A leading business organisation has highlighted the problems faced by industry after new figures show a steep rise in business costs.
According to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), producer input price inflation stands at a record-high 18.6 per cent, and the consumer prices index at nine per cent and could go higher.
It says the disparity between the two figures shows how businesses are having to absorb rising costs rather than pass them on to the consumer.
How could Government help businesses manage costs?
The FSB says that although the Government cannot control the wholesale price of oil and gas, it can go further to help small firms with property costs – increasing the ceiling for small business rates relief and extending the energy support issued via the council tax system to the rates system.
In addition, a sick pay rebate for the smallest businesses would give them a measure of breathing space.
However, what can businesses do for themselves now?
Make better use of space
Maximise office space by checking whether you are stocking too many supplies or making optimum use of office furniture. You may also be able to renegotiate your lease or find cheaper premises.
With advances in communication technology, you could also explore the possibility of running your business from home or on the road.
Review your suppliers
Make sure you are getting the best value for money, particularly in areas like communication with mobile phone deals and the cost of broadband and consider cloud-based software for general bookkeeping and data management.
Go for ‘nearly new’ equipment
Sometimes, it may not be possible to invest in the latest piece of equipment and so it may be worth considering refurbished or remanufactured supplies.
Properly refurbished computer equipment can result in big savings as can equipment like copiers, without sacrificing too much performance.
Many refurbishment companies even offer warranties on the goods they sell. However, you should be aware that the purchase of refurbished or recycled goods could affect your ability to claim certain reliefs, such as Capital Allowances.
Make better use of your accountant
While accountants can manage your books and compliance tasks, they can also provide strategic advice and identify areas where savings can be made.