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With the high prices of gas weighing heavily on small businesses these days, Connie Certusi, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Sage North America’s Small Business Accounting, offers the following gas tips for small businesses:
With the help of websites such as Google Maps, plan out your deliveries and group them by area, date and time, when possible. Additionally, change your hours of delivery so that you aren’t sitting in rush-hour traffic, which wastes both time and gas. Using GPS can also help you avoid getting lost and wasting gas by circling the block. Lastly, consider asking customers who live nearby to pick up their orders rather than shipping it to them.
Your competitors might be passing along the higher cost of gas to customers, should you charge a fuel surcharge to help manage the rise in costs? If you do plan to pass on fees to help with rising costs, make sure to communicate that directly to your customers explaining why and position it in a “matter of fact” manner.
Use accounting software to manage your cash flow so you can easily tell how much the rise in fuel is really costing your business and identify areas where you can save. Finally, make sure you are tracking your transportation costs accurately and share these with your bookkeeper or accountant.
Ask your accountant if there are tax benefits to getting new, more fuel efficient vehicles. This might be a great way to get some lower tax provisions while upgrading your company vehicles.
Underinflated tires, misalignment and dirty filters or oil can decrease your fuel efficiency. Check your vehicle’s manual to ensure you are maintaining it as recommended by the manufacturer.
On average, premium fuel can cost 10 to 15 cents more per gallon than regular fuel. Unless your vehicle has a high-performance engine, there typically isn’t any benefit to using premium gas.
Beyond being a display of bad manners, aggressive driving increases your car’s gas consumption. Fuel efficiency dips when you go faster than 60 miles per hour, accelerate rapidly and brake hard. Using cruise control for highway driving can also help decrease the consumption of gas.
Join additional small business forums to work with government representatives on lowering taxes and surcharges.
Connie Certusi is EVP and general manager of Sage Small Business Accounting Solutions (SBAS) in North America.
Connie leads the start-up and small business solutions business, encompassing Sage One, Sage Accountants Network and Sage 50 Accounting. She is also responsible for the Sage Employer Solutions products.
With over 20 years of experience in the technology market serving small businesses, she has a passion for helping entrepreneurs and small business owners succeed.
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