By George Otte
Could your company stand to reduce its expenses?
Just about every enterprise can. And you don’t have to look far for ideas: American Express’ great list of tips for business owners serious about reducing their business costs is just one of many publicly available resources for curious entrepreneurs.
Here’s a look at four of the easiest ways to slim down your business. Most require little to no upfront investment or reallocation of personnel resources—meaning you can get started at your earliest convenience.
1. Use Anti-Malware Protection
Anti-malware programs provide valuable digital protection against an ever-multiplying array of cyber threats. By protecting your system with a reputable anti-malware solution that regularly updates with defenses against the latest perils, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of a major systems breach—a costly, reputation-damaging event that can seriously set your company back.
It’s important to remember that no anti-malware solution is totally foolproof. You can further reduce your risk by training your employees to recognize phishing scams and suspicious files, by putting together a digital crisis management plan before breaches occur, and by working with a trusted computer repair company with experience recognizing and addressing cyberthreats.
2. Make the Most of Your Current Space
A growing workforce is a good problem to have. But the most cost-effective solution isn’t negotiating favorable terms on a new office lease. Rather, it’s reorganizing your current space to accommodate more employees and equipment. Consider switching from traditional cubicle or bullpen-style layouts to shared workspaces with open floorplans and a wider range of seating types: benches, huddle rooms, breakout areas, flexible cubes and depending what is most appropriate for your field of work.
3. Cut Energy Waste Around the Office
Conduct an office-wide energy audit to spot opportunities to boost your team’s efficiency. Look for things like:
- Empty rooms with the lights on
- Heat or air conditioning running during off-hours
- Heavy blinds or open windows reducing the effectiveness of the building’s lighting, heating and cooling systems
- Nonessential devices and systems remaining plugged in and turned on when not in use
Each of these issues is relatively easy—and cheap—to fix. Even with modest upfront investments, such as new blinds to block out sunlight on hot days, you’ll likely see savings in a matter of months.
4. Invest in Proactive Technology Maintenance and Repair
Proactive technology maintenance and repair can significantly reduce your IT costs. Take simple steps like regularly running Windows updates, upgrading programs and operating systems before the end of the support life cycle, and defragmenting your hard disk. And find a trusted computer repair partner to help you with tasks that you lack the time or in-house expertise to address on your own.
Cultivate a Culture of Constant Improvement
If you can follow these four tips, your efforts to streamline your company’s finances and reduce its expenses will be off to a great start. Keep up the momentum by fostering a culture of constant improvement at every level of your workforce—including at the very top. Whatever the day-to-day brings, always look for ways to do things better, faster, more effectively, at lower cost. In the long run, you’ll see the results in your bottom line.