To help support small businesses during this difficult time, Small Business Britain is offering practical money saving tips to small business owners. We have gathered their top six pieces of advice below, including getting a smart meter installed to help you save energy.
1. Save energy
Energy usage is one of the expenses small businesses are most likely to estimate.
A great way to understand how much energy you’re using, identify ways to reduce your consumption, is by getting a smart meter installed.
Contact your energy supplier to find out if your small business is eligible for an installation.
2. Forecast cash flow
To save money, you first need to know where it’s going and when it’s coming in. While there’s some sophisticated cash flow software out there, sitting down with a simple spreadsheet to plot different financial scenarios can be just as effective too.
3. Access financial support
Energy Bill Relief Scheme
The scheme will fix wholesale gas and electricity prices for six months from October 1st 2022 until 31st March 2023 with a review expected in three months’ time to inform future support. It will apply to those on variable and flexible tariffs, in addition to those who had agreed fixed price tariffs after 1 April 2022.
The discount will be applied automatically from 1st October, so it will be seen in the bills you received in November.
Further information on the EBRS is available on the UK Government website or directly from your energy supplier.
It’s important to note that the Energy Bill Relief Scheme doesn’t limit the total amount you’ll spend on energy. You will still pay for the gas and electricity that you use but the Energy Bill Relief Scheme will limit the price that suppliers can charge for each unit of energy.
4. Cut costs
Two thirds of small businesses have changed their business model as a result of the crisis. Reshaping a business brings a lot of opportunities, but sometimes extra costs too. It is important to interrogate all of your spending to see if there are options to save – even if it’s how much you spend on milk!
5. Negotiate openly
If you are really struggling, don’t suffer in silence.
Open up a conversation with everyone you can to see if it’s possible to arrange discounts, or more manageable payment terms.
Speak to your accountant, or HMRC, about taking up the current offers to defer tax payments like VAT to aid cashflow.
6. Find support groups
The cost-of-living crisis has been overwhelming for many small businesses, so it’s important to make sure you have the right support. Many business schools offer free support through their networks, particularly those belonging to the Small Business Charter. There are also regular, free online events through Small Business Britain’s Facebook channels.
HOW CAN I REQUEST A SMART METER FOR MY SMALL BUSINESS?
Simply enter your energy supplier in the box below and we’ll connect you. If your small business works with a Third Party Intermediary (TPI) or broker, please contact them directly to request your smart meter.
How long does installation take?
Installations normally take about two hours and are arranged in advance so that you can make any necessary arrangements beforehand to ensure minimal disruption to your normal business operations.
Is my smart meter accurate?
Smart meters are as accurate as traditional meters. By law, all smart meters have to be approved by and certified by the Office of Product Safety & Standards to prove their accuracy. If you believe that there's a fault with your smart meter you can report it to your energy supplier in the same way you do now.