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Five ways to ease the squeeze on your SME

Many small businesses are under pressure from rising costs and other challenges. Here are some tips to lessen the impact of increasing cost pressures and ease the squeeze.

1. Use price-comparison services to find a better deal

If you’re making regular payments to a service provider, when was the last time you checked you’re getting the best deal? Insurance, energy and banking costs can vary significantly between providers and there are tools available to help you find a better price.

  • Consider speaking to an insurance broker to ensure you’ve got the right policy at a competitive price
  • Perform regular price comparisons for services like electricity to ensure you’re on the best deal
  • If you accept card payments, check whether your provider has set you up for least cost routing, which automatically sends transaction via the cheapest route available. If shopping around for a better deal on merchant fees, be aware the fee structures can be complex and opaque. There are private firms set up to advise businesses in this area
  • Use the NSW Government’s Fuel Check app to find the cheapest fuel near you

2. Ask your current provider for a better deal

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Don’t assume you are already getting the best deal from your electricity, telecommunications provider or bank. Pricing and products change often and you won’t necessarily be given the lowest offer unless you ask for it. Call them and ask, what have you got to lose?

If you have noticed a better-looking deal from another provider, tell your current supplier and they may agree to match it.

3. Take advantage of government rebates and grants

There are a number of grants and funding arrangements covering a range of purposes. Search for current grants and eligibility at the Service NSW website.

The NSW Government’s fees and charges rebate can be used to offset the cost of a range of government fees, up to $3,000 in total, including:

  • business licences
  • event and outdoor seating fees
  • council rates
  • road user tolls for business use
  • 50 per cent of the cost of RAT kits acquired for workplace testing

The rebate will be available until 30 June 2022. You can also get up to $1,000 towards the cost of workplace health and safety items through the SafeWork small business rebate.

4. Sign up to government voucher schemes for consumers

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Register to participate in voucher schemes (such as Dine & Discover NSW and Parents NSW vouchers) to attract more customers by reducing the cost to them of buying your goods and services. Make sure you advertise your participation by using the signage provided.

Consider putting together special deals that maximise the value of the vouchers to the customer.

5. Look for ways to become more efficient

Review your operations and make changes if you identify ways to reduce waste.

A good way to reduce costs is to improve energy efficiency in your business. As a small business you can check how your electricity costs compare to other businesses and get free advice on ways to reduce your energy footprint.

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