As part of my ongoing productivity plan, I thought it would be a good idea to take stock and look at how we are doing at the end of year two in the process:
Ditching the landline for Google Voice, throwing out the fax machine and losing the extra line in favour of MyFax, adjusting my mobile telephone plan and canceling cable tv after the old telly died brought some surprising numbers:
Per month savings:
- Landline $20
- Fax $10
- Mobile $30
- TV $70
Total: $130/month doesn’t sound much, but that’s $1,560 pa.
Additional annual savings continue since going paperless:
Office supplies over a year in a paper world were easily around $3,300+ but now only $300 are spent with the advent of cheap external disk drives and the iPad, plus no need to order those huge boxes of paper, ink cartridges etc giving a massive saving of $3,000.
In one year, that’s $1,560 + $3,000 = $4,560
Kicking the Starbucks habit!
It gets better though. We also dug the Italian Espresso machine out of storage and looked at coffee consumption:
- In the office, approximately 6 double espressos are made a day.
- At $2 a pop in the local Starbucks, that’s equivalent to $12/day, $74/week or $378/month.
Even buying fresh roasted and ground coffee from the local importers at $9 a pound and 5 bags are needed a month, subtracting $45 from the above total still gives $333 savings a month or ~$4,000 a year. Wow, that’s an expensive habit.
Running total: $4,560 + $4,000 = $8,560 per annum saved.
Overall, in 3 years that starts to add up cumulatively in terms of improved margins right off the bottom line.
- Business cards – hardly use them anymore, and most clients prefer an emailed vcf card they can simply add to their address book.
- Moleskines and notebooks – am now getting through one a year rather than the 4 or 5 I used to scribble through thanks to the iPad and simple text files. Savings of around $80 annually.
- eBooks on the Kindle and iBooks are generally cheaper than hardback or paperback books. Lately, the ones I’ve purchased have easily been $5 less a pop. At one book a month, that’s at least another $60 saved.
What other value engineering techniques do you recommend for small businesses?