Make every paperclip count

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Every paperclip counts when you operate your own business.

When you are responsible for your own bills, spending really comes under scrutiny and this month provides an additional reminder about using what you already have.

October is ‘Buy Nothing New Month’, a great collaborative campaign by a team which includes the Brotherhood of St Laurence and the Salvos.  It’s a time to reassess what we really need, think about where the stuff we buy comes from (finite resources), where it goes (landfill) and what our alternatives are.

Baring absolute essentials, it should be possible for many businesses not to buy anything new for four weeks. It is challenges like these that can force incredibly creative and innovative processes and ideas.

Buy Nothing New Month is not about going without, nor is it about never buying anything new again.  It’s about conscientious consumption and by not spending on unnecessary items, we can increase our funds for the things we do need.

 

If you really thought about it, you would probably find you have a lot of unused and surplus items in your workplace.  Here are a few ideas to get you started

Stationery

Before placing your standard stationery order, do a good clean-out of your stationery cupboard, drawers and briefcase.  Chances are you’ve got a lot more office supplies stashed than you expected.

Renting

Before purchasing new business equipment, consider if you really need to own it – could you rent it or outsource the service?  There are a lot of good (and cost effective) options for renting electronics like laptops. Check out external services for the likes of photocopying, binding and printing.

Have second thoughts

Is your planned purchase something that you really need?  If you must have it, is it something that you can borrow or buy second-hand?

 

A 2005 paper from the Australia Institute by Clive Hamilton Richard Denniss and David Baker tells us: “Aussies have admitted to spending over $10 billion every year on goods we do not use: clothes and shoes we never wear, CDs we never listen to, DVDs we never watch and food we never eat and each year in Australia nearly 20 million tonnes of waste goes to landfill. By way of comparison, this amount exceeds spending by Australian governments on universities and roads.”

How much of that $10 billion is wasted money that is being spent by your business?  Imagine how your bottom line could improve if you eliminated all unnecessary spending! Check out more ideas at www.buynothingnew.com.au

What do you think – are you up to the challenge?  During October we’d love to hear from you to let us know how you are going – and we’d be particularly interested in any tips you would like to share.

 

| Social Entrepreneur – www.madwoman.com.au

  • http://www.propagandahouse.com.au Daniel | Propaganda House

    Great initiative Melina. I’m trying to reduce my business needs to a desk, computer and notepads. Getting pretty close too!

    Have you heard of ziilch.com.au?

  • http://www.madwoman.com.au Melina Schamroth

    Hi Daniel

    Wow – what an inspirational plan – I’m not sure I could get to that, but I really admire your resolve. Let us know how you get on.

    I do what I can to reuse and upcycle as much as possible in my business!

    I’ll check out Ziilch. thanks for the tip!

  • http://Www.aspartners.com.au Sam Rotberg

    This blog reminds me that we need to think before we just consume and don’t take our environment fir granted … This happens day in day out!!! I will ensure all my staff read this and think before they order, buy and consume!!!

    • http://www.madwoman.com.au Melina Schamroth

      Hi Sam

      it’s great to see business owners thinking about the environment as well as the bottom line. I think really successful people always take both into account. Look forward to hearing how your October goes. I’m betting you will be implementing this long term though :)

  • http://www.thefeistyempire.com/ Paul Hassing

    Wonderful post, Melina. It’s so encouraging to see that you care about this issue. And the idea of Buy Nothing New Month is inspired! I’ve learnt from you again. Many thanks indeed. :)

  • http://www.madwoman.com.au Melina Schamroth

    Thanks Paul

    It’s such a great initiative and beyond that, it’s easy for every business to make savings by just thinking before purchasing!