Business ventures are expensive undertakings; you may have heard that well-travelled phrase ‘speculate to accumulate’. While that is doubtless the case, you may find that you could be spending a little more money than is necessary when it comes to your business expenses. Here, we look to profile five key areas in which you can save money without jeopardising productivity or professionalism.
1. Energy providers
Are you currently getting the most bang for your buck when it comes to your gas and electricity provider? Your deal may not be as great as you first thought. Price comparison sites are very much in vogue when it comes to finding the cheapest possible provider, but they are by no means foolproof. Some comparison sites feature providers that others don’t; there is no direct correlation. We recommend you use as many price comparison sites as possible; set them off against one another, you’ll be surprised at the discrepancies that emerge across each site. Furthermore, some providers choose to opt out of price comparison websites entirely. Contact them directly; you may find that they offer a discount for potentially lucrative business contracts.
2. Wastage / efficiency
Think about what is being used and when. It may seem obvious, but if computers are left in sleep mode, lights are left on overnight or machinery remains active unnecessarily, you could be spending far more than you might think. Are you using energy-efficient light bulbs? Are your staff turning off equipment when they clock out? It’s worth bearing such things in mind. Some energy providers offer energy consumption meters along with their services, but such devices are also available to buy. We recommend using these to isolate areas in which you may be being excessively wasteful.
3. Fleet vehicles
Do you provide your staff with company cars, or run a fleet of delivery vehicles? You could be shelling out more than you need to. Individual unit price isn’t the only consideration you need to factor in when choosing your commercial vehicles. Fuel economy is an obvious one; if your company credit card is consistently drained by petrol costs, maybe a more economical vehicle is the way forward. Diesel vehicles are always a safe bet, offering great fuel efficiency with enough torque to make hauling around heavy deliveries a doddle. Think of other running costs, too. If your vehicles are in and out of the workshop every other week, it may be time to change manufacturer. Even if your vehicles are very reliable, what happens if they do break down? Are parts easy to come across? Are they particularly expensive? Take a look at the vehicle reliability index: you may be surprised at some of the best and worst performers.
Tax is a heavy hitter for small businesses and the self employed, but there are ways and means of reducing the amount of your hard-earned cash you have to hand back to the government. If you work from home, even in part, you may be liable for a tax-cut. There are also savings to be had on your fleet vehicles, as the most efficient, eco-friendly cars and vans fall into a cheaper road tax bracket than their thirstier rivals. Take some time to research into your taxes; you may be able to save a considerable amount via perfectly legitimate means.
Are you paying too much for your premises? It’s a good idea to be honest with yourself; shiny new offices in a fantastic location are going to come at a premium and, depending on the nature of your business, you may well not need them. Think about your space requirements, too. If you’ve got office space or areas in your plant that aren’t being used efficiently, chances are you’re wasting money. Downsizing may go against your business plan, but it might be a good idea in the short-term if you’re struggling to make ends meet.
Remember, Gener8 is on hand to help you every step of the way with your company’s finances. If cashflow is proving to be a constant problem, we’re on hand to help. Contact us today to find out if our credit management solutions could be the answer.