How does a new business save money

Saving Costs in the Office: How Companies Can Save Money

In order to remain competitive, a company today has to master the art of making optimal use of budgets and keeping costs as low as possible. Start-ups and founders in particular face the challenge of keeping operating costs low. In this article you will read the most important tips on which cost savings are possible in the office and how you can reduce operating costs in the long term.

What are the costs for an office?

Whoever starts a business needs a place to work. However, there are high costs for renting an office that go far beyond the rent. Below you will find a summary of the office costs incurred using the example of Essen.

Example of setting up an office in Essen

For offices with an area of ​​60 square meters in good locations in Essen, prices of up to 840 euros are charged. Due to the high demand, office space has become rare and can hardly be found in prominent locations. In addition to the basic rent, there are numerous other costs for renting commercial space.

  • Additional costs for electricity and energy (average food total 2.17 euros / m²)
  • Acquisition costs for office furniture
  • Maintenance costs for the rooms
  • Additional costs (caretaker, cleaning, air conditioning, elevator, etc.)
  • Technical equipment (PCs, printers, cables, telephones)
  • Internet
  • Infrastructure (coffee machine, lamps)

When setting up an office, there are additional costs such as business registration, brokerage costs and the entry of the office address in important, industry-specific directories.

Which services must be covered by the operating costs?

A commercial lease must be legally differentiated from a private lease. Not all costs are apportionable. The lease should list all services that the commercial rent covers. The operating costs are made up of the following items:

  • Property tax
  • Water and sewage
  • heating and warm water
  • Garbage collection
  • Office cleaning
  • lighting
  • Caretaker & garden maintenance
  • chimney sweeper
  • Elevator use & maintenance costs

Additional costs arise from the purchase of the office supplies, the provision of beverages and creamer and the administration - from accepting the phone calls to accepting the mail.

Lower operating costs in the company: a checklist

A detailed look at the figures often reveals great savings potential. In addition to personnel and advertising costs, the office itself is the biggest budget hog. We have listed the main cost drivers below and provide companies with ideas about which cost savings are possible.

     1. lighting

On average, light consumes over 50% of the energy recorded in the electricity bill. It is not uncommon for the last person to forget to turn off the light in the evening, and the light is always on in rooms that are not used continuously. Create awareness of this cost factor among all employees. Investing in time switches, light dimmers and LEDs is worthwhile.

     2. Obsolete devices

Outdated screens that you may have bought second-hand for cost reasons use three times as much electricity as new, more energy-efficient devices.

    3. Stand-by devices

Air conditioners, projectors, coffee machines and other devices run on stand-by in many companies and thus continuously cause costs - often over years. By switching it off completely and only starting it up when required, you can significantly reduce operating costs.

    4. Printers, scanners and copiers

Quickly print out a whole sheet of paper with just one sentence - extrapolated to the year, that costs a lot of money. Printers and copiers cause unnecessary costs through unnecessary print and copy jobs. Here the boss is asked to show the employees the potential for savings through the conscious use of these devices. For example, set up a tray to hold old re-printing paper for notes and work materials. Try to get as close as possible to the paperless office.

   5. Office supplies

Small orders for pens, copy paper and printer cartridges cause high costs. Plan these orders in advance and not just when the need arises. This means that special conditions can also be agreed with the suppliers.

What are the differences in the cost burden for established companies and for founders?

Established companies usually have a big head start in terms of cost savings. You have negotiated good contracts with providers of telecommunications services and with suppliers of office supplies and have long since written off all acquisition costs for office furniture, including all technical equipment. You can pay the operating costs from the current and predictable income and have empirical values ​​with which operating costs you have to calculate.

Founders face the challenge of having to plan well, because there is little buffer for surprises on the bill. Business is only just getting started and it is difficult to calculate the sums that will ultimately appear on the utility bill. In addition, there are indispensable investments in business equipment.

These are the most important investments in the start-up phase

High initial investments have to be made in equipping an office. You need lead time until the office is finally set up and thus lose a lot of time that you would need for your core work. In addition, there are administrative tasks such as the production of a company sign and the entry in the commercial register, which causes additional time and costs. Many start-ups use consulting services from external companies in order to know what needs to be considered from a legal and economic point of view. Marketing measures such as printing flyers, business cards and brochures, setting up a website and search engine advertising are essential to make this site known.

Setting up an office: costs and savings potential in the start-up phase

On the one hand, costs can be saved by choosing the right legal form. If you set up a GmbH, then you have to raise a share capital of 25,000. Therefore, the GbR as a legal form can be the better in the first time. It is always worth looking out for funding programs.

It often makes sense to outsource some areas such as accounting, etc. This allows the founders to concentrate on their core competencies and generate sales instead of dealing with tax returns and writing invoices. In particular, you should hand over the tax return to a professional who knows how to save money on income tax.

The alternative to high office and operating costs: The Business Service from First Choice BC

Founders rent fully equipped, modern offices at a fixed price through First Choice's Business Service, saving themselves all initial investments. You can start your business immediately without waiting for painters and internet connections. The users have access to a state-of-the-art infrastructure including secretarial service and reception. Even coffee and tea can be enjoyed indefinitely.

The tenants benefit from a business address in the best locations in Essen, Wiesbaden and Neuss, and representative conference rooms are available to welcome business partners. If you want to start small and work on the go or in the home office, you can use the virtual office with a business address from First Choice.