Tips for Budgeting Your Own Laboratory Effectively

8 mins read

If you are trying to set up your own laboratory, then you should prepare for a myriad of expenses.

Budgeting is a process that is required throughout the running of your lab. It keeps everything in order and ensures the continued efficiency of whatever operation or experiment you are overseeing. Without the proper financial backing, things may quickly fall apart soon after.

Therefore, running a tight financial ship is crucial. Fortunately, there a few things that you can do that may help your budget situation when running your own laboratory. You can see what they are for yourself after the jump.

Gain the Right Perspective

Budgeting can be an unwieldy process, and unfortunately many people have struggled here in recent times in both personal and commercial capacities.  

If it is your first time running a laboratory, then no doubt you may be feeling dismayed about the prospect of endless budgeting needs. Still, your love of science will hopefully not be overshadowed by any financial concerns. Think of looking after your funds as a means to an end, and a way to find creative workarounds to fund all your ambitious projects, where possible.

Additionally, if your lab is the place where your scientific dreams become realized, then your budget is your reality check. It can be sobering to refer to at times but knowing what is feasible is a big part of making any scientific endeavor work. Risk is a big element of science too, to a degree, but your finances should not be toyed with in dire situations, so your budget will make sure that you do not bankrupt yourself for the sake of your studies.

In any situation, you need to be in the right frame of mind to budget effectively. Ultimately, budgeting is about perspective, and that is something laboratories should not be in short supply of as they move forward.

Train Staff

The more able and responsible your staff are, the fewer costly incidents they may cause in your lab.

Training can affect your budget in many ways. For example, it could:

  • Minimize the misuse of equipment – If expensive equipment is damaged due to improper use, it can impact your budget enormously.
  • Reduce accidents in the lab – As of last February, the U.S had not ruled out a lab accident origin for the coronavirus pandemic. If these suspicions are ever confirmed, then we all know how costly COVID-19 has been to the world. Still, even minor chemical spillages may incur charges to make the lab safe again.
  • Enforce proper use of supplies – Many experiments require precision in the use of supplies, from measurements to timings. If lab assistants can execute their roles flawlessly here, your inventory will not be wasted, and you may need to restock much less.
  • Improve communication – Every workplace requires good communication to run effectively. Sometimes, a quick comment can save a worker a lot of time and help them perform their job better. Time is money in any working environment, and the lab is no exception.

All the tips highlighted above should reduce costs considerably. Of course, in training your staff to be more diligent, they may also pass on their teachings to other newcomers in the workplace. If you can build a culture in your lab where people advise one another, and hold each other accountable, your budget should take fewer needless hits.

Consider Your Location

Where your lab is located may influence how efficiently it runs and what potential help it may receive.

A good example of this is the availability of used lab equipment in Massachusetts, as the Boston University Medical Center, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Tufts University may have some apparatuses you can use. The only way to find out is by contacting their prominent research figures and enquiring further. Otherwise, the range of quality pharmaceutical companies may also have used lab equipment in Boston that you may be able to acquire affordably.

If you can situate yourself in a pharmaceutical-friendly area, then you could secure your equipment more easily and affordably. After all, you may not need to pay hefty delivery fees when your goods are not being shipped from a different state or country either.

Invest in Used Equipment

The mention of used lab equipment may have made you nervous if you are an innovating scientist, but these types of arrangements can be greatly beneficial for your budget.

Equipment is perhaps one of the larger expenses when it comes to setting up your own lab, so securing it in a budget-friendly manner is highly recommended. Maintenance costs may even be lower if the previous owner acquired the proper servicing on time. Of course, some risk factors may be incurred also in the way of damages and repairs, but they should balance out with how affordably you acquire everything.

You have more options than just outrightly buying your equipment too. For example, you could lease your used equipment, temporarily borrowing it for a fixed and more affordable monthly sum. This is a good option to consider if the early prospects of your lab are uncertain, or if you do not want to risk being permanently committed to gear you are uncertain of. Leasing equipment is also a tax-deductible expense, potentially helping your financial situation even further.

Order Supplies in Bulk

Laboratories need to function like clockwork and cannot suffer delays.

Fortunately, you can boost your lab’s efficiency via frugal means. For businesses, bulk buying their supplies seems to work well, as it provides them with a reliable influx of inventory at a more cost-effective price. Quantity or loyalty discounts may be incurred, and having all things delivered in one batch may also slash delivery charges. The benefits here are many.

Fitting an arrangement such as this into your lab’s budget should make things much easier in the long run. Once done, you can streamline more than just your budget, and create a sustainable way of keeping your lab active and productive. As your lab grows in capabilities and ambition, bulk buying supplies may become a more essential process, so make sure to give this strategy the attention it needs.

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