Are you looking for ways to tame the rising energy costs in your business? Taking a few simple steps can save you a lot of money in the long run. In this article, we explore some energy saving tips to help your business.
Small Business Costs That Can Add Up
There are several small business expenses that may seem inconsequential, but that add up to substantial revenue losses in the long run. Watch out for the following costs:
Hours Unaccounted For
Time is one of the most fundamental costs of any business entity. It takes time to perform tasks that deliver results, regardless of your business model. While many businesses track the time spent on a particular project, start times often go unnoted.
Unless you have project management software that can note down when someone starts and finishes a task, these hours usually end up unrecorded and lost. A few minutes off can add up to many hours lost over time, translating to hundreds or thousands of dollars in revenue losses.
Cash flow depends on customers making timely payments. When your customers delay payments, your business loses money.
You can curb late payments by revising your invoice payment terms and conditions. Also, be sure to follow-up with late-paying customers.
Never assume all your collection efforts will result in timely payments. Hence, it’s advisable to have some cash cushion to manage payment delays.
For a small business, you’ll be spending about $2 per square foot of your office space on utilities, including electricity, Internet, water, and telephone bills. If you have HVAC systems, the utility cost may be higher. However, you can keep the costs low by investing in energy-efficient systems.
Energy-Efficient Tips To Help Your Small Business
There are many ways to boost the commercial efficiency of your small business. Here are a few simple energy-efficient tips to get you started:
Get an Energy Audit
With an energy audit, you can determine your average energy usage and identify ways to save energy in the office. Various utility companies offer free energy audits to their customers.
A professional auditor will come to your business and do a comprehensive assessment of your premises to check for insulation problems, air leaks, and opportunities to install energy-efficient systems. Based on that you can then run an energy comparison to find the best deal possible.
Switch it Off
One of the most effective energy-saving tips for small businesses is to turn off all electronics that are not in use. Many modern electronics draw standby electricity, meaning they still consume energy if they remain plugged in. Thus, it’s advisable to unplug all of your electronics when you leave the business premises not only to save energy but also to keep the electronics safer.
Install LED Bulbs
Research shows that lighting is the biggest consumer of energy for most small businesses. Fortunately, it’s one of the simplest energy-saving upgrades to implement. Just replace your traditional light bulbs with LED bulbs, which can use up to 80% less electricity.
Invest in Energy-efficient Equipment
Another effective way to reduce energy demand for your business is to acquire energy-efficient office equipment. Before you purchase or lease any electronics, make sure they are ENERGYSTAR-rated.
ENERGYSTAR-rated appliances are energy-efficient, which will save you money and help you manage your business utility costs.
Capitalize on Natural Light
If your office is in a location with plenty of natural light, take advantage of it. On a sunny day, you may switch the lights off and let the windows bring in all the light you need. In the long run, you’ll save a lot of kilowatt-hours of energy.
Should I Perform An Energy Audit Myself Or Hire A Professional?
Getting an energy audit is an essential step in making your small business more energy efficient. You can perform an energy audit on your own or hire a professional to do it for you. Keep in mind that an energy audit can be rigorous and time-consuming.
If you don’t have the necessary skills and the time to look into every bill, you’re better off hiring a professional auditor. A professional auditor will evaluate different aspects of your energy consumption and identify potential areas for energy saving.
He may also help you compare energy rates in Texas so that you can choose a more competitive rate amongst the numerous electricity providers. Here are some benefits of working with a professional energy auditor instead of taking a DIY approach:
- A significant saving of time to focus on your business’ core competencies
- An expert look at potential areas for saving energy and costs
- Professional auditors use specialized equipment to come up with more accurate findings as well as comprehensive reports and recommendations.