11 Cost-saving Ideas for the Workplace

Written by Austin Chegini

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For any for-profit business, maximizing revenue and reducing expenses is the key to success. The higher your profit margins, the more capital you will have to grow your business. 

However, this is much easier said than done. With competition increasing and many consumers turning to e-commerce, many retail and hospitality businesses are constantly facing downward pricing pressure.

Let’s review some useful cost-saving ideas for the workplace. 


1. Use energy-efficient appliances

When was the last time you invested in quality appliances? Whether you need kitchen equipment, digital displays, or office computers, you want to use modern, energy-efficient devices. 

How much can you save with these appliances? Matt Daigle, an expert in sustainable home improvement, states that Energy Star appliances can save you between 10% to 50% of the energy required. 

While this energy savings does not always lead to a 10% to 50% reduction in costs, it still can be quite significant. So, if your appliances are outdated or stop working, make sure to look for Energy Star products to reduce expenses.

2. Turn off devices at the end of the day

Even if you have modern, energy-efficient appliances, you want to encourage your employees to reduce power consumption as much as possible. All too many people leave devices running at all hours, leading to higher operating costs that only you will see. By instructing employees to turn off these “energy vampires,” you can reduce your monthly energy bill by up to 20%!

Consider taking these steps to reduce power during non-operating hours:

  • Unplug cable boxes, phone and laptop chargers, and coffee makers
  • Shut down computers or put them in “Sleep” mode
  • Turn off non-essential lighting overnight

3. Maximize natural light

Revisiting energy one last time, try relying more on the sun to brighten your business. Depending on the time of year, opening your curtains and raising the blinds can light your entire business. You can keep the lights off, reducing operating expenses and creating a more natural environment.

At the same time, sunlight can warm up your business, reducing your heating bill in the winter. 


4. Shop for used equipment

Everyone wants the latest and greatest things, but buying new isn’t always the wisest move. Instead of paying full price for brand new items, consider buying used equipment.

Not only will this save you money, but used equipment does not depreciate as fast as new items. So, if you ever need to upgrade your equipment, you won’t lose as much when it comes time to sell your tools.

Of course, you only want to buy used when it is safe and effective. For example, you would not want to buy items that have a history of wearing down quickly, such as deep fryers. 

To get started, you can find used equipment from:

5. Repurpose old items

Creating your own displays and decor is one most fun cost-saving ideas for the workplace. In many cases, it costs nothing aside from your time to repurpose items into retail displays for your store. Not only will this save you from buying shelves and other equipment, but it will also add to the charm and appeal of your business. 

For example, you can use old cabinets and wardrobes to hold items instead of standard metal shelves. Likewise, you can store candies and small items in glass jars, instead of buying bins from a distributor. 

For design inspiration, read over this article by Abound.


6. Improve your bookkeeping

Taking control of your finances is one of the first and most important steps in reducing expenses. After all, how can you identify and track savings if you don’t know what to look for? 

To start, make sure you integrate your point of sale with powerful accounting software like QuickBooks. By doing so, you can send all sales, returns, expenses, and more directly to your software. This integration saves time and reduces errors. 

With this software up and running, you can also save costs come tax season. Since your accounting program logs all your financial records, you can provide your tax preparer all the documentation they need. First, having all the right supporting documents allows the tax filing service to qualify you for the right deductions. Second, the less time they spend digging through receipts and other items, the lower you will pay for their service.

7. Make smarter staff schedules

Many business owners struggle to keep labor costs low. From paying wages to spending money on interviews and background checks, employers invest a great deal into their workers. However, failing to reign in your labor costs can doom your business. 

With a modern point of sale system, you get access to detailed business analytics. This information is very useful when it comes to building staff schedules. By charting your busy and slow times, you can create optimized staff schedules.

On top of this, you can also see how much each employee costs per shift. With this data, you can schedule the right workers at the right time to ensure your labor/revenue ratio is always at a healthy rate.

8. Build your own online ordering website

Whether you own a store, restaurant, or service-based business, you will need a website. And if you want to increase revenue, allowing customers to order and pay from the website is crucial. Unfortunately, too many small businesses use marketplaces or web builders that charge high fees that severely cut into profit margins. 

If you sell online, consider creating your own online ordering website. 

For retailers, this can mean moving away from eBay and Amazon to a professional e-commerce website. Platforms like Shopify make it easy to build a website, collect payments, and manage your inventory. Best of all, some integrate with your point of sale so you can track data in-store and online. 

For hospitality businesses, you may not need a full website, but you can reduce your reliance on services like UberEats. These mobile ordering companies make takeout and delivery easy, but they charge high fees that often lead to lower margins. 

Instead, you can use a service like Epos Now Order and Pay to build a simple online ordering platform. Customers can view your menu, place an order, and pay all from their mobile device or computer. This way, you get more control over the experience and can provide online ordering on your terms. 

9. Reduce employee turnover

While it is easier said than done, discouraging employees from leaving your business is a solid way to prevent unnecessary costs. Each time you retain an employee, you save the money needed for placing hiring ads, staffing interviews, and processing paperwork. On top of this, you avoid having to train a new hire, increasing your labor costs for some time. 

According to one Forbes contributor, here are five ways to reduce turnover:

  • Hire the right people: Find employees who can succeed at the job, plan to stay for a while, and fit your culture.
  • Offer competitive pay and benefits: Pay employees what they are worth. Otherwise, they will leave when a new opportunity appears.
  • Give praise: Show your staff that you value their effort. While many people work mostly for the money, they also want to have a friendly work environment.
  • Show the career path: Offer regular check-ins with employees and show how they can grow with your business.
  • Allow flexible work schedules: Give your workers freedom when they need it. While you do not want to interrupt operations, allowing for flexibility can increase job loyalty.

10. Improve inventory management

Your inventory is meant to make you money, but it could actually be hurting your bottom line. When products sit on shelves for far too long, you take a loss when you liquidate them at a lower price. Likewise, when items are lost or stolen, you increase your shrinkage costs. 

With a reliable inventory management system, you can keep track of all your items and get complete oversight. Not only can you see accurate stock levels but you can also analyze how items sell. For example, if certain products are slow to sell, you can stop carrying that item to reduce overstock issues.

Additionally, your inventory management system can show you expected vs. actual stock levels. Each time your employees take stock, they will know precisely how many items should be on shelves or in storage. If anything seems off, you can quickly review security cameras and sales logs to track down the missing products. 

When implemented and used correctly, your inventory management system will help increase profit margins by reducing wasted spending.

11. Shop for better payment processing

Many business owners place a high value on simplicity. If something works fine, why bother replacing it and having to relearn a new system? 

While this mindset is often useful, it is counterproductive when it comes to credit card processing. Processing companies charge a wide range of fees, and failing to shop for the best rates can cost you thousands of dollars in the long run. 

Even if you like your current processing company, consider comparing rates from other services. While you may need to learn how to use new equipment with these companies, the savings can be well worth your while. 

For example, the average retail store earns $31,039 in revenue per month. If Company A charges a 3% processing fee, the store pays $931 per month to its processing company. If Company B charges a 2.5% fee, the store pays $776 per month to the company. 

In this example, the store would save $1,860 per year by switching to Company B.

Manage your business with a modern point of sale system

As shown by many of the cost-saving ideas above, you need a point of sale system to take complete control of your business. From managing inventory and staff to integrating with e-commerce and accounting programs, your POS is the main device for all business operations. 

Epos Now provides a range of POS systems for retail and hospitality businesses. We sell handheld, tablet, and desktop devices to match any business model. Better yet, our software runs on Mac, Windows, and Android so you can use it on your existing hardware. 

What’s more, Epos Now offers:

  • Cloud storage and 24/7 remote access
  • Monthly support plans
  • Various payment processing options
  • Dozens of useful integrations

Speak with a consultant today to learn more about Epos Now.

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