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Improve your small business' performance with energy efficient practices

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Improve your small business' performance with energy efficient practices

The economic recession hit the small business sector harder than most, leading to an increased need for effective and efficient operations among the nation's entrepreneurs. While the economy is now experiencing a resurgence of sorts, the most successful small business owners will be those that maintain efficient and sound practices along with the increases in consumer spending.

One of the best ways to do this is to prepare for the winter months, when utilities bills and weather-related damages can directly hinder the profit margin. When you're a small business owner who has just purchased a new piece of commercial real estate, you'll likely know all too well how important this investment is, and how much the company relies on the facility's health.

Many of the most common practices that will improve energy efficiency can also strengthen the integrity of the property itself, minimizing the risk of substantial damages that necessitate high-costing repairs and replacements. For example, spray foam insulation can bolster wall strength while keeping heat in during winter, providing small business owners with two affordable advantages for the price of one.

Initial steps
Small business owners should consider evaluating their newly purchased commercial real estate before the cold air, snow and wind begin to wreak havoc on the structure, especially if they have not owned the building for more than a year. Here's where you should look first:

  • Around the perimeter: Take a walk around the exterior of the facility and see if you can find any cracks, holes or other vulnerable areas in the structure itself. Even the smallest issues can quickly expand into major and expensive problems that necessitate complete renovations. Since lemon laws aren't in place for commercial real estate, the best time to evaluate the integrity of the structure is before you make the purchase.
  • Attics and crawl spaces: Ensure that the attics and any crawl spaces are surrounded by healthy walls that will keep out precipitation and trap the heat inside. These areas are among the most often overlooked when it comes to commercial real estate ownership, and can end up costing entrepreneurs a lot of money.
  • Lighting: Consider investing in energy efficient lightbulbs to reduce the amount of money you spend on electricity each year. These products will often last longer than other options, all the while keeping your utility bills lower. 
  • Systems: Whether you have an HVAC system in place or another type of heating appliance, you'll want to check the equipment at least once a year, typically during the fall, to ensure that all of the components are operating properly. Malfunctioning equipment can lead to fire hazards, higher than necessary energy consumption and other costly issues. 

The U.S. Small Business Administration offers a variety of other helpful tips, many of which are provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, on its website.

Insulate for optimal efficiency
When it comes to making a big difference on utilities bills and structural integrity, few options can compete with spray foam insulation. Icynene spray foam can significantly reduce your heating and cooling costs, with some examples experiencing a 50 percent^ reduction in these heating and cooling bills. Additionally, spray foam will improve the functionality of your systems, add to the resale value of your commercial real estate and minimize airborne noise.

This will all make for a more comfortable and secure environment for your employees and any clients who visit the facility. If you really care about making the most of your commercial real estate investment, and you small business itself, consider calling a certified Icynene contractor to get spray foam insulation installed today. 


^ Savings vary. Find out why in the seller's fact sheet on R-values. Higher R-values mean greater insulating power.

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