors work wonders in break rooms, conference rooms, and even in little used offices as well. If you can’t install occupancy sensors for some reason, encourage employees and even customers to turn off lights when a room isn’t in use.
For rooms that require high levels of light at all times, consider energy efficient bulbs. Compact fluorescent bulbs are relatively inexpensive and can save you a bundle over conventional and even standard fluorescent bulbs. LED bulbs are the most energy efficient, but also the most expensive. You’ll need to determine if the higher upfront costs of LED bulbs will be offset by the energy savings during a time span that fits with your budget. At the very least, upgrade the old T12 fluorescent lights found in your office to more energy efficient T8 bulbs.
Water is actually a large expense for many businesses, particularly hot water. Be sure that your hot water heater is working efficiently, that faucets aren’t leaking, and that employees are responsible in their use of water. A tankless hot water heater can save you a great deal of money over time, so if you are installing a water heater or are looking to upgrade, consider going tankless.
Heat & Cooling
Heating and air conditioning can be huge expenses, so be smart about how you use both. One of the best things you can do is install a programmable thermostat that changes the temperature based on time of day. Assuming that your office or workplace is closed during certain hours, changing the temperature by just a few degrees during those hours (up during warm weather and down during cool weather) can save you as much as 15% on your energy bills.
You have the option of choosing your electricity provider, which means you can choose your rates or how your energy is produced. Some online services, such as this one – http://www.ukpower.co.uk/business-electricity, will guide you through the process of finding the best possible tariff among the options. Of all the ways to save money for your small business, choosing an affordable energy provider is among the most significant.
Saving Is Investing
Saving money is no different from investing in your business. The money you spare by enacting the steps above is money that you can spend on new equipment, research and development, new employees, or bonuses for existing workers. No matter how you slice it, running an efficient business means paying attention to every detail. Sometimes it pays to sweat the small things.
Harry Lawrance writes regularly about business and the challenges facing small businesses and contributes to a number of blogs.