If you are a small business owner, then looking for ways to reduce your spend is always going to be a good idea. When you spend less, and are selling more, your business will be in a better position to thrive and exceed expectations. There are a number of things that you can do to save money with your small business, starting with being more eco-friendly and creating a business that is ‘greener.’ When you take steps to have your business be more environmentally-friendly, there are things that will save you money in the long term, as well as help your business reputation, and improve how things are done. If you are a small business with a conscience, then taking steps to improve things is a must.
What are some of the things that you can do as a business? There will be some things that will have an upfront cost, but long term, these will lead to money savings. There can be some things that are just simple swaps, and there are some things that can take some time and planning to implement. There are many benefits, so why not look into what your business can start doing, today? Here are some suggestions for a more eco-friendly and more sustainable small business.
Use Natural Light
You might work in a quite traditional office setting. If so, having as much natural light in there as possible, will help to keep the office lit, as well as help to get fresh air, and to conserve energy. If you have things that are obstructing windows, then they should be removed to let in as much natural light as possible. Artificial light can also not be a good thing for people’s health, and teaming that with a computer screen can be pretty bad for headaches and eye problems.
Invest in Light Timers
There are certain times of the year when we will need to put the lights on, as we can’t work in the dark. However, this can lead to wasting a lot of electricity, especially if lights don’t get switched off. Instead, installing something like motion sensors can be a good idea so that lights will automatically switch off when there isn’t anyone in the room. Similarly, if there are only a small number of people working, it could be worth getting some desk lamps instead. Then people can light their desks as and when needed, and you don’t have to switch on all of the lights in the room, just for a small number of people.
Reduce Paper Usage
Paper by itself isn’t something that will break the bank. However, there are more reasons to cut down on your paper usage than just saving money. In an effort to reduce how much paper your business consumes, to save trees and money, you could go down to paperless billing and invoicing. When you send things out to customers and clients, email rather than mail them. The same goes for anything that you receive. From your bank account or other business contacts, choose to go paperless.
On a similar note to help save paper, it makes a lot of sense to only print what is essential. Make sure that you print out the things that actually need to be printed. If hard copies aren’t needed, then save them on your computer and to the cloud. That will cut down on your physical filing and folder space too.
Distribute Reusable Bottles
When you have a team of people coming into the workspace to work, there is kind of an expectation that there will be things like access to water to drink and cups of coffee or tea to have too. In order to cut down on plastic cups for water and takeaway coffee cups, think about offering staff a reusable water bottle instead. Then they can use up their own bottle, rather than you as a business having to buy in lots of plastic cups that just get wasted. The same for reusable coffee options; can you offer them a reusable cup to wash up and use again and again? It can be a small upfront cost to the business, but will help to save in the long term.
Buy Energy Efficient Technology
If you have a lot of modern technology, then the chances are that they will be some of the most energy efficient things in the office. However, if you have some older equipment and technology, then they really can guzzle up electricity. That is not only expensive for the business, but it can be bad for the environment too. In an effort to be more green, think about swapping out the older technology and equipment that you have for some more energy efficient electronics and appliances. Why pay for using more electricity if you don’t have to?
Change Your Light Bulbs
Another thing to think about when it comes to the energy that your business uses is to think about getting more energy efficient light bulbs. LED light bulbs are the best choice as they can last for a long time, and they don’t compromise on the quality of the light that you get. They are a cost upfront, but when then use a fraction of the electricity that traditional bulbs do, you will quickly notice the difference. They use less energy as well, which saves money and is better for the environment.
Consider Solar Panels
If you are wanting to really go green with your business, then how about having a business that can power itself? Solar panels are growing in popularity, and are a good choice for homes and businesses alike. As a result, you might want to think about some solar software from JobNimbus as it can help you to save time and money, when it comes to powering your office. If you are in an area that has the climate to really benefit, then you can also sell back some of the power, so you can actually make a side income from it. Of course, there are some upfront costs that are associated, so that is definitely something to think about.
Due to recent events ongoing around the world, there are a number of businesses that have gone to complete remote working. This can be a really good thing for the environment, as it means no commuting for employees, and no energy bills for the office space. People are returning to work in a more normal way at the moment, but it could still be a good idea to consider flexible working. When you have fewer colleagues in at a time, it could mean that you could get a smaller office space, helping to reduce costs. There will be fewer energy costs, meaning less energy is wasted, and it can be a good thing for commuting costs, as well as reducing the commuting impact on the environment. So if you can have employees work flexibly, it is a good thing to keep on doing, for the team, the business, and the environment.
On a similar note, it could be a good idea to reduce or limit how many meetings that the business holds in person. If it means that you have to travel far to meet someone for a meeting, why not just hold the meeting on a video call instead? Local meetings could stay in person, but for any that involve travel or going to the office just for a meeting, should think about doing remote meetings instead, as video calls can work just as well, and mean reduced travel and the associated benefits for the environment.
Make it Easy to Recycle
It can be hard for people in the office to get excited about recycling if there is no way for them to do just that. If you only provide them with a regular bin, then nothing will get recycled, because who is going to sort through it all? A simple solution is to get recycling bins, for a variety of materials, so that your team can make better choices around their waste and what they dispose of. You could even consider something like a food waste bin too as people will have food with them for their lunch and snacks. This could then become your own compost, or be recycled locally.
Start a Rooftop Garden
If you want to get the whole team more excited about green choices around the office, and get them enthused about recycling and composting, then it can be a good idea to start a rooftop or terrace garden at the office (or fill whatever space you have). It can be a good way to grow your own things, such as herbs, fruits, and veggies, and can be a pretty calming and relaxing space to be during break times, which is a really positive thing to implement in an office setting. It can be a lot of fun too.
Have you got any other suggestions for improving the business and making more eco-friendly choices? It would be great to hear what you think.