If you run a services business, the chances are that paying the staff is your biggest expense, followed by the office costs. Now, you pay staff because they make money for you, but your office is fair game when it comes to cutting costs. Every dollar you spend on your office is a dollar off your bottom line. Of course, you want to provide a productive environment for your staff, and to create a good impression with your customers, but there are many ways to reduce expenditures without compromising either of these.
The first and easiest thing to look at is your office equipment and lighting. For example, there’s no reason to light rooms when there is nobody there. Simply putting the lights on a timer so they switch off at night, or, better still, putting in motion detectors can result in significant savings. The same goes for office equipment, such as copiers and printers – make sure these are turned off at night and switched back on in the morning.
Speaking of copiers and printers, this brings up the issue of office supplies. These can be expensive, especially if you are printing out lots of documentation on a regular basis. Try to buy office supplies in bulk, rather than in dribs and drabs, since buying larger volumes often results in lower costs. Another good approach is to look for special deals on printing supplies – for example, you can find coupons that give you significant discounts on sites like coupons4printing.com.
You also have to ask yourself whether you actually need all of that office space, especially if your staff are on the road on a regular basis, or could work from home occasionally. If everyone has a dedicated desk, look around and see how many of them are occupied on any given day. The chances are, more than half of them will be empty. Instead of paying for cubicles, why not consider moving to a hot-desking arrangement, with a number of offices that staff can book for the days that they are in. This may not make sense if you’re stuck with a long-term lease, but otherwise it opens up a lot of options. Even if you are planning to stay in your premises for a significant amount of time, hot-desking can free up space for other productive uses – such as hiring more staff as you grow your business
The other thing to consider is heating and air-conditioning. This is a major expense, and one that can easily be brought under control. For example, there’s no need to have the same temperature in the office 365 days a year. If the office is a couple of degrees warmer in the summer and a couple of degrees colder in winter, nobody will really be able to tell. However, you will end up reducing your energy bills significantly. If you don’t own your premises, it may be more difficult to get other energy efficiencies, but talk to your landlord to find out if there is sufficient insulation and if the heating and air-conditioning systems are efficient. If the answer is no, try to get the landlord to fix the problem. If they won’t, you may be out of luck in the short term, but you will have much more leverage when it comes time to renew your lease.