We get it. Money is tight. Inflation is up, you’re having to pay your team higher salaries, and you are nervous about passing those costs onto your customers. The last thing you want to do is to stop investing in your business. So where can you save some money without compromising your business plans? Read on for some top tips on how to pay less for your business services.
Increasing energy costs have been really painful for businesses, especially those that have higher levels of energy usage. Thankfully the UK government has put some measures in place to help businesses struggling with their energy costs, but that doesn’t get rid of the problem. Don’t forget you also have to be in contract in order to get the government support.
What else could you do?
Switch energy provider
You may be able to switch to a different energy tariff and save. If you can change your provider without incurring a penalty then shop around and see if you can find a quote for a lower price per unit. We can put you in contact with energy experts who will scan the market to find the best tariff for your business.
Reduce your consumption
There is quite a lot you can do to reduce your overall usage – and as well as saving you money this will also help with your eco credentials. Here are some things you can try:
- Turn off all non-essential equipment out of hours. It is surprising how much energy computers and printers use in sleep mode. Turn everything off at the wall when you leave the office
- Drop your thermostat down a degree. Keep an eye on the heating (and air conditioning), and set a temperature that is still comfortable but is a degree or two lower (or higher for the air conditioning in the summer). Switch it on a little later, and off a little earlier
- Check you haven’t got furniture in front of heaters or heating and cooling vents
- Switch from air conditioning to desk or ceiling fans on days when it isn’t as hot
- Make sure your equipment is up to date and energy efficient. Even small things like changing the filters for your air conditioning units can make a difference to the level of energy consumed
- Conduct a business energy audit to figure out where you are wasting energy
- Reduce your hot water usage – you could fit aerators on taps, or put up notices asking your employees not to overfill the kettle when making a cuppa
International payments can cost you a lot of money if you don’t have the right set up. If you are still just using your high street bank then you are almost definitely paying too much. Not being charged a fee doesn’t mean you have got the best deal, it could mean that the bank is making money by giving you an unfavourable exchange rate instead.
If you are investigating different providers then make sure that your money is not at risk. In the UK the main regulator is the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) so check the provider is FCA approved.
Where you are invoicing customers in a currency other than GBP then it is also worth looking at having foreign currency bank accounts so you can receive money in the right currency. Again high street banks aren’t likely to be the most cost effective answer.
Business bank accounts
Switching business current accounts is a lot easier than it used to be. If you are paying over the odds on your banking fees then it may be worth looking elsewhere. While you’re looking you could also check how green your bank is and make a positive impact on the environment just by being careful who you bank with. Chat with your accountant before you switch to check that your preferred bank works well with your accounting software!
Check your software subscriptions
Have a look at your recurring monthly spend. We all do it – sign up for clever new software thinking it will solve all our problems – and not necessarily use the software! If you aren’t using it, then cancel the subscription and save your business a bit of money. You can always sign up again later on when you have more time to make use of it. Check you are on the right level, you may be able to downgrade if you aren’t using all the bells and whistles. Or maybe there is a new and more cost effective option out there.
But don’t stop investing
When things get tough the temptation is to stop all discretionary spend. Sometimes that is your only feasible option. But where you can then keep investing to push the business forwards. Well placed marketing spend can create opportunities. Having the right people on the team gives you the freedom to grow your business. Cheaper isn’t always better. If you need more help then get in touch and ask about a profit improvement meeting.