By Jill Phillips
Running a business, no matter how small it is, can be both expensive and harmful to the environment. A lot of money is often wasted on transport, inefficient technology, expensive utilities and so on. However, there are always ways to cut those costs and be eco-friendly in the process. Read on to find out for five ways your small business can save on technology costs.
There are many ways to go green in your office. For starters, stop using paper, so you can cut costs and gain some environmental credibility. Paperless work was just a dream not too long ago, but now Google Docs and other apps make sharing and collaborating easy without printing on paper.Rather than discarding old electronics and other items other people can use, donate them to charity. You can reduce the environmental impact of your business and improve your public image while saving money through tax write-offs.
You can also make your business greener by using electronics that come with an efficient Energy Star Rating. Save even more money on utilities by using energy-efficient light bulbs and installing programmable thermostats that optimize the climate inside your company offices.
Other cost-cutting measures that also increase your business’s environmental compatibility include, for example, installing a water filter so you and your team can stop using bottled water. As you can see, you go green in different ways – just think about what you can also do.
Cloud technologies make data and software services more accessible than ever. Regardless of whether you operate a physical or online store, you need access to servers and applications that make your organization efficient and reliable. Rather than running an elaborate IT infrastructure with expensive servers and networking equipment, you can trust cloud service providers to provide secure accounting and web hosting services for an affordable monthly or annual fee.
Your company also needs online file storage to enable your team to share information and collaborate on projects. Your cloud services can scale as your business grows, eliminating the fear and cost of expensive software and hardware replacements and upgrades.
Aside from security and affordability, cloud technologies enable the automation of many marketing and sales tasks and provide for customer service and support after the sale. You can also leverage cloud technologies to reduce your labor costs by expanding your workforce to include talented remote workers from anywhere in the world.
Business travel expenses tax your budget and contribute to environmental problems such as pollution and noise. Regardless of whether your company depends on ground or air travel, you can use technology to reduce its cost. High speed, secure Internet connections enable team members to communicate among various offices and remote locations as if they worked together in a single room, without burning fuel and accruing travel time.
Virtual technologies such as video conferencing supported by tools such as Yugma and Meeting Burner provide robust platforms that make meetings inexpensive and productive. Meeting Burner requires no software downloads and allows participants to share their screens and ideas. It integrates with Skype, giving you many communication options.
Less travel, less pollution, less costs, more productivity.
Consider the cost commuting adds to the environment and your company. Workers spend hours driving to and from their job, and their vehicles emit gasses that pollute the air and damage the ecosystem. At the same time, your company must spend money acquiring facilities large enough to house work areas for every team member. Utility bills and taxes add even more to the cost of maintaining this traditional employment model. What you can do instead is use telecommuting to cut costs and improve employee satisfaction.
Employees working from home reclaim the time formerly spent on their commute and reduce their environmental impact. Rather than use company space, they use their home office or alternate location as a work area. As a result, your firm requires less space which means lower rent and utility expenses.
This way, employers reduce their overhead, while employees get extra time for their private lives. As a result, employees enjoy an improved work-life balance that makes them happier and more productive at work.
The U.S. government passed the National Telework Initiative to encourage employers to adopt telecommuting as their new employment model, so let some of your employees work from home and see how your company saves money and improves productivity.
People become more engaged in an effort when they fully understand it, so try to promote a culture that encourages environmental awareness and cost-cutting technological tools. You simply cannot do it alone.
When your entire team works together, you can achieve impressive results. Start by holding a meeting to launch your program to save energy and the environment. Establish written guidelines in an electronic format to remind your team members of what you expect from them. Reinforce your effort by distributing relevant articles and videos that show them how to achieve further savings on technology costs. Don’t forget to hold scheduled meetings for brainstorming that can result in new ways to save money and the environment.
Consider using the above five ways to save on technology costs for your company – the success you achieve might surprise you. If you integrate environmental responsibility and common-sense practices, you will enable your business to save money, become more efficient and eco-friendly. Those are all good reasons to get started today.
Image credit: Pixabay
Jill Phillips is a freelance writer and content manager at assignyourwriter from Buffalo, NY. She is an aspiring entrepreneur and tech enthusiast, who loves to share her insight on various topics. When she is not writing, Jill enjoys taking photos and hiking with her dog. Connect with Jill via Twitter @jillphlps