Even as your business is growing, your transport costs don't have to weigh heavy in your bag. Andy Yates explains how to travel on a budget.
Andy Yates, entrepreneur and director of Huddlebuy.co.uk gives Real Business readers regular top money saving tips to help business owners save thousands of pounds. You can follow Andy on Twitter here.
This week: How to travel light when it comes to transport costs
This week in Business on a Budget you'll find out that transport doesn't have to be a budget nightmare.
Tip 1: Play your cards right
Fuel cards can save you money on fuel costs and cut out some annoying red tape. Instead of dealing with driver receipts or paying a fixed pence-per-mile rate, drivers pay with a fuel card - and often receives discounted rates.
Allstar fuel cards is a good option and you can get a 50% discount here. The service also has a useful online fuel locator comparing petrol stations in your area. Other alternatives include The Fuel Card Company and Arval.
Tip 2: It's good to share
If you're not reliant on vehicles every day car sharing can save money and hassle. Zipcar (formerly Streetcar) is the market leader. Instead of having to sort out insurance, parking and paperwork car sharing platforms offer a business membership for approved drivers, who can get hold of a vehicle on a need-to-drive basis. A full year’s business membership with Zipcar is £99 and using the cars starts at around £4 per hour or around £39 for the whole day.
If you need an occasional car rental you can use cashback sites like Quidco for some good deals.
Tip 3: In the club
If you’re drowning in car maintenance costs and rentals there are clubs you can join that use collective buying power to secure good deals. Run your Fleet for example offers savings on repairs, supplies, rentals, and contract hire.
Tip 4: Hiring to get higher savings
Contract hire and car leasing are tried and tested ways of keeping costs down.
Tip 5: Avoid pumping up petrol costs
Services like petrolprices.com allow you to check the cheapest petrol stations in you local area - with supermarkets often leading the way on the best deals and frequent offers.
Credit cards such as the Amex Platinum card and the Santander 123 card provide cash back on purchases such as petrol. There are also a growing range of mobile apps that alert you to local fuel savings - such as What Gas.
Tip 6: Bringing airline costs down to earth
A range of online services make it easy to find cheap flights, ensure you are getting the best deals on offer and to stop business trip costs going skywards.
Tip 7: Staying put
A plethora of conferencing tools like gotomeeting, joinme, Skype and Powwownow to name a few have come to the fore over the last few years. Well, video conferencing is not perfect - but for those meetings just nice to have, rather than necessary, it can save a small fortune. Ask yourself this when you are next stuck at a closed Frankfurt airport on a bitter snow-hit January evening: how many face to face meetings are really must-have?