For small businesses the effect of cost savings can result in huge difference in the bottom line. So it is well worth the time and effort to change or start some new ways of doing things. Following are 6 very practical tips that small business owners can follow to reduce cost of operation and in the end increase efficiency as well.
1. Save on utilities and phone bills
The biggest cost of a small business aside from office lease is utilities which include electricity, phone and gas heating. Utilization of energy efficient equipment and energy saving light bulbs can amount to great savings in the long run. Some local utility companies such as Edison in Southern California would give free consultation to businesses with regard to their current energy efficiency and free proposal on how to be more energy efficient. Simply contact your local utilities company.
Small businesses mostly carry a toll free phone number. Great savings can be gleaned by using internet phone instead of land line. Examples of internet phone service providers are RingCentral and Vonage. Their websites will provide cost comparisons between the cloud phone and traditional phone. The cost saving is steep and may amount to thousands of dollars. The app that comes with the cloud phone offers features such as call forwarding to private cell phones and caller I.D. display.
2. Save on printing cost
Though this is the age of internet marketing, small businesses cannot totally eliminate the cost of printing which includes paper, printer/fax/copier, ink cartridges and laser toners. Some practical tips on how to save printing cost are listed below.
- The local office supplies retailers such as Staples and Office Depot often offer rebate promotion on paper. Smart and timely purchase would mean that practically you are getting the paper for free.
- Set your printer to draft mode to save ink or toner whenever possible.
- As much as possible, switch to electronic billing and correspondence through emailing.
- Purchasing the cost efficient printer takes some smart comparisons. Factors include the type of printing mostly done (whether it’s black and white or color printing); output quantity; output speed (page per minute); and ink or toner replacement cost.
- To illustrate a simple comparison on ink or toner replacement cost, take the latest popular model of laser toner cartridge HP-CE505A and inkjet cartridge Epson T069120.
*Page yield is the most widely used description of cartridge capacity and it means the “number of printed pages at 5% coverage”, with final results depending on a number of factors including paper quality, and print mode etc.
3. Efficient office space
Consider virtual office, home office and sharing office with other small businesses. The idea of sharing office space has become more and more popular because of the inherent benefits. Office space is shared for the benefit of cost efficiency as the businesses share common office space such as conference room and staff pantry. Sharing office supplies and equipment including Wifi and Copier etc also means higher efficiency. Some businesses share the office space based on their similar market segment and target customers, or similar business identity such as being a ‘Green Office’ or ‘socially responsible business’. Being able to work in a community with similar or complementary interests may facilitate idea generation.
4. Recycling ideas
Do not underestimate the savings involved in recycling. Here are some ideas:
- Staples has a program that gives you $2 store credit for each used printer cartridge with some conditions applied. Other office supplies stores offer similar incentives for recycling printer cartridges.
- Recycle or reuse shipping boxes.
- Print on both sides of the paper and print drafts on recycled paper.
5. Printing company stationery in house
Small businesses commonly print their letterhead, or presentation folders in house. It will save you time and money if you print in a batch.
6. Other time and money saving tips
- Eliminate trips to the post office by using online postage service such as Stamps.com.
- Whenever applicable, USPS provides free shipping boxes for flat rate, priority and express mail shipping. You can simply order the USPS free shipping supplies online and have the supplies delivered right to your office.
- Remove the battery of the laptop if your laptop is plugged in to a power source. This way you will preserve the battery life.
- Cloud storage of company documents saves physical storage space and makes information retrieval much more efficient.
Inkjet Star, Inc. is your reliable online supplier of quality replacement ink and toner for Brother, HP, Samsung, Lexmark, Xerox, Canon, Dell, Epson and Kodak printers. Go to the archives page to see all of our blog articles.