How Going Green Can Improve Your Business’s Bottom Line
By now, we’re all well aware of the environmental benefits of making green decisions. When you choose to recycle and conserve resources, you preserve the planet for many future generations. This environmental responsibility extends to your work life as well as at home.
But the planet isn’t the only one to benefit from your efforts to go green. If you’re running a business, you can enjoy a monthly cost savings, as well. Here are a few ways you can save money by going green.
Encourage Paperless Meetings
At one time, experts were predicting the demise of paper in the office environment. Computers, they said, would replace paper-based processes like invoicing and annual reports. While technology has replaced many of those older methods of doing business, many businesses still go through multiple reams of paper each week.
With the emergence of tablets, businesses no longer need to print out reports and take paper-based notes in meetings. Your business can make an effort to run meetings off of your mobile devices, eliminating the need to bring paper into your meeting altogether. You’ll have an electronic paper trail that will make it easier to send copies of meeting notes and presentations to participants once the meeting is over. Best of all, you’ll cut down on the amount of paper you order each year.
If you’re still paying employees by paper check, you’re wasting money. This is doubly true if you send those checks through the postal service. Save your business postage and printing costs by doing away with paper-based payroll checks. This is true of your contractors and suppliers, as well. If you can set up a system to easily pay and get paid, you’ll see significant savings over a given year.
Bank draft is likely the easiest way to transfer funds between your business and your long-term employees and vendors. You’ll only need to get each person’s banking information once and you’ll be able to move money from your account to theirs. The entire process will be more efficient for everyone.
If you’re traveling from meeting to meeting, you’re burning fuel. This fuel not only has an impact on the environment but your own business’s budget. Each trip will require you to pour money into accommodations, meals, and transportation for each employee who attends. You also may find yourself spending money wining and dining clients to impress them and win their business.
Technology now makes it possible to host and attend meetings from the comfort of your own office. You can launch a webinar, sharing your screen with everyone who needs the information, and save time and money for your business, as well as for some or all of the others in attendance. While face-to-face meetings will always be important to business deals, you can save significant money by merely cutting a few trips each year.
Shrink Office Space
In recent years, businesses have found new ways to save on square footage through the use of open-plan offices. These offices make productive use of every inch of space to encourage collaboration and save money. Because more people can be squeezed into a smaller surface area, you’ll be able to grow your business without moving to a bigger location. This is especially significant if you’re in a position where you’re only starting to hire team members. You can make the decision now to build your office space in a way that is as efficient and space saving as possible.
One cost-effective way to save space is through outsourcing some tasks that don’t require full-time on-site employees. Through the use of virtual assistants and remote workers, you can hire affordable talent from across the country or even the globe. They’ll be able to work from the comfort of their homes, saving transportation costs for them. Best of all, you won’t have to provide a desk or pay for electricity for your remote team members.
Of course, one of the best ways to save money and conserve resources is through automating your business’s bookkeeping processes. You should be tracking your expenses through an automated process that includes scanning receipts and saving them electronically. Your bookkeeping solution will ideally provide the reporting information you need to see how your business is doing from month to month.
One of the biggest benefits to bookkeeping automation is that at tax time, you’ll be able to easily access the information you need. When your entire team is tracking its activities throughout the year, you’ll also be less likely to miss something, since everyone won’t be forced to backtrack through months of activities to recall every expense they had in a given month.
If you can channel natural resources to power your equipment and lights, you can save significant money each month. While you may not be able to make dramatic changes to the design of your building, small changes can go a long way. You can change light bulbs to more energy-efficient versions or choose energy-efficient equipment solutions.
If you are interested in installing upgrades such as solar roof panels, check to see if there are any funding opportunities available to help offset the expense. Often you’ll find there are rebates available to businesses participating in efforts to go green locally, but you may have to invest research into finding them.
Going green benefits both your business and the environment. Best of all, you’ll be more productive and efficient, while setting a good example to your customers and your employees. For examples of ways you can make your business more environmentally friendly, research what other businesses in your area have done to improve their resource use.