All businesses need to save money wherever possible, especially smaller scaled companies that run on as close to a shoe string budget as possible. After all, the costs of running a business in the modern world can be extortionate, making it incredibly difficult for new small-business owners to find success.
One area that you may not consider when wondering how you can start saving your business additional funds are the energy costs. This can be a killer for small businesses as they’re trying to find their own two feet in the marketplace. Though, there are some ways you can get the biggest bang for your buck in the energy field, and this article aims to help you understand exactly how to do so.
Think about the equipment in your office
The first place to look when considering your monthly energy bill, is at the actual equipment in your office. Are you leaving things powered when you don’t need to be? Do you have technological machines that never get used but consume energy? Get rid of anything and everything you don’t need; this will also help to free up space in your workplace and that can only be a good thing.
If you work in an environment where a lot of equipment is required, then consider purchasing energy-efficient products rather than the regular energy-consuming technology. For example, LED lights use around 35% less energy, making them a no-brainer purchase for your business. Be smart when it comes to kitting out your workspace and don’t overspend in areas where there’s no need to.
Any equipment in the office that has a standby functionality should be taken advantage of. By doing this you can reduce a piece of equipment’s energy consumption by 30%. Enabling standby mode on items whenever possible is a positive way of using less energy, and ultimately saving those all too valuable funds.
Another way you can keep an eye on energy usage around the office is by simply switching off equipment when it’s not in use. At the end of each day have a quick walk around and make sure plugs aren’t left switched on that don’t need to be, and that everything has been shut down correctly for it to be left overnight.
Let you staff know about energy saving
Saving energy can have great financial affects on your company, so it’s a good idea to let your staff know about the importance of this. Tell them about your savings goals and the reasoning behind wanting to get your gas and energy bills down; they’ll likely understand that by helping the company, they’ll be helping their own career’s security.
Create a list of new policies and inform your staff members of any rules you’ve added. This way you’ll be sure that everyone is doing their bit to help out and there can be no excuses as you’ve informed them all with new information.
This may well seem like a minor step but it’s something will add up to help you on your way to fund-saving. After all, if you like after the pennies, they’ll take care of the pounds.
Choosing between a fixed and variable energy tariff should be an easy choice for most businesses today. Don’t sign up to a deal that could allow your payments to increase while you’re still in the same contract.
Allowing yourself to get tied down in an agreement that can implement surprised cost increases is never going to be relaxing for a business owner. You’ll be wondering when you’ll need to create more funds for your company in order to keep up with your plan’s unplanned increases. Choose a fixed tariff in order to fight against this, as prices cannot change during your plan’s duration.
Remember that when your current plan comes to an end you can always switch energy supplier if you see a more fitting deal for your business. If you spot a variable tariff that seems far cheaper than a fixed one, it may still be worth looking into, but do your research and read that easily passable small print.
Consider remote working
Allowing people to work from home or in a remote location away from the office is one useful way of saving money on your energy bills. This means there will be less people in the office, using less electricity and power with each of their individual devices, etc.
While saving money on the lessened energy usage, this strategy could also see an increase in productivity from your members of staff, as research has shown more than 55% of people prefer working in this environment and believe it results in them being harder workers overall.
If you’re unsure on the idea of working from home, why not read our blog about it and decide for yourself from there?
Turn the heating down
It may seem like some obvious advice, but during those winter months keep the heating turned down as much as you can. Though this doesn’t have to mean suffering the cold, you could change up your clothing policy and allow members of staff to wear jumpers as a substitute for having the heating constantly on full blast.
Relaxing your clothing policy will also allow your staff to feel more comfortable in warmer weather conditions. In the summer they may choose to wear shorts or a short sleeved t shirt if they’re allowed to. Relaxing your policies will relax your staff, allowing you an easy win-win scenario.
Use a smart meter
By having a smart meter installed you’ll be saving your business money in the long run. It will allow you to keep track of your energy usage and put caps into place so you don’t go overboard with your gas and electricity bill. Smart meters are purchasable from many energy companies now, giving you a wide market to shop in for them. So, take your time and find a cheap deal for your small business to deploy.
N Power say, “Business Smart meters can help you monitor and reduce how much energy your business is using. They let us take remote meter readings, which can help you manage your budget by ending estimated bills”.
Use sky lighting
Wherever possible attempt not to use artificial lighting. If your building has a skylight installation then allow this to shine the light into your office on a rainy day, rather than spending money on lighting that’s unnecessary. This will only apply to small businesses that have access to such buildings, though it’s something to consider if it’s an option that’s available to you.
Anyone want a cuppa?
Drinking tea will be a staple of many offices throughout the UK, but we should be making efforts to not overfill the kettle. If you’re making one or two drinks, there’s no need for a fully topped-up kettle to be boiled. This will undoubtedly save you money as it’s estimated that over £68 million each year is wasted in Britain alone, due to the overfilling of kettles, according to BBC.
Encourage your team of staff to only fill the kettle as much as they need to and you’ll start seeing your savings pile up in now time whatsoever.
Install a ceiling fan
Air conditioning is a luxurious item in an office space and one we all benefit from the use of in the warmer parts of the year. Although, a ceiling fan being fitted can do just as good a job, and save you a load of additional funds. In the UK we get a month at the very best when it comes to truly warm weather, so when you don’t require the air con to be turned fully up, make use of your celling fan instead and save on your monthly energy bill.
Ask for your employees’ help
Saving on energy costs isn’t simply the task of the business owner, everyone has to do their part and should therefore be able to contribute their own ideas on how to help out. Put together a brainstorming session with your staff members and ask them for their ideas and opinions on the matter. They may just come up with something you haven’t thought of and potentially hold the key to saving your small business a large amount of funds.
There are many ways to save funds on your business’ energy usage, so be smart and asses your options before making any rash decisions or implementing new rules onto your company staff. Take inspiration from this list of our top ten tips and call the shots that will save your business vital amounts of funding.