SMEs reduce Meetings as Prices Rise
Small businesses are cutting back on meeting clients face to face as high fuel prices have made business travel more expensive, according to Enterprise Rent–A–Car.
The average price of petrol has risen by 12% since January, while diesel prices have increased by 17%.
Their research revealed that 23% of small firms have reduced their spending as a direct result of increased fuel costs. The survey also highlighted that 26% of small firms are now travelling to see their key clients just once a month or less.
Commenting on the survey findings, the Institute of Commercial Management’s (ICM) chairman, Dr Alistair Ford, said:
“The rising price of fuel means that fewer people are travelling and they are more reluctant to travel longer distances.
“However, this can only have an adverse effect on business development as face–to–face contact is the best way to build a rapport and solid relationship with your clients and business partners,” he added.
“For SMEs to survive in this tough economic climate, they need to implement long–term measures, such as more rigorous planning and meeting scheduling,” said Ford. “They should also consider investing in more economical business vehicles and giving their employees more incentives to reduce costs when they’re on the road.”
Enterprise Rent–A–Car director of business development Rob Ingram agreed that small businesses need to look at long–term solutions.
“These firms are cutting costs and changing the way they work to meet the challenge, but there is unlikely to be any dramatic drop in fuel prices anytime soon,” he said.
You may be interested in our article on reduced travel needs and working remotely for more information.