Most businesses are feeling the pinch from an unstable economy and are taking drastic measures to cut costs in any way possible. Here are some ideas to explore if you are looking to save money for your business:

  1. Get rid of the non-essentials.  While providing disposable coffee cups, utensils, office food, filtered water, etc. makes the work place a more enjoyable place to be, difficult times call for drastic measures.  Tell your employees that these items will no longer be provided and encourage them to bring reusable coffee mugs, water bottles, and snacks in order to make their workday more enjoyable. 
  2. Save money on your electricity bill by powering down all electronic equipment each night.  This includes computers, fax machines, copiers, coffee pots, etc.  Also be sure to turn the air conditioning or heater down each night to avoid any excess power being used while employees are not there.  Believe it or not, doing all of these things can decrease your energy bill by 1/3 each year.  You might also consider switching out your light bulbs for more energy-efficient bulbs as they will eventually save you 75% on your electricity bill every year even though they are a little bit of an investment.  Finally, be sure to seal leaks around windows and doors to increase heating and cooling efficiency and consider using natural cooling methods (i.e. windows open in the spring) when possible.
  3. Transform a room in your home into a virtual office.  One of the most expensive costs of running a business is the actual cost of the brick and mortar office.  By getting rid of your office building and having your employees work from home, you’ll not only be saving money on rent each month, but your employees will be saving money on gas and working from the comfort of their very own home.  While having a virtual office can be very convenient, it also requires some discipline.  Employees need to know what you expect out of them and that deadlines, appointments and work is still just as important when working from home. 
  4. Purchase office equipment and supplies (i.e. printer paper, ink, pens, etc.) in bulk  as to avoid additional shipping or gas costs and to get a lower overall price on the items. 
  5. Conduct a thorough review of all costs associated with your business and find lower-cost alternatives where possible.  This could be in relation to small-business insurance that may be costing your business thousands of extra dollars every year or even renegotiating your office lease to get a lower monthly payment.