“I was shocked when my electricity bill almost doubled from £ 60 a month to £ 110”: could switching light bulbs help keep your business afloat?
- The chairman of the FSB says that energy bills are “tearing eyes” against the background of the current crisis.
- Small businesses can save money by demanding all the tax benefits
- The use of renewable energy sources where possible can also reduce costs
Action: Marketing boss Amber Leach sees her energy bill double
The cost of living crisis is not limited to households – small business owners are also facing acute problems that are eating away at their income and threatening their livelihoods.
Many small businesses may feel that their costs are spiraling out of control – from rising electricity bills to rising prices for raw materials and delivery. And this is due to the impact of higher taxes and wage expectations.
Martin McTag, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, says: “They are at the mercy of tearful increases in electricity bills. They do not have the bargaining power of big business and do not enjoy the financial protection offered to consumers. ”
The accounts of some small firms have grown fivefold, he says, adding: “We know that many have little or no cash reserves, and for those who have loans, the prospect of rising interest rates is frightening.”
Here are some steps that business owners can take to curb cost growth.
HIDE RANGES FOR ENERGY
Tim Randle-Wood, owner of Twoodle Co., which sells candles and diffusers made from natural ingredients, was surprised when a small change significantly affected the price of his store in East London.
In response to his bill, which rose from 84 to 353 pounds a month in April, Tim ruled out some spotlights inherited from a previous resident. He says, “I thought it was energy-saving LEDs. They were not, as our account fell to 157 pounds, which did not affect sales.
Consumer Champion Helen Dudney, aka The The Cow complainssays a 20 percent reduction in energy costs could be just as beneficial to a firm’s profits as a 5 percent increase in sales.
She says, “If you run a small firm, encourage employees not to leave the door open and make it a rule that whoever is last from the office or store turns off the lights.”
Prolonged strips can prevent heat loss, as can sealing unused windows and doors. Timers ensure that heating is not turned on when the premises are empty. The temperature can be set lower in places where physical movements are higher, such as stairs and corridors. At the end of the day, staff should turn off items such as computers, printers, monitors and TVs.
Amber Leach manages the marketing agency Established By Her in Plymouth. She was shocked when her electricity bill nearly doubled from £ 60 a month to £ 110. She says: “I called the vendor to reduce the fee. Now we pay more per unit of electricity, but a lower fixed cost, so we are more in control. ”
Amber also has a solar-powered generator in the office that charges mobile phones, laptops and cameras.
REQUIRE ALL SUPPORTERS
Small firms need to ensure that they are eligible for all available tax benefits.
For example, the FSB offers access to legal advice and provides support in late payments, and local authorities often provide discretionary support.
The Employment Benefit helps small employers reduce the cost of National Insurance.
Pubs, shops and hotels can apply for a doubling of the current year, and grants help firms cut energy costs and develop new products. Visit gov.uk/business-finance-support.
REDUCE SHIPPING COSTS
The team of husband and wife Lisa and Philip Ingram halved the cost of importing goods for their LittleLeaf Organic business in Hampshire by self-handling part of the supply chain.
They founded their own organic cotton company five years ago by hiring transport agents to deliver goods from India to Altan. During the pandemic, their shipping cost more than tripled to £ 1,850, so the couple looked at how they could be cut.
“For our last shipment, we rented a van, went to Southampton and loaded the goods ourselves. In total, it cost less than half of what we usually pay, ”says Lisa. Ingrams also saved money by buying an Leaf electric car, on which they take completed orders to the local post office.
Offer £ 25 for Amex costs
American Express users will receive a £ 5 credit each time they spend £ 15 or more at individual small businesses between 20 and 26 June.
The “Small Shopping Offer” allows cardholders to receive up to five credits, but they must sign up starting tomorrow through the American Express app or online account. Cardholders will be spoiled for choice. In Birmingham, for example, they can get loans at any of the 50 outlets, primarily in bars and restaurants.
Dan Edelman of American Express says: “After the last two years, it is very important to support small businesses that make a big contribution to the development of our streets and communities.”
Fundamentals of Small Business
Can switching light bulbs help keep your business afloat?
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