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9 ways a small business can cut overheads and boost profit

Overheads like heating, lighting and water have a HUGE impact on a small business’s profitability.


9 ways your small business can cut overheads blog post - image of gas bill

And with the price of electricity, water and raw materials in Scotland expected to rise over the coming years, small businesses are already bracing themselves for a hit.

So here are 9 practical ways that a small business can hold on to its hard earned profits by reducing energy and resource use.  

1)      Install energy efficient bulbs (seriously, it could save you thousands)

Do you know how much just changing your light bulbs to LEDs could save?  Edinburgh based engineering company Pentland Precision Engineering found out – cutting £3,000 from its energy bills just by upgrading the lighting in its office, workshop and factory.

Every business big and small, from manufacturers to retailers to offices, can save money by upgrading to LED lighting. Typically upgrading to LEDs can save 75% on lighting bills, and could be the simplest thing you do this year to pocket some extra profit.

2)      Be smart with your heating/cooling

When heating and cooling controls are not set correctly, they can start to fight against each other in a cycle of wasted energy and upwardly rising bills. Save your business some money by setting a wide ‘dead band’ where neither the heating nor cooling system is turned on. Set your heating to turn off above 21°C and cooling to turn off below 24°C (a dead band of 3°C) and see how much you can save. 

For more building management hacks that can save you money, download our free guides.

3)      Gain big savings when buying energy efficient equipment

High efficiency equipment can bring big long-term savings. Harris Community Shop on the Isle of Harris saved £3,750 on their energy bill with high-efficiency refrigerated display cabinets. Highland Farm Cottages cut their annual energy by £24,000 a year by installing a biomass boiler and solar panels. And Webhelp UK saved £25,000 per year by installing a range of energy management equipment. Those sorts of savings year on year really add up.

Finance is available as a grant or 0% interest loan from the Scottish Government to help small businesses invest in energy saving and waste reducing equipment and processes to help them benefit from savings.  Find out more about how to apply while funding is available. 

4)      Look for savings unique to your business

Do you blitz the printer paper? Are you overfilling the kettle? Is your server room being cooled with strategically placed desk fans? Identify and cut out your business’s bad habits to make targeted savings.

Fill in our online Savings Finder questionnaire to see what cost savings you could make in your organisation.

5)      Cut your waste, make more profit

For any type of business reducing waste can really boost your bottom line through reduced waste disposal costs. But if you produce a physical product, whether silicon chips or potato chips, improving your processes to reduce waste of raw materials and optimise output can massively improve profitability. For tips on cutting waste, visit our pages on reducing waste  

6)      Help your staff and customers to save money

Small actions taken by staff in their daily routines that reduce their energy, water or raw material use can be tricky, but it’s worth it. The Westerwood Hotel and Golf Resort in Scotland identified over £73,000 worth of savings just by working with staff to reduce waste across the business. What can you ask your customers to do to help the environment? Re-use towels, recycle, turn off the lights?

If you run an office, hotel or shop check out our free professional communication packs. They provide businesses with eye-catching posters, room thermometers, stickers and other motivational materials deigned to get your employees and customers saving money.

7)      Elect a Green Champion

You can make quick savings with any of the steps above. But if you want to make long term difference to your profit line then empower a Green Champion in your business to drive resource efficiency and secure savings.

There are over a thousand Green Champions already helping to boost the profits of their businesses throughout Scotland. Find out how you can join them.

8)      Lower your thermostat by just 1oC

Reducing temperatures by just 1oC could save a whopping 10% on a business’s yearly heating bill. That is a massive saving for such a small change - and your employees and customers probably won’t even notice the difference.

9)       Get the experts in – for free

Big businesses spend thousands on professional management consultants hired to whip their teams into shape and (supposedly) boost profitability. But if you want an immediate boost to profit, getting in a resource efficiency expert could be a more valuable use of time. 

And if you are a small or medium-sized enterprise in Scotland, then this consultancy support is completely free. Businesses who have already received free one-to-one technical guidance from Resource Efficient Scotland are, on average, £16,000 a year better off.

Free, impartial expert advice is available when you call 0808 808 2268 or email enquiries@resourceefficientscotland.com

 

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