Depending on what city you’re in, an office can cost you anywhere from $4,190 to $14,800 per employee per year. That’s excluding taxes and other miscellaneous expenses!

As a responsible business owner, you’ll want to spend your dollars efficiently and prudently, which means you should pay attention to how much money your office is taking from or giving to your business. (We hope it’s the latter).

Here are 3 cool ways you can save money on office costs:

Invest In Office Automation

What is office automation?

According to Business Dictionary, office automation is the “application of information technology to the typical clerical and secretarial tasks such as communication, correspondence, documenting, and filing”. It encompasses both the software and hardware that improve office processes and procedures.

Through office automation your company can better automate, outsource, and optimize day-to-day operations while saving money. Some benefits include increased sales, faster growth, lower operation costs, and higher productivity.

Research shows that, on average, automation corresponds to a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead (Nucleus Research). If that doesn’t get you excited, nothing will!

Looking for affordable ways to automate your office? Check out JJ Bender for some must-have devices.

Buy Used Office Equipment And Furniture

Too often offices overspend on equipment and furniture. Yes, you should invest in quality stuff; however, you should always aim to keep expenses at a minimum.

The Internet is full of high-quality, secondhand equipment. You just need to know where to look.

Each year, offices all over the country phase out barely-used equipment in the name of “upgrading”. In the process, they get rid of a lot of equipment that still works. The wise thing to do is to go online, find companies that sell used equipment, and purchase them at a huge discount. You’ll be amazed at how much money you can save doing this!

So before you go out and blow your hard-earned cash on new stuff, do a quick search. More often than not, there’s a good office printer, desktop computer, or photocopier waiting to be bought.

Use Generic Goods or Supplies

Our brand-obsessed culture is one of the reasons we spend too much.

Although brands do guarantee good quality, many generic ones perform just as well–and for less than half the price.

Instead of going out and blowing money on branded items, consider the following: Does brand really matter for this product? Are there cheaper options of the same quality? How much can I save buying a generic product?

Look for generic alternatives to branded products and weigh the pros and cons. As always, make the wise choice. Just because a product isn’t branded doesn’t mean it’s better. Similarly, a cheap generic might not have the same longevity or quality as a trusted brand.

The key is finding what works and what doesn’t while keeping to your budget.

Saving money is a matter of understanding how to get good returns on your investments. If something is expensive but saves you money in the long run, buy it. However, if something is cheap but looks like it’ll cost you big in the long run, dump it. Spend wisely.