From cutting down on printer use to not wasting your data allowance, these are our best strategies to cut waste (and save money).
Cut Printing Costs
Unnecessary printing can result in excess costs — for paper, toner, power and wear-and-tear on the printer. We're not going to suggest that printing can be completely eliminated from most businesses. But it can certainly be trimmed back.
First and foremost, emphasise to your staff that it isn't necessary to print everything. This is especially the case with financial records. It's not the case that you have to print a document for it to be a valid record for tax purposes; the ATO is perfectly happy with electronic records.
In many other cases, you can avoid printing documents by sharing them to a tablet or smartphone. With boarding passes, for instance, checking in via your phone eliminates any need for printing on your part. (The airline will still end up printing a boarding document as you board, but you won't be paying for it.)
If you want to discourage printing in your office, here's a simple solution: don't have the printer connected to the network. Force people who want to print to save their documents to USB and then print from a dedicated console (you can use any old PC for this purpose). This is an extreme approach, but can help discourage "just because" printing.
Maximise Your Data Allowance
Data is often as big (or bigger) a consideration when it comes to choosing the right phone plan. If you're regularly being hit with excess data bills, follow these strategies to get things back under control.
Firstly, you need to identify the culprits. Both iOS and Android have basic data usage tracking built in, but there are also apps that can make the task easier. (Your network provider may also have its own usage tracking apps.)
Secondly, you should make sure that you take advantage of Wi-Fi connectivity whenever possible. The most obvious location is the office. If you want to make sure you can connect to Wi-Fi but don't want it on outside the office (which can reduce battery life), check out apps like Smart WiFi Toggler, JuiceDefender and Tasker, which will automate the process of switching and connecting.
With all that done, you might conclude that you simply need a better data allowance. If you've been using the same plan for years, a review is definitely in order — older plans often have less generous allocations.
Take Advantage Of Free & Cheap Services
Promoting your business online can quickly become a costly exercise, but before paying for marketing, you should make sure you've taken advantage of all the free options available. For starters:
- Make sure your business is listed on Google Maps.
- Develop a suitable social media strategy that's manageable for your business.
- Use the basic versions of freemium services to determine if they'll meet your needs.
- Examine cloud computing services: paying month-by-month for subscription software can be much more cost effective than investing in your own hardware.
Have additional strategies for this list? Let's hear them in the comments.
Waste picture from Shutterstock