Finding ways to cut office expenses without sacrificing the quality of service or demoralizing staff is a challenge many businesses face, especially small businesses or those that may be struggling financially already. However, there are a number of money saving ideas for the office that may end up not only cutting costs, but also enhancing productivity and making your office more environmentally friendly.
Consider how much paper your office goes through in one month, in a week, in a single day. Evaluate how much of the information you're putting down on paper could be put into a computer filing system instead. Although initial start-up costs (i.e., computers, software) may be higher, in the long run you will save money on paper. If your company deals with a lot of confidential documentation, you will also save money on shredding costs and secure storage facilities for records.
Refurbished or secondhand office furniture can save you a lot of money when it comes time to furnish your office, and can even lend character to your business atmosphere. You may also be able to purchase used office furniture through government auctions or from other businesses that are closing or relocating. If you're handy, you may even wish to buy less-than-perfect pieces and refinish them yourself.
When you're ordering office supplies, whether it's pens and sticky notes or a new printer, it pays to shop around. Compare prices at office supply stores to big discount retailers like Walmart or Target. Additionally, seek out local wholesalers who cater to businesses to purchase frequently replaced items in bulk.
If possible, consider allowing employees to telecommute. This isn't very effective if you don't allow telecommuting almost all of the time since you still have to maintain an office. If there is no office to maintain, you don't have overhead costs in that area. Even supporting a small, central hub of four or five people is less expensive than running a large office for 20 or more employees.
Shop around when it comes to vendors for shipping, janitorial services or temporary staff. Many vendors will offer discounts for loyal customers or will match competitor's prices. Alternatively, evaluate the amount of services you're using and if you can cut back anywhere. For example, have your office cleaned twice per week instead of three times.
- "Streetwise Small Business Book of Lists: Hundreds of Lists to Help You Reduce Costs, Increase Revenues, and Boost Your Profits"; Gene Marks; 2006