Business Broadband supplier XLN Telecom shows you how to beat slow UK growth.
In July 2011 the Office for National Statistics revealed that UK growth in the second quarter of the year had been a mere 0.2%. Prospects for the rest of the year and into 2012 seem bleak too. Now as every businessman knows, growing a business is difficult at any time, but growing a business quickly when the economy is the moving like a snail is the difference between surfing in with the tide and swimming out against it.
But why dwell on the difficulties you face? A good business is never dependent solely on general economic conditions alone, but on its own dynamics. You can still make the most of your opportunities, win customers and grow even if the country isn’t. Likewise you can also keep a keen eye on your costs, and use the slowing economy as a way to put pressure on your costs to increase profits even while the economy struggles.
The internet is an effective tool to help you cut your costs in difficult times and to do that you need a business broadband supplier. Once you’re on the net you can look at several different ways to cut costs:
Direct debits and standing orders via the internet
A good way to pay your bills is using direct debit or standing order. Energy companies and other utilities give discounts for people who pay their bills regularly using direct debit or standing order. Some of the cheapest tariffs are only available if you pay this way. But checking your direct debits can be tricky – who are you paying, how much are you paying and how regularly? If you use your online banking to organise these you can cut out the waste and make sure you are getting all the savings you can.
Online suppliers can help you reduce costs
Some business savings are only available if you use direct debit, but so too many companies want you to book their product online. By using the internet they can cut their costs and give the difference back to you in lower prices. So why not use the web the next time you buy a product or a service and see if you can reduce the price you’ve being paying? If you’re travelling for business on the train or bus, or buying utilities you’ll struggle to find equivalent rates offline.
Reduce your supplier costs by shopping around on the internet
As well as suppliers who offer the same product or service that you buy now, there is another way to save money through using internet suppliers. The flexibility of the internet has allowed the growth of businesses that may offer more convenient business models than your current supplier. By using this flexibility you can reduce how much you buy and thus save.
Here’s an example. Streetvan competes against other van hire companies and offers rates that may or may not be cheaper if you book a van for a whole day. But do you really need to book a van for the whole day? What if you only need the van for a couple of hours to visit a supplier? The Streetvan website lets you find the closest van to your premises and you can work out the time you’ll need to hire the van in hours, not days. So although the daily hire rate isn’t much cheaper, you’ll still spend less and save money.
Save money with online auctions
You probably use regular suppliers for the products you sell, but what about things you only buy every now and again like computers or furniture? One of the best ways to get a good deal is through online auction sites like eBay who offer pretty much everything you could imagine buying from chairs to hand dryers, pcs to fans and shelves to filing cabinets.
Get free inventory over the net
What would the world be like if your suppliers just gave you their product for free? For certain businesses getting a business broadband supplier to get you access to the internet could potentially make that dream come true. Online sites like Freecycle give you access to range of free stuff that people would rather someone picked up and took away than ended up on the rubbish heap. One roofing contractor found someone advertising a whole roof’s worth of real slate tiles to be picked up for free. Another friend has a yard full of genuine York stone from an abandoned building project that he wants taking away.
Getting your business online with the right broadband package can mean money saved and costs reduced. And that’s the best way to turn the economic downturn from a threat to an opportunity.
Christian Nellemann is CEO of XLN Telecom Business Broadband.