It seems like everyone is feeling the pain at the pump these days, and small businesses are no exception. Trucking companies, delivery services, and moving companies are obvious examples, but increased gas prices also affect the everyday activities of many other small businesses. Normal activities like client meetings, sales calls, site visits, and even conferences or training seminars become more expensive than usual when gas is so expensive.
But with a little planning, there are ways you can stretch your budget and get a few more miles to the gallon.Try these tips:.1.Consider using a video conferencing service or an internet online meeting service such as WebEx to conduct meetings or training sessions online, rather than traveling to off-site locations.2.
Sign up for online training courses and conferences that can be completed at your office. This may also give you some great ideas on holding your own online training sessions that you could then offer to your customers.3. Before you visit a client site or run errands, visit a web site like Mapquest or Yahoo! Maps to make sure you have the right directions, and call ahead to verify appointments just to make sure you don't make any unnecessary trips.Take the freeway whenever possible; city starts and stops can be very costly.
4. Run errands on the way to or from work while you're already out on the road.Also, take advantage of this "think time" to think about your company's product offerings and marketing strategies - it can pay back huge dividends later on. Consider using a hand-held voice recorder to capture your ideas.
5. Gas prices tend to rise right before the weekend, so try to fill up on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays when demand is a little lower.6. Adjust your driving style with these strategies:.
- Slow down! Easier said than done, but it's a definite gas-saver.- Use the cruise control when you're driving on the highway. It helps stop "speed creep," and helps eliminate unnecessary speed changes.- Accelerate slowly away from a green light, don't "floor it.".- Take your foot off the gas and "coast" when approaching a red light or stop sign.
Maybe we don't think too much about our day-to-day driving, but with the price of gas climbing each week, it's probably worth a second thought. The extra effort you invest today can really add up over time, and may also save you money down the road..Lauren Hobson is the Editor of Biz Talk Newsletter, a free monthly publication designed to provide small businesses and non-profits with tips and techniques to help them make the most of their web sites and marketing efforts without spending a lot of money. Biz Talk is published by Five Sparrows, LLC.
By: Lauren Hobson