Look after the pennies...

...I know it's an old wives tale or some such but you have to admit there is a lot of truth in this old adage.

I was looking at a Client's bank charges yesterday and suddenly realised how much it cost him to write a cheque - his bank charges him 79p for every cheque he writes, add the cost of the envelope and the postage stamp and the remittance advice on top and you are well over £1.00.

May not sound a lot to you, but consider the alternative, an on-line bank payment is free of charge, an emailed remittance costs nothing.  In just one transaction you have saved £1.00.

When was the last time you reviewed your bank's charging tariff?

Personally I use a bank that offers two years free banking, and will review it at the end of the two years.  Mind you, I currently have no lending and don't anticipate the need, if you did then you would have to consider staying with your bank and building your relationship with the bank in the hope that when you did need them they would be there for you.  Obviously this is something you would discuss with your Accountant or Bank Manager.

The point that I am trying to make is that too many companies fail to look at the little things.  I have lost count of the number of companies I worked for who's stationery policy was decided by one person, who always ordered enough of something to get the latest free gift be it biscuits or a teddy bear, regardless of whether it was actually needed or cost efficient.  One company I worked at had enough Tippex to last a decade!

Now some people may say it is my Yorkshire side, but I like to think I am a canny lass, I take my time deciding what I want to buy then I buy it from whoever gives me the best value.  I don't buy toilet rolls and coffee from the stationers because they are cheaper from the Supermarket and I used to drive past on the way to work.

How long is it since you last reviewed your outgoings? Do you look at how much you pay for your phone, broadband and utilities? Or do you just stick with the same people for convenience?

I did a stationery review, okay it took me an hour to do, but the end result was a saving to my old company of over £350 year just on stationery.

Just spend a bit of time, sit down, look at what you are paying out each month, and why, its surprising how many companies aren't aware of all the small things that go out, and those odd £5 and £10 debits soon add up.  Have a quick look, there are plenty of comparison sites out there, can you save money, and is switching going to be advantageous, sometimes the extra you pay is worth it if they offer fantastic customer service or something similar, but sometimes you could be saving money.

It's a new year, consider adopting this new approach, and hopefully you will end up better off financially, and with the satisfaction that you have moved your business forward.

Comments welcomed.


  1. As usual, a well written and informative post!

    If more people were a tad more 'canny' the savings some companies could make may have saved a few jobs, and i believe that all companies, whether a one man/woman band or 1,000+ staff can make savings if they look into it properly.

    A stitch in time saves nine!

  2. I agree about bank charges. I've seen companies stuggling because of their bank charges, one payment makes them go overdrawn which they are then charged for making them go overdrawn again, becoming a vicious circle.
    If you are a member of the Federation of Small Businesses you can get a free business bank account from the Co-op (you have to stay in credit but loans are available through other FSB partners). The membership fee can work out less than bank charges and you get all the other benefits and support they offer as well.

  3. Another well written blog helen, i agree with all you have said but for some its a double edged sword. some people would argue that you should be loyal to your suppliers, i mean they might be working long hours to provide you a service that in their opinion deserves the extra money, and gain your loyalty, personally i get the best deal possible.Profit for my businesses is KING, it allows me to continue trading and pay peoples wages and provide security. Do people really think that people give a dam about other peoples businesses, their out to make money, its the reason we work. So poppycock to loyalty save those pennies, i don't know a weathly person who pays full price for anything( thats probably why there weathly)do your research and find those good deals. Sorry Helen a bit of a aggressive reply but it annoys me when people get strung up on providing services above and beyond the call of duty believing that people will be loyal. In realiality, quite righty, if they find something cheaper which offers the same quality final product, thats where they spend there money.


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