(This is a contributed post)
When you run an office, the costs can seem to be coming in left, right and center. In fact, it’s pretty hard to keep on top of your office costs, especially when you’re trying to manage everything else as a business owner, and it just seems to fall to the bottom of your list. However, sometimes you need to re-evaluate what you’re paying out for, and whether it’s really worth it, as you could be saving yourself a bit of cash by changing up how you do things. We’ve put together a simple list for those wanting to get on top of those difficult office finances once and for all!
OK, there is something great about having a huge airy office, that your team love (and your clients always remember). However, have you got an office that is just too big for your requirements, and are you really utilizing the space as well as you can? If you’re not ready to leave your office just yet, you may want to think about sharing it with another business, which could cut the costs of your rent. If you’re not willing (or able) to do this, then look at downsizing! Rent is one of the major costs for any business, and you need to make sure that you couldn’t get a better deal elsewhere. Sure, you need to weigh up the positives and negatives, but look around!
A major cost – although you may not realize it – can be a high staff turnover, and it takes up a lot of your time, too. If your employees just don’t seem to stick around, you need to get to the bottom of this issue, and do your best to make sure that your turnover isn’t as high. Do they dislike the job, the leadership, or even the general vibe in your office? Whatever it is, make sure that you create jobs for your team that they just don’t want to walk away from. This will prevent all of the costs associated with recruitment, scheduling interviews, and training new team members, which will really add up over time and can be bad news for your office finances.
You may be able to get some of the supplies and services for your office from national and global businesses for a reduced cost in the short-term, but really think about investing some of your money into local businesses instead. Not only are these small local businesses easier to barter with, but you’ll also find that they always come back and use your services, too, and this will help word about your business to get spread throughout your community. There really is something to be said for shopping local, so put some proposals forward to the businesses in your area. Perhaps you can provide a service for them, if they cut out some of the costs for your supplies?
Artificial lighting is really bad for the health of your employees (and for your health) and it takes a toll on your office costs, too. If you’re spending a lot of money just trying to keep the basic bills paid off, you’ll end up at a bit of a loss before you even start paying out for the other financial commitments in your business. When you’re looking to rent out your office, try to find one with big windows, and you won’t regret this decision in the future. Cut down on the artificial lighting, and make sure that your team don’t feel like they are in a little box with no access to the outside world. It’s good for your business money pot, and for the health of you and your employees, too.
Outsourcing is one of those things that some people just don’t like the idea of, as it does take some of the control out of your hands as a business owner. However, outsourcing tasks like your IT can be a really beneficial idea if you’re looking to cut some of your costs, as you won’t need to hire someone on a full-time basis to do this job in your office. Before you take on any new members of staff, you need to ask yourself whether outsourcing would be a cheaper alternative, and get in a few quotes for the options that you have. Not only will this save you a desk in your office, but you won’t need to pay somebody a full-time wage to look after your IT and other services either.
Many people who run small to medium sized businesses are worried about the way that haggling with suppliers will make them look. However, you can do this whilst maintaining a professional image for your brand, you just need to be a bit savvy about how you do it! Get a variety of quotes from different companies, and tell your supplier that you can get a better deal elsewhere, for the exact same products. If you have a pretty big contract with them, it’s unlikely that they will want to let you go, so they will be interested in cutting the costs in line with what you’ve suggested. Unfortunately, this is just how business works, and you need to learn to do this!
Let’s be honest, we all want our offices to be a cut above the rest, and investing in the best new decor is one way to make a space feel professional and exciting. However, sometimes we just splash out too much on kitting out our offices, when in reality, we could get things at a fraction of the cost. Think about getting second-hand office furniture – hear us out here – because many businesses get rid of these items whilst they’re still of a really good quality. Be clever about this, as you could get your office kitted out for a real bargain, with some furniture that is like-new. Think about the options here, and get browsing on eBay if you want to bag a deal!
Every office needs to have a good source for waste removal, and there are many other basic services that you need to think about when it comes to cutting the costs. You can get an environmentally-responsible rubbish removal service that won’t be too expensive, and you could find that you’re paying out too much for these services when you don’t really have to. Perhaps whoever was in the office before you just had a waste removal service that you carried on using? You can find yourself a better deal on pretty much anything in your small or medium sized business, so don’t think that you just have to accept the first cost on the services that you need.
Energy consumption (and subsequently money consumption) comes in a variety of different forms, and your business could be paying out a lot just because you’re consuming too much energy over the day. For example, are you always printing out your emails, and do you still do a lot of things via paper rather than through technology? Think about whether you could reduce these costs, and make sure that you implement some energy consumption strategies in your office. Even asking everybody to turn off their computers when they leave the office could really help your business to save some cash, as you don’t need to leave these things on overnight!
Meetings are one of those things that take up so much time and space in our offices, and they can also entail heavy travel costs, and a day or two away from the office. In reality, these things really aren’t necessary, so you need to kit your office out with some means of having meetings over video, or over the phone. Sure, there are some benefits of sitting directly in front of your clients (and sometimes you will have to do this) but a lot of the time, it just isn’t something that you have to do. Utilize technology in your office to cut back on some of the costs, and make sure that your meetings are conducted online where possible. You’ll see the savings from this immediately!
So, if you’re looking to cut down the costs, why not try out some of these simple tips? From more efficient waste removal services, to reducing your energy consumption, there are plenty of options out there that will help your business to cut the costs (and to save the planet). Your office space is the heart of all of your work as a company, and as such, it really should be somewhere that you’re paying close attention to, especially financially. With a bit of money awareness, and a passion to make sure that you’re doing everything as well as you can be, you will soon be on your way to having a better office!