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Five Ways to Cut Waste in Your Business

– Contributed content –

Pile of waste paper

(Christa Dodoo, Unsplash)

18 Oct. 2018. Waste is a buzzword right now. We’re all thinking more of how much water, plastic and food we are wasting. Not to mention money. We’re watching documentaries about water waste and plastics. We’re reading frightening statistics about how we need to stop wasting if we want to save our planet.

At home, we’re making an effort to avoid single-use plastics. We’re recycling our paper and glass and taking old clothes to charity shops. We’re thinking more about how much water we use, and we’re looking at ways to waste less food and save money. We carry reusable tote bags around so that we don’t need to use single-use carriers for anything that we might buy. It might not seem like a lot, but, if everyone made the same kind of efforts we could make the world that we know last a lot longer.

But, are you doing the same at work? When you run a small business, it can all seem too much. With so much to think about, the idea of avoiding waste can seem like more than you’ve got the time or the budget to tackle. But, it shouldn’t be. We should be making the same kind of savings in our businesses as we are at home.

Money

If there’s one thing that you will be keen to waste less of, it’s money. Many small businesses are paying much more than they need to for things like supplies and utilities, but also for services like marketing and branding. This often comes from a lack of experience and knowledge of the business world. We accept the first deals that come up, we don’t negotiate or shop around, and we often pay over the odds without realizing.

Look at how to find a financial planner who can help you to plan and manage your finances a little better. Take the time to make savings and learn how to stick to a budget. Over time, you’ll become more comfortable bartering and negotiating, and you’ll start to recognize places to save more efficiently.

Time

Time is another thing that we waste far too much of. In life, we see time as infinite. None of us wants to think that it will one day run out for us, and it’s upsetting to think about how much of our life we are wasting sitting in traffic or waiting for the bus.

You might not think about the time you waste at the office in quite the same way. You know that this isn’t infinite. You look forward to clocking off and going home for the day and long for time off, holidays and maybe even your retirement. But, if you run your own business, this time is valuable. Every second that you waste procrastinating or avoiding work is time that you could have spent earning money. Start managing your time better and your business will grow.

Water

Water waste is a global issue. The world is made of 70% water, but only about 2.5% of this is safe to drink. Not a lot at all. Fortunately, there are easy things that you can do to waste less. Encourage staff to drink out of bottles instead of cups, so that the leftovers after a drink don’t end up in the bin. Install a dam on your toilets so that you waste less with every flush, fix leaky taps and ask staff to turn the tap off as soon as they’ve washed their hands. When it comes to saving water, it’s often just a case of becoming more conscious of what you are using, so pin reminders up around your workplace to get people thinking.

Paper

We use paper all of the time. While some of it is recycled, not all of it is or can be, and even if it is, power and supplies are used to create the paper that we use. Like water, however, it’s easy to cut your paper waste. First, stop printing. Save files to the cloud to share them between your team, and send emails instead of letters. Then, look at your packaging. Do you need so much or can it be minimized? When it comes to the paper, you do use, make sure your suppliers are providing recycled, and recyclable sheets.

Power

Wasting power is wasting both resources and money. To make significant savings, consider having solar panels installed, and insulation fitted. For smaller, but equally important savings, remind staff to power down and avoid using electricity when it’s not needed.

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