Energy Savings
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What are the biggest unforeseeable costs of operating a business?

You're used to the monthly cost of running a small business, but what happens when your business is ready to scale? There are practically more than 5 million small businesses in Mexico. With so many occasions, don't let unexpected company costs or energy costs get in the way of your small business growth.

What are the biggest unforeseeable costs of running a small business?

1. Location and energy costs

As companies grow, so does the need for space. Business expansion can be an exciting time, but small business costs are rising fast. Be sure to consider the true needs of your business before expanding beyond your capabilities.

Companies like Quartux change the consumption curve and replace expensive energy with cheaper and cleaner ones thanks to its personalized control software for each client. It manages to take advantage of these CFE tariff schedules and charge its battery systems with energy when it is cheap (base schedule) to later use it and replace consumption during expensive schedules (called "peak" by CFE) where it is charged more than 40% of the receipt.

Likewise, it has a real-time monitoring system of all the electrical parameters of the charging point that allows providing very valuable information on energy efficiency and modification of the consumption profile.

With this type of solution, the client forgets about any interruption in the network since he has a backup system that protects the user from blackouts and poor power quality. All this at zero cost and with an installation and delivery period of less than three months.

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Where should your small business be located?

Consider whether you need an expensive high-traffic retail space rather than a more secretive off-the-beaten-path office space or a time-controlled warehouse near a major road. The location you choose and the size of the space will significantly affect business and energy costs.

With businesses like restaurants and boutiques, aside from location planning, take a close look at:

Your rental period versus the potential development of your small business.

Some companies seem to grow rapidly overnight, while others thrive over decades of slow expansion. Consider your up-front development rate when you sign up for a lease and negotiate possible exit clauses, protections to hold the space, or expansion options in the exact same location or neighboring locations for the future.

If utility and maintenance costs are included in your rental agreement.

From electricity to roof repairs, or property taxes to HVAC units, costs and maintenance responsibilities included in rents can change. This also means that your energy costs will change from month to month. As a tenant operating a small business, it's good to know if your landlord is using a variable rate or fixed rate energy plan. If your landlord has a fixed rate plan, you will better understand and be able to budget your monthly expenses.

To better understand rents and what each business owner must pay for each rent, including energy costs, here is a list of common rents:

¿What costs are the responsibility of the small business owner for each type of rental? What new business costs should you estimate for equipment?

Many businesses rely on electronic equipment to provide resources, keep records, operate services, and much more. You will decide how your small business development increases the amount of equipment you need to operate in your new space. You may also want to change your electronic equipment. To serve as an example, computers are commonplace in most workplaces, and many businesses are moving from desktops to laptops to accommodate more flexible and remote work environments. If you're concerned about computer power use, consider this: Laptops use eighty percent less electricity than desktop computers.

Moving to a newer or larger space also requires you to reassess your security needs. If a normal door lock no longer cuts it, a security system will give you peace of mind. There are plenty of business security systems out there, with services like video surveillance, hardware warranties, and more. The level of security you choose will affect what you pay, and the associated energy costs can add up accordingly, so choose a plan with your monthly budget in mind.

2. Professional Services Fees

Growing a small business means estimating more fees for professional services and business costs, like pest control.

Professional services like outsourced lawyers, accountants and human resources can be expensive, plus the cost of not having them can be considerably higher in the long run. Many small business owners allocate more budget to professional services knowing that this will free them up more time to deal with the development and operation of their small business.

Another unexpected nuisance, and a potentially catastrophic inconvenience if not dealt with immediately, is pest control. There are many natural DIY ways to prevent these critters from finding a home in your business, but if the problem persists, hiring a pest control professional is a good choice.

3. Employees

Keeping up with each and every one of the tasks of a company can be tiresome and lonely. It may be time to hire your first employee or more team members if you already have employees and/or contractors. Before you hire, consider how these small business costs influence your decision:

a) More employees leads to higher overhead.

Each new hire will cost more than your base salary or hourly rate; You'll need to consider the time it takes to train them, professional development fees, any equipment they'll need, ancillary power costs, workers' compensation insurance, taxes, payroll costs, and the cost of your time. Before you hire, do the math to make sure you can cover the significant costs that come with each supporting team member.

b) Creating an office culture can be expensive.

Many small businesses are becoming more focused on developing a culture that reflects their values and mission, while making employees feel purposeful in the work they do. Creating this goal-driven culture can be as profitable as communicating the company's mission and values to each and every employee throughout the interview and hiring process, or it can be an unforeseeable business cost. . Expenses like work breaks, team lunches, employee rewards, and employee health and wellness benefits can add up to a huge bill. Consider how using these might be necessary to run a small business and whether they will positively affect your workplace culture.

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4. Insurance

If a claim isn't on your company's to-do list, property and liability insurance should be one of your top priorities. Small business owners want to create a safe environment for anyone who enters their businesses, plus accidents happen and small business costs associated with legal fees can add up. If you have an owner, you may accept some legal responsibility for an injury, but more often than not, the fault will lie with your business.

Who should your small business insurance cover?

  • Employees
  • Service Clients
  • next door neighbors
  • vendors
  • Lawyers
  • Trespassers (yes, still trespassers)

There are also other small business insurance policies to estimate, such as:

  • Product Liability Insurance
  • professional liability insurance
  • commercial property insurance
  • home business insurance

5. Maintenance and repair of operating equipment

No matter what your small business is, at some point you'll need to fix or replace your equipment, whether it's printers, copiers, machinery, kitchen equipment or more. When these unexpected business costs hit, they can cripple your productivity and overall computing. A surprise repair can be avoided by following a maintenance schedule for your business equipment. Sometimes precautionary service is still not enough for serious breaks, so you should have an emergency fund for unexpected repair costs.

Running a small business is overwhelming even when things go according to plan; don't let unpredictable costs get in the way of growing your small business.

What are some small business unexpected costs that you have previously experienced or witnessed? Comment now to share your wisdom!

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