Most people do not give a great deal of thought to the overhead costs that are involved in running a facility such as an office or corporate building, that is, until they have their own business, and they have to effectively manage numerous line items within their budget. Or they may consider the costs if they are charged with keeping the facility looking nice while staying within specific budgetary parameters.
The following tips can help you think outside the box and save money on that crucial overhead.
1. Bundle Services
There’s a reason why so many people choose to bundle their services such as their cable TV and telephone. In nearly all cases, cost savings are realized for services that you want or need in the first place. Consider the company that you contract with to provide facilities maintenance. Do they simply offer daily commercial cleaning services, and that’s all? What about when you need your carpets cleaned or your flooring restored? Do you need to take the time and resources to find a competent company to perform those extra services?
The need for handyman services in commercial buildings can run the gamut from frequently to occasionally. While some commercial entities have such a person on their payroll, what options do you have when you need one only occasionally? Choosing a facilities maintenance company that offers handyman services takes the guesswork out of finding a trustworthy service.
2. Take a Look at Your Lighting
If your office building is more than a few years old — or it’s been awhile since the lighting system has been upgraded — start there. According to 2012’s Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey, electricity accounted for 61 percent of the energy usage of commercial buildings, with lighting comprising a huge chunk of that figure. Replacing outdated fixtures such as fluorescent lighting with lighting that is more energy-efficient, such as LEDs, can go a long way toward reducing the energy your building consumes.
3. Complete an Energy Analysis
Did you know that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that “the average [commercial] building wastes 30 percent of the energy it consumes?” The EPA has a program that helps businesses follow a path that can provide them with significant energy savings. Working through ENERGY STAR®, this program can help your commercial building earn the ENERGY STAR label. Research has found that, on average, these buildings — even older buildings as evidenced by their case studies — use 35 percent less energy than comparable buildings. That is a huge amount of savings that can be applied elsewhere in growing a business.
4. Take It One Step at a Time
These suggestions may sound like a great deal to take in at once, so don’t! Just start with one or two tips and work your way up. For one thing, giving your office building a complete energy overhaul is not likely to be feasible for many businesses because of the extensive outlay of money it requires upfront. Instead, opt for a more gradual program of replacement. As the lights in one room of your office or one office in your building need to be replaced, substitute all of the lights in only that one room or that one office with energy-efficient lighting.
An even less stressful approach is to talk to your current facilities maintenance management company and find out what they can do for your office in the way of additional services. Is your current company able to add in window cleaning at a bundled price? Do they offer handyman and superintendent services for those periodic events that crop up? If your current company does not provide you with these types of additional services — outside their maintenance duties — consider switching to a company that offers you a more complete roster of services for your commercial space.