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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.
Competent and courteous service.
"Marie was knowledgeable and helpful. I feel able to recommend the service given without reservation. David Slesenger"This review was posted by David Slesenger on the 16th of August 2016
"Nadia was very helpful"This review was posted by Robin on the 16th of August 2016
Excellent Customer Service *****
"Jonathan Burgess is an asset to Switch My Business. He made me feel at ease and was more than helpful at all times. He made regular contact and guided me through the whole process which made switching a breeze. I just wish there were more customer service advisers like Jonathon whose friendly and happy demeanour make your day a much nicer one. Well done Switch my business and more importantly thank you Jonathon for all your hard work! Maria Owen Lodgecrest"This review was posted by Maria Owen on the 17th of August 2016
EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE
"I totally agree with a customer maria owen,Jonathan Burgess was such a pleasure dealing with and is truly a asset to the company, he made it very easy to switch my electricity companies, Jonathan Burgess was very helpful, easy to talk to it was like talking to a friend not just a customer adviser. I would definitely recommend switchmybusiness and try get hold off Jonathan Burgess if possible and have the same excellent service as I did. Rajan Shanan"This review was posted by Rajan Shanan on the 19th of August 2016
Excellent and very helpful
"Arron who dealt with my switch of energy and gas has been a huge help and extremely efficienct and easy to deal with. Despite British Gas throwing obstacles in the way at every turn he has doggedly stuck to his task and saved the day. Thanks Arron."This review was posted by Rod Pryce-Jones on the 19th of August 2016