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February 19, 2016

Spring clean your business costs

Spring is a great time take stock and start thinking about what we want to achieve moving forward. It's a change to set goals for the year ahead and looking at ways we can improve and evolve in our personal lives. But who says you can't do the same for your business?

Today we're sharing 4 spring cleaning tips for busines you can adopt to help cut costs and save money.

1 - Be more energy conscious

While most of us are aware of how wasted energy can add up to bigger bills at home, that awareness rarely extends to the office environment. Encouraging your employees to be energy aware and making a few small tweaks can help you make huge savings in the long run. The same principles that apply at home should apply in the office environment: remind employees to switch off computers, lights and other technology at the end of the day. If you can light and heat different parts of the office independently you can also cut down on wasted energy; try setting the heating on a timer to heat the office at key points and turn it down during weekends. Small changes multiply into big savings over a number of months.

2 - Suspend buying

Overspending on stationary and office essentials is a common problem for businesses of all sizes and a great way to save some money in the short term. Smaller expenses like coffee, tea and stationary tend to lead to overspending because teams don't think twice about purchasing and expensing these items. As an experiment, try by suspending all buying in the office for a month – more often than not there is enough stationary hanging around on shelves and in desk drawers that there isn't even a shortage. Then, assign the buying of stationary or other office essentials like milk and coffee to one person – usually an office manager – who is responsible for monitoring the budget and ordering new supplies. Limiting how much you buy and managing these expenses centrally will help save both in the short and long term. When you do buy, look for opportunities to cut costs even further by purchasing own-brand or non-brand items for the things you use everyday.

3 - Promote paperless

Going paperless can save costs in a huge number of ways – you spend less on physical supplies like printer ink and paper, but you can also shorten your sales cycle and cut down on admin time which adds up to savings, too. Look for software that can make running your business easier; cloud sharing tools like Dropbox and Google Drive mean employees have the resources and documents they need at their fingertips at all times. For businesses that routinely deal with sales and new clients, eSignature is an excellent way to help make the move to paperless. Instead of printing lengthy documents that need to be signed, scanned and filed, eSignature makes it possible to send documents and sign them with the click of a button. Our Legalesign platform also offers advanced features like real-time tracking and document management to help you shorten your sales cycle and simultaneously manage dozens of accounts at a glance.

4 - Keep meetings lean

Unnecessary travel and long meetings keeps your employees from making money for your business. Meetings can be a huge sap of time and focus for your team; make meetings as productive as possible by limiting the number of people required to participate and sending out a short meeting agenda ahead of time so you can jump right in. Instead of scheduling one-to-one meetings in the middle of the day, try and combine an informal chat with another task, like walking to the canteen or making tea in the staff kitchen. Limiting internal travel can also go a long way to cutting down your expenses – the easiest way to do it is by providing reliable telecoms software for your employees so they can still be productive. Video calling and Internet conference systems are excellent for this; even adopting messaging services like Skype can help make meetings less disruptive so your team can focus on more important work.

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