Small business owners that go virtual not only reduce their carbon footprint, they also save thousands of dollars a month. So, what’s the catch? Why aren’t more businesses embracing virtualization?
More than 42 percent of small business owners can save at least $1,000 a month on operating costs by going virtual, and not only does this change in operations increase efficiency company-wide, it also reduces environmental impact. And fortunately, going virtual doesn’t have to be cumbersome process. By adopting these three virtual practices, you can quickly and easily slash environmental impact and business costs.
Replace paper docs with web-based software
The first and often biggest step to going virtual is eliminating or reducing paper consumption. The environmental and financial costs of paper use are substantial. On average, office employees use more than 10,000 sheets of paper per year. That amounts to $80 annually for each office worker, and results in the destruction of almost two trees per employee every year, which can really add up as your business expands.
Alternatively, you can move all of your files and perform all business operations on web-based platforms. This way, you can increase efficiency and easily create backups of all of your important documents with your preferred cloud services, and of course, you save money on supplies while combating deforestation.
Opt for more conference calls
According to an article featured in the New York Times, “one round-trip flight from New York to Europe or to San Francisco creates a warming effect equivalent to 2 or 3 tons of carbon dioxide per person.” And with average airfares exceeding $500, relying on air travel to meet with clients and customers is not a sustainable business practice, both environmentally and financially.
Instead of contributing to increased emissions and travel costs, you can opt for more conference calls, automatically eliminating up to 25% of your business’s carbon footprint and approximately $2,500 each quarter on travel. Services like GoToMeeting and Skype are popular cost effective alternatives for many small businesses. After all, clients and customers are only a phone call away, and with proper preparation and the latest technology, you can still hold an engaging and productive meeting.
Use meeting room rentals
Maintaining a large office space can surprise you once you receive your energy bill. It takes a surprising amount of energy to heat/cool and power an office, and more often than not, the space you are paying to lease and power is not used to its fullest potential.
For far less than an office lease, and less energy waste, your business could use conference room rentals instead. Each meeting space is equipped with the latest technology and business services, such as innovative presentation tools and high speed Internet to improve your conference experience. Additionally, these meeting spaces are available in over 1,000 prime locations, situated in professional business centers, so you get more for less by hosting meetings in higher quality environments. The best part: you only pay for the time you need them, and you no longer have to worry about those ghastly energy bills.
The statistics make it clear: with such significant environmental and financial savings, there is no disadvantage in going virtual. Even the smallest changes to your business operations can make a large impact on your business costs and energy consumption, and each step your business takes toward going virtual can add up to a lot savings. Committing to common virtual office solutions like digital documents, teleconferencing, and conference room rentals can cut a large portion of your small business’s business costs and environmental impact.