Running a frugal business office requires careful upfront planning, figuring out where your biggest expenditures are going to be & how to manage such expenses.
What you see most of the time when companies run into trouble is slashing costs left and right and letting staff go. This is when it’s already far too late because they’ve been overspending and not operating efficiently for years already. At that point, the damage is already done!
It’s always best to get a business going frugally rather than to overspend from the start and never correct the mistake until it’s too late. Therefore, in true vagabond style, we provide this article on how to have a frugal office that’s inherently lean.
Don’t Let Electricity Cost the Earth
The prices for business electricity are wild. Often, the deal is hardly close to what consumers pay and it’s not right. Just like with consumers, companies need to seek out the most affordable business electricity supplier to avoid getting a shock every time the new bill arrives.
Also, look at all the ways to reduce consumption within the office building itself. This means using eco-light bulbs where possible, setting computers to a power saving mode and turning monitors off when not in use. For an infrequently used laser printer, batch print what you need and turn off the printer the rest of the day if it’s rarely used. The same goes for any photocopier machine, if you still use one.
Buy Used Office Furniture
Avoid purchasing new office furniture across the board. There are plenty of second-hand furniture companies that buy up auctioned off furniture from failed companies which is often barely used.
The stock is usually good, so it’s sometimes possible to pick up a selection of desks and chairs that look almost like new. Even if you can only buy a few that are similar, use matching styles in specific areas, so they don’t look all higgledy-piggledy.
Focus on Performance Metrics
To be an efficient office, having too many staff who aren’t performing well creates a drag on the company. A larger office space is required, as well as more PCs and other supplies for all these staff members.
Instead, drill down to specifics with individual performance to ensure each person is working well. This avoids employing too many people and needing to cut back during lean times. Add in cross-training for different positions, so staff can step into other roles as needed. This is useful during holidays, maternity leave or unexplained absences too.
Use Less Expensive Telecoms
Look into using VoIP services to reduce the cost of telephone calls. Many early business contacts will have alternative contact points like Skype, WhatsApp or other apps that they also conduct business on. Prioritise these points of contact over telephone calls to reduce costs.
If the investment is worth it, consider getting a full business VoIP solution installed in the office to automatically route calls over the internet and keep a recording of them.
Running a lean office from the beginning ensures that all staff understand the fiscal priorities of the business. This avoids them spending company money on frivolous items when there’s a less costly or free alternative that will suffice for now.