It is not just consumers who are feeling the pinch through the recession. Businesses are having to cut their costs to match the reduced revenue and survive through tough times.
But what can be done to save money?
Turn off when leaving at night! Leaving computers running in standby mode still consumes power. Worst of all are items such as photocopiers which have multi user access but tend not to have an 'owner' who remembers to switch them off in the evenings or at weekends. All computers and lights can be switched off when not in use. Consider zone lighting which only activates when motion is detected in certain rooms. Equally, bigger items such as photocopiers and drinks machines can be fitted with seven day timers to make sure they are switched off over night and at weekends. If you combine this with fitting low energy bulbs you could save up to 15% on lighting costs alone in a year.
Stop dripping taps. Water costs money so repair any leaking or dripping taps or pipes and save up to £400 per year. Every business uses water to some degree or other so spending a little time on educating staff on how to use water efficiently could pay dividends. It may be possible to look at reusing water through some form of recycling system but whatever your usage you should appoint a 'water manager' to check that all taps, pipes and toilets are well insulated and working properly at all times.
Do not waste your waste. Waste disposal can cost a business up to 4.5% of its turnover in a year. Implementing a good waste management plan can save up to 1% of turnover a year but it will not happen without a champion. That means thinking broadly about every aspect of your business from paper usage to photocopier toner cartridges. Even a simple policy of two sided printing can save huge amounts of stationery costs per annum. And remember, your waste could be worth something to someone. Find them!
Drive properly. All company car drivers or delivery drivers should be taught how to drive efficiently. With fuel prices escalation every extra mile per gallon you can eek out of your fleet could save you thousands of pounds per year. Driver training pays for itself within weeks. Establish league tables and reward good results and save literally thousands.
Why travel? Telecoms are so good these days that teleconferencing can be as effective as actually being in the room with someone. The technology for multi user conferences is now far better than ever before so weigh up carefully the costs and benefits of travelling to a meeting when a well managed and arranged conference call could do the trick. If you do not have the resources to invest in a state of the art conference calling facility there will be one you can hire close by. Save money on travel and save time too – a valuable commodity these days when everyone is stretched to the limit.
Matt Smith – Freelance business, conference calling and technology blogger.