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Take shopping for example. It’s winter and you want to keep warm. So you check out your local department stores for the best deal on coats.
At the same time you head online to find out if you could be on a cheaper gas and electricity deal for your home.
Either way, you’re shopping around. It pays to do the same in business.
What’s more, the money you save can be put to better business use, as Cardiff-based entrepreneur Wyn Griffith, points out.
He owns software firm LetMC.com, and Pinnacle letting agents and has this advice: “Shop around. For energy, insurance, telephone, broadband, banking.
“In business you should do the basics first.
“Manage these costs and the money saved can be used for advertising.”
Negotiating can seem daunting. After all, the British are hardly known for their haggling skills, typically finding it all a bit awkward.
But think of negotiating in business as no different to enquiring about a free upgrade when extending your mobile phone contract, for example.
Jo Rogers, owner of Navistar Legal, which offers in-house legal services for small businesses, says: “Remember, every number is negotiable.
“People are not always driven by money when dealing with small businesses. Many will support you because they believe in what you do.
“So just because a supplier can’t negotiate on price, it doesn’t mean they won’t negotiate over payment terms, for example.”
Ensuring you have enough money in your personal bank account to meet your domestic bills is no different to how it should work in business.
But every year, many otherwise healthy businesses fail because they haven’t got enough money coming in to cover that going out.
That’s why it’s important to keep on top of your cashflow, as Rogers of Navistar Legal knows from personal experience.
“I’ve been in a situation before where I’ve been owed £10,000 that hadn’t come through, which left me short of money to pay what I owed. I was technically insolvent.
“As a result, my money-saving tip to any business would be to know what your numbers are – your monthly turnover, expenses, and cash flow to keep you in business.”
John Coles, singer with and manager of Perfect Day wedding band echoes Rogers’ point on the importance of managing cashflow.
He says: “Ensure you receive deposits from clients. This helps me with cashflow for running the band.
“If the PA system breaks for example, we always have a float of cash available for a rainy day. A lot of small businesses go bust because they run out of cash.”
Finally, if your business runs into financial trouble seek help, as you would with your personal finances.
Business Debtline offers free, expert, professional debt advice over the phone to the self-employed and small businesses in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The service – available online or on 0800 197 6026 Monday to Friday, 9am -5.30pm – gets around 40,000 callers a year on matters ranging from bankruptcy and insolvency to bailiffs and bank accounts.
What do you think?
We want to hear from you! What’s your top money-saving tip for small businesses? Share them with us below.
"Very easy. Bea Luseni very efficient & knowledgeable."This review was posted by Alan Duffy on the 31st of March 2017
Super helpful and easy to work with
"Recommend this company in a heartbeat - Nicole Borneuf was super easy to talk to, was not pushy in the slightest, very helpful and replied with all my questions very professionally and did all she could to help. I had to deal with a few companies to sort my business energy out, all but Nicole were too pushy for my liking and I refused to follow through with them. Thank Nicole - you are a credit to your company, thank you for making the stressful energy change so easy."This review was posted by Mia Drew on the 29th of March 2017
An Extremely Competent Company
"Switch my business has not only helped my SME secure a good energy deal for the second year running but Jessica swiftly found a alternative supplier for me when I was let down on the day of switching by the new contractual provider I had chosen some 4 months previously. Being suddenly out of contract and without provider is everyone's energy nightmare. Greatest thanks."This review was posted by S McMillan on the 29th of March 2017
Helpful, friendly and we saved lots of money!
"Jessica Purnell was helpful and friendly, she made the whole process easy and simple AND we saved lots of money thanks Jess"This review was posted by Melanie Baker on the 23rd of March 2017
Quick & Easy
"Kabibi was very helpful and the whole process was very efficient. The one small reservation I had was that I was phoned up by Kabibi almost immediately having received my online quote - which wasn't enough time for me to finish reading the quotes! Fortunately she was able to assist me in a greater savings on both Gas & Electricity, and so as long as the switchover is seamless I will remain very happy with the service."This review was posted by Amanda Brown on the 21st of March 2017