With business growth often come rising costs. However, transport is definitely an area where small businesses can save money. In the latest in our Business on a Budget series, here are my tips.
Tip 1: Make use of fuel cards
Drivers who pay with a fuel card can often receive discounted rates and cut out some of the hassle at the pumps. These cards save you money, and avoid drivers having to deal with paperwork, receipts and fixed pence per mile prices.
Allstar Fuel Cards is one of the leading providers on the market, and you’re likely to find their online fuel locator useful if you want to compare petrol stations in or around your area. Limited discounted cards are available here or you can check out alternative services from Arval and The Fuel Card Company.
Tip 2: Consider car sharing
This can be an ideal way to save money if you don’t need to use vehicles every day. Car sharing for business could mean signing up to a company like Zip Car, which allows business users in selected cities to reserve a car when they need it for a few hours or whole days.
Business memberships offer hourly discounts during the week, and there’s no insurance, parking, paperwork or personal reimbursements to sort out.
Other alternatives include cashback sites, which can offer good money-back deals on car rentals. There are a variety of deals on offer at Quidco, featuring UK and global bookings, so this could be ideal if you want to save on a business trip.
Tip 3: Buyer power
Buyer power is well known amongst shoppers but did you know it can help your business too? Collective buying can be particularly useful if you have rocketing car rental or maintenance costs. One good example is Run Your Fleet, which offers great savings on contract hire, rentals, supplies and repair costs.
Tip 4: Consider contract hire or car leasing
Both these methods are well known and have been tried and tested as ways of reducing business transport costs. Comparison sites are a good place to start, so you may find the likes of Compare Contract Hire and Compare Hire and Leasing helpful.
Tip 5: Keep an eye on fuel prices
If you are a frequent business traveller, it will pay to keep an eye on fuel prices at the pumps. There are some useful resources, such as the Petrol Prices website, which will hunt out petrol stations near your local area and find the cheapest prices too.
You can also use your smartphone to get petrol price alerts local to you through apps like What Gas. Look out for supermarket prices and offers as they could prove to be the best deals. You may even be able to get cashback when you buy petrol on selected credit cards.
Tip 6: Saving on airline costs
With so much of the travel industry operating online, it’s easy to find the cheapest flights or compare the prices of business trips to make sure costs don’t spiral. Get the best deals and control your expenses with services like Flight Checker, Sky Scanner and Kayak.
Tip 7: Stay in the office
If your business has scheduled some meetings where you don’t really need to be face to face, why not make use of conferencing software? The savings could mount up quite swiftly and you can avoid traffic, airport delays and frequent travel costs – check out the likes of Skype, Powwownow, GoToMeeting and Join Me for an easy way to connect with remote branches or clients.
Did you find these tips useful? How do you keep your business’s transport costs down?