Most business owners know how vital it is to get the best deal from suppliers. They ask for quotes from a number of companies before meeting with just one or two they might work with. Getting a good price and a good level of service is essential when you’re manufacturing. But many businesses still fail to take that level of care when they’re looking to save money on the other day-to-day services needed to operate.
Telecoms and IT are often provided by a local company. This means that service operatives or engineers can arrive on site quite quickly. These days, however, the personal touch is required less and less as everything we do is in the cloud. Yet, few business owners shop around to find a more competitive quote. And some fail to consider exactly what level of service provision they need as technologies advance.
Staying in the loop and staying up to date is essential. Consider your marketing agency. You wouldn’t sit on the same campaigns year after year without demanding to see evidence of continued growth in response and conversion. Even if you have a good relationship with a service supplier, don’t be afraid to challenge their pricing or offering.
What about your energy provider? At home, you might shop around every year or so to check you’re on the best tariff still. You might do that with your broadband provider, and even your car insurance. It’s important you compare prices and shop around for your business too if you want to be certain you’re not overspending.
There are many price comparison websites for business services. And you can also find customer reviews! If you’re looking to get online business insurance comparisons or VOIP comparisons, then you’ll need to be certain of what you really need. It’s easy to buy more than you use, but it’s wasteful. Of course, you shouldn’t risk being under-covered for your needs. If there are limits on data use or speed, then compare that to what you have been using.
How often should you shop around?
If you have fleet cars or cell phones for your executives, make a note of when those minimum term contracts expire. This is the date when you are freed from the contract so you could select a different company. Energy tariffs don’t often come with a lock-in period, but it’s still worth checking. Insurances, for the most part, can be renewed annually.
How much can my company save?
That depends on how much you’re already overspending. Keep a simple spreadsheet detailing the service, the provider, the monthly or annual cost, and the renewal date. Now set yourself a target to save 10% overall. It might be ambitious, but if you succeed, then you’ve got great news to present to the board! How far are you willing to go? Perhaps you could also renegotiate your premises rental? If you’re reducing your overheads, you’re potentially increasing your profits.
Most businesses take the time to shop around for stationery supplies, but few put in the leg work to find savings across all their service providers. If you’re looking for savings this quarter, head to the price comparison websites.