One of the biggest enemies of a small business is waste. Whether it’s wasted money, wasted time, or wasted resources, waste to any extent and for any reason means you’re not running your business as efficiently as you could be. And while most people think of reducing waste only as their own carbon footprint, there are plenty of other things that are wasted in terms of business. So to help ensure that you’re not letting go of unnecessary waste, here are three tips for reducing the waste within your own small business.
Figure Out Where Your Waste Is Coming From
Before you can strategize or make a plan for how to reduce your business’s waste, you first have to figure out where your waste is coming from and which areas of your business you should be focusing on. According to Rick Leblanc, a contributor to The Balance Small Business, one of the best ways to see where your waste is coming from is to do a self-audit where you assess both where things are being wasted and how you manage these things. In addition to seeing what refuse your business is creating and disposing of, you can also track time or take a look at your supply chain to see other areas where there might be waste.
Encourage Repair Rather Replacement
Many modern products are now made with such poor quality that they need to be replaced rather quickly. In addition to this, many modern consumers are fine with paying less for a lower quality product and then simply replacing it. However, if you’re concerned with waste, this isn’t an option you should embrace. Instead, Mark Esposito, Terence Tse, and Khaled Soufani, contributors to Harvard Business Review, suggest that you create a higher quality product and options for repair rather than replacement when the product wears out. This option can help you be more environmentally friendly as well as reducing wasted materials.
Be Smart About Your Own Business Equipment
Aside from reducing waste in the way you create your products, you can also work to reduce waste in the way you handle the administrative side of your business. According to Rick Leblanc, a contributor to The Balance Small Business, this can be done by doing things like refilling your ink and toner cartridges, limiting the amount of paper you use, having silverware rather than plastic in your breakroom, encouraging composting, shutting down and unplugging appliances and hardware when not in use, and much more. By reducing your office waste, you can show that your determination to eliminate waste in all aspects of your business is a real priority for you.
If you’re wanting to reduce various types of waste within your business practices, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you learn how you can do just that.