The rising cost of doing business (and what you can do about it)

The cost of living crisis dominated domestic headlines in 2022. But in 2023, it’s the rising cost of doing business that’s becoming the topic of discussion.

Make no mistake. Many businesses were hit hard by rising energy prices before 2022. It’s just taken this long for most of the mainstream media to catch up.

If your cost of doing business is going up, what can you do?

What is the cost of doing business?

The cost of doing business is the traditional way of describing any expenses required by a company’s daily operations. Since Brexit, COVID-19, and the start of the war in Ukraine though, it is the rising cost of doing business that has started to see the phrase hit the headlines.

For companies in most sectors, IT energy use is almost always one of the largest costs. For some businesses, it can be as much as 40% of their overall expenses.

This means that energy may once have been lumped in with the other costs of doing business. Now it’s a subject all of its own.

How Green IT and sustainability can help minimise energy bills

Gone are the days when “going green” was viewed as an expense. These days, it is widely accepted that becoming more environmentally sustainable is actually a way to boost profits and cut costs.

(The fact that we all need to do this in order to stop the world burning down around our ears is – for some businesses – simply an added advantage.)

Here is how prioritising being more sustainable in your technology usage can help your business’s bottom line:

1) Manage your energy and fuel consumption

If you want to reduce your energy bills, you need to track how much you’re consuming (and thus, spending). Smart grids and energy monitoring options can help you collect business energy usage data. You can then take start taking steps to reduce that consumption, such as:

  • Switch to a clean energy provider (they’re often cheaper too)
  • Install LED lightbulbs (and look into similar energy-saving alternatives)
  • Minimise business travel (consider using the Internet of Things to remotely manage sites, for example)
  • Turn devices and lights off when not in use
  • Consider new product and equipment purchases carefully (and dispose of old equipment responsibly)

2) Carry out a product Life Cycle Assessment

A Life Cycle Assessment is a smart idea for all the products and services a company provides. Most businesses regularly review the resources their products and services require to get to market, but asking yourself sustainability-related questions can help minimise costs too:

  • Is the supply chain you use sustainable? More sustainable options are often able to offer lower rates.
  • Could you cut your use of raw materials or energy in production? Cutting down on product packaging is often an easy win – turning off heating in the office is not.
  • Does technology exist that could save money and make you greener? Using IoT for automation or remote environment monitoring, for example.

3) Invest to save

For an already cash-strapped business, this isn’t always what you want to hear. But for a better future outlook, now is the time to start thinking about investing in green IT.

There’s an initial cost to this – and it can look pretty intimidating. But the savings over time are only going to keep stacking up. Plus, there are tax credits and other UK government and independent schemes around that reward businesses for green tech investments.

The places to start are solar panels, heat pumps and better insulation (if you own your own premises), electric vehicles for your fleet, and IoT tools and systems.

Because these higher energy prices are probably here to stay. Even if they come “down”, it’s very unlikely they’re going to come down to pre-COVID-19 levels. This makes a focus on minimising energy usage the best strategy for future profit.

Environmental, Social and Governance benefits

An added advantage of going green with your IT and being more sustainable in your business practices is that you can boast about it. For today’s consumers, with a growing awareness of the vital nature of the climate emergency, a business with good ESG credentials is a huge attraction.

This means that businesses with better ESG scores are routinely found to outperform their peers and have greater resilience to unexpected crises to boot. If the cost of doing business is getting you down, green IT and sustainability offer challenges. But they deliver some easy wins too.

Want to save money (and the planet) with your tech use?

Let’s talk. Dial A Geek has helped over 900 businesses in Bristol and beyond master their use of technology.

Set up a cost and commitment-free chat with Managing Director Gildas Jones today. Let’s see how we can help you improve yours.