Feb 8, 2012 10:21:00 AM

3 Ways to Reduce Your Occupancy Costs

By Jordan Slater

Occupancy CostsTo get through these tough economic times, your business needs to be agile, ready to adapt, and looking to save money however it can. Chances are, one of your biggest capital expenditures are your occupancy costs. Yet, these can be easy to reduce with a little quick thinking.


In general, your first step is to go over your lease with a fine-toothed comb.  Any places where your landlord is not keeping up their end of the deal could result in savings for you.

Get Detailed About Common Area Maintenance (CAM) Costs

CAM fees can be one of the biggest money sinks in your occupancy costs, and it's also an area where landlords will look to soak their tenants if they can get away with it. Ask your landlord for a detailed breakdown of how they're calculating your fees, and make sure it matches exactly against the terms of your lease.

One thing to look for, especially, is whether the costs are being divided according to leased space, or available-to-lease space. If your landlord is trying to charge you a portion of the maintenance costs on space not being leased rather than paying for it themselves, you should do whatever you can to change that situation.

Look Into Subleasing

If your business is paying for unused space, turn it into an opportunity for cash flow. Obviously, this depends on the terms of your lease, but if it's permitted, this can be an excellent way to both reduce your overhead, and actually turn a bit of profit on the side. If you optimize the use of your floor space, you might even be able to create free space for this purpose.

Go Green

Transforming your building into a more eco-friendly environment is actually cheaper than it sounds.  While many get hung up on the initial costs of implementing new policies and procedures, down the road, companies can realize great benefits, both through tax incentives as well as lower utility usage.  And while you are looking at your utility usage, things like turning all of your lights out at the close of business are great ways to cut your occupancy costs right away.

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Jordan Slater