Firms prioritise business travel cutbacks

Carbon Trust

Reducing business travel costs is the top priority for small firms making cutbacks to survive the recession, according to electricity supplier Opus Energy.

Carbon Trust

An Opus Energy survey of 500 small businesses found that 19% said cutting their travel costs was a priority, while only 18% listed cutbacks in advertising spend and 17% planned to reduce staff bonuses. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants SME policy adviser Emmanouil Schizas said:

“Businesses should review their travel costs and consider how much of their work could be done online and at home — which could save money on premises as well as on transport costs,”

“They should also look at their advertising and calculate how much turnover they will need to make for their advertising spend to be worthwhile. When demand is a problem, as it is now, advertising might not have the returns it previously did.” he added.

According to Schizas, businesses need to review all the customer costs that rely on demand.

“This doesn’t necessarily mean cutting them. The mistake many people make in a recession is cutting costs ahead of the curve and being left without the right staff, relationships or resources when they need them again.” he said.

The survey also revealed only 3% of small businesses said they would prioritise reviewing their gas or electricity tariffs. Schizas went on to say:

“With energy supply, there are gains to be made by comparing tariffs from different providers, but a lot of firms can’t be bothered to shop around,”

Opus Energy operations director Andy Nash added:

“While some value can be had from trimming excess spending on business travel and advertising budgets, it is surprising that a review of utility bills does not appear higher up the list.

“This widely overlooked area can provide vital savings for businesses and make more of an impact on their bottom line than other areas,” said Nash.

For more information on reducing energy costs, visit the Carbon Trust website

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