Every business looks to tighten its budgets and become more cost-effective each year to nurture growth. However, most companies only focus on the obvious big overheads, gas, electricity and staffing costs.
This article looks to explore other avenues your business can explore to reduce costs. These initiatives are not always at the forefront of a business owner’s mind; however, they reduce costs significantly and are easy to implement.
7 Unique ideas to reduce your costs as a business this winter.
Here’s a breakdown of seven unique ideas to reduce costs as a business this winter. You only need to pick and choose a couple of these cost-saving initiatives to see a considerable reduction in your business outgoings.
Take advantage of the apprenticeship levy.
The apprenticeship levy is a levy undertaken through the PAYE scheme – this is to create sustainable funding for apprenticeships.
UK employers pay the apprenticeship levy through the PAYE scheme – when collected, the apprenticeship levy will be held for 24 months and will be lost if you don’t use it.
The levy can be used to hire apprentices directly from school and professional colleges and is accepted as payment for external courses for your employees.
Implement energy-saving devices in the workplace.
This isn’t just about having timed light bulbs within the office and setting the heating to come on at certain times. Other equipment in the office uses a lot of energy that can have devices fitted to ensure they’re not wasting energy.
For example, printers. These use a lot of energy even when set to standby. It’s imperative to switch these off during out of office hours; however, it’s easy to forget to switch these off. To avoid that, buy a timer (Or set one on the printer via the settings dial) that will automatically switch it off when it’s not in use.
Other energy-efficient products and devices to consider are:
- Timers for desktop computers and Macs.
- Led lightbulbs.
- Auto timers for your lighting.
- Heating timers.
Comparing business water rates
Over 60% of businesses in England have never switched their business water suppliers. This means many companies are on legacy tariffs and could even be paying based on estimated consumption, which tends to be a lot higher than you would pay for actual consumption.
Switching your supplier is a simple process, much like changing energy suppliers.
To compare your business water tariff, simply provide the following information for each water supplier to provide you with a quote:
- Business name
- Business location
- Your supply point identification number
- Contact details
Use the AquaSwitch comparison service to compare business water suppliers today!
Use free marketing tools.
You don’t need to spend big to succeed when looking at marketing software; here are a few examples of free, useful software that will help grow your business and create an efficient workflow.
Before you go out and download all of these, we suggest you familiarise yourself with them first and see what works for you before you implement it fully and integrate it within your business.
Here’s a list of free tools we recommend:
Pick and choose from these free tools to help grow your business without paying exorbitant rates. We recommend trying out one or two tools and then growing your stack as you master each one.
Think about what will help provide you with a solution to any of your initial stumbling blocks, and begin to master them.
Get rid of the printers in your office and paper as well. One, it’s beneficial to the environment, but two, it will save your business money on both the energy output and the cost of running a printer. This includes both ink and paper.
Businesses spend a considerable amount on paper each year, and the cost to keep a printer running and repairs is extortionate. The price of ink isn’t cheap either, but by moving forward as a paperless office, you can help battle both the costs to your business and reduce the impact you have on the environment by going paperless.
Reduce your water consumption.
Reducing your water consumption will lower your bill as businesses are charged volumetrically for each cubic meter of water supplied.
There are many ways to reduce your water consumption as a business; from tap aerators to harvesting your rainwater, there are plenty of initiatives companies can undertake.
Here are a few ideas:
Educate your staff members
Educating your staff on the importance of conserving water is integral to improving your water consumption. Improvements in staff day to day habits will make a big difference to overall water consumption.
For example, notifying building managers if they see any small drips coming from closed taps in the kitchen or if they hear that the toilet is still filling a long time after the flush has finished.
Request a smart meter from your water supplier.
Ensuring your property has a smart meter fitted can help you identify small leaks in real-time. Smart meters systems provide alerts during a spike in your water consumption so that leaks can be identified and repaired quickly.
To find out if your property can get a smart meter fitted, we suggest contacting your water supplier to enquire about having one fitted.
This one is a long term strategy, but one that will yield both financial value and environmental value to your business. For an effective solution for reducing your water consumption, rainwater harvesting systems are something to consider seriously. You may have noticed copious amounts of rainwater falling from the sky; a harvesting system takes advantage of this free water, replacing the need to use mains water.
Harvesting works by collecting and directing rainwater through an initial filter which removes leaves and other debris. It’s then pumped through a second filtration stage and into a control unit, ready for your use.
To learn more about rainwater harvesting, read this in-depth guide on rainwater harvesting.
This option is pretty easy to install and has an immediate effect. A tap aerator is a small device fitted to your taps that separates the water into tiny streams separated by air. The added air ensures no perceived reduction in water pressure, despite less water coming out of the tap.
Using the tap aerator can save up to 60% of the water used on your premises.
Installation of low-flow plumbing fixtures.
Low flow plumbing fixtures are water-saving fixtures designed to achieve water savings by having a lower water flow rate for everyday processes.
An example of this is a standard toilet that uses around twenty litres in every flush. However, one with a low-flow plumbing fixture fitted will reduce usage by a third.
Checking for leaks
A regular check for small leaks is important as the water network within a large building can be extensive, meaning a leak can occur in some hidden corner and go unnoticed. Ensure you regularly check under basins and the back of any fixtures for any signs of mould or foul smells that indicate a leak in your building.
Also, ensuring regular maintenance checks of your toilets and staff are well educated on water consumption will allow you to identify these problems and fix them easily. Saving water and money.
This will not only improve your water consumption, but it will potentially save you money in repairs.
Get rid of your office, or try sharing.
A huge cost to most businesses is having a fixed office. Since the pandemic, many companies have worked remotely and realised they got the best out of staff remotely, but are considering what to do as we slowly return to “normality”.
Some businesses are looking to move back into a fixed office – why not look at shared office spaces or transition to remote working entirely if it’s worked well for your business over the last year.
By moving on from a fixed office and into a fully remote working environment, this allows your business not to only save on the cost of a mortgage or rent on an office, but all the additional costs that come with it:
- Energy bills
- Water bills
- Business rates
- Office insurance
These are just to name a few. You will certainly incur new expenses, when moving to remote working, as people need equipment sent to their homes, but you will still save a lot of money by moving to a more flexible setup in the long run.