Is Your Business Wasteful?

Written by Chloe Harwood

The idea of your business being wasteful might not fill you with worry, given the multitude of other problems everyday business management tends to throw at you. It might feel like it’s just another area that you’ll dedicate your thoughts to when you have time… but here’s why that time should be now.

To begin with, the simple fact is that if your business is being wasteful, it’s going to be impacting your bottom line while simultaneously increasing your outgoings. While some waste is inevitable in any kind of business – especially when you have to account for human error – there is a line when it becomes problematic.

Secondly, waste of a very literal kind can also be detrimental to the environment. Even if this is not a cornerstone of concern for you, there’s a plethora of environmental regulations that you can ill afford to fall foul of.

So keeping those in mind, in which three areas is a business most liable to to be wasteful – and what can you do with it?

1) Food Waste

If you don’t run a business involved in food production, this might seem like a strange area to consider. However, if you ever have an employee eating or drinking on site, then it could be a problem. This is especially true for big enterprises, where you might have a staff canteen.

Keeping staff fed and watered is undoubtedly an important part of any business, but how much of your food usage goes to waste? Food waste is a big enough problem in domestic premises, but it’s even worse when it comes to businesses.

If possible, try and limit the amount of food that’s being thrown away by only buying for a specific date. Don’t buy in advance unless you know it’s going to be used; you can have a meeting with employees to discuss their wants and needs to help prevent this. If you do have wastage, make sure your management of liquid waste and any remnants is as good as it can be.

2) Paper Waste

If you were to fill a room with the amount of paper your business wastes in a year, chances are you’d be horrified.

There is simply no need to print pages as often as used to be necessary. Staff schedules, contracts, the rota – they can all be done online now with various apps and workarounds.

3) Time Wasting

While this is not going to make you fall foul of any environmental regulations, the impact on your profits should be clear. If you – or your employees – have a tendency to waste time during the working day, then you’d be alarmed by how much those lost hours can cost you. Keeping everyone on track is beneficial not only for the business, but their own personal feelings of being productive to the business. Try and build plenty of breaks into the working day, but emphasize that when those breaks are over, everyone gets their nose back to the grindstone as quickly as possible.

About the author

Chloe Harwood